06 October 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Japan Writers Conference 2017: Black Eye is in da House!

The 11th Annual Japan Writers Conference will be held this (long) weekend October 8th and 9th (Sunday & Monday), at Nihon University College of Art, Ekoda Campus. And once again I’ll be presenting.

Last time, back in 2015, some of you might remember that I presented at the conference in Kobe. My subject was activism and writing about sensitive subjects like race issues in Japan.

It went very well as I recall.

I also wound up writing a piece for Black Eye. It wasn’t on the event itself, but about something that had transpired at the event.

Namely, this ish:

It was not the highlight of the event, I gotta tell you. If you want to read the piece, you can check it out HERE: Bring Back that Kobe Feeling.

This year, however, I’ll be presenting for 45 minutes (plus Q&A) about my little column that could:

Black Eye

The title of my talk this year:

Landing and Expanding a Newspaper Column in Japan

When McNeil first began his column all he had was a love of writing, a popular blog and a couple of indie-published books to his credit. Without much of a journalism background, he built “Black Eye” from scratch, and in 3 years time has established it as a go-to source for information on black lives in Asia. He’s done so by covering a plethora of hot topics through the eyes of black people from every corner of the globe who call Japan their home, voices heretofore unheard.

In this session, McNeil will share not only how he landed the column, but how he’s managed to expand it into the institution it’s become. He will discuss various marketing techniques and editorial strategies that can be incorporated to increase a column’s reach, and the challenges of maintaining bias-free journalistic integrity while reporting on a topic on which one has strong personal opinions. Avoiding getting embroiled in conflicts of interests (and what can occur when a columnist fails to) and navigating the emotional minefield of bitter criticism and trolling that is par for the course when one tackles subject matter of a sensitive nature in this social media age.

There will be a Q/A period at the conclusion.

I know what you’re thinking: “In 45 minutes? Really??” What can I tell ya? Ganbarimasu! (I’ll do my best!)

Hope some of you guys can make it. It is a writers conference so, besides yours truly, there’ll be MANY writers there, giving talks and workshops on a wide range of topics, from poetry to publishing to writing memoirs…you name it, there’s probably someone presenting on it.

Here’s a link to the program:

2017 Japan Writers Conference

See ya there:

PS: Big shout out to my homie Ayana Wyse for her lovely design on my poster. Check her and her work out here:

Instagram: @yana_yz

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Hanayanaa

Both Dope!

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