AfroSurreal Writers Workshop

We are the AfroSurreal Writers Workshop

The AfroSurreal Writers Workshop supports writers of color creating weird, surreal, or absurdist art. We welcome participation and contributions from anyone interested in such works.

In the months ahead, we'll be hosting hosting a number of readings, a conference, and workshops about AfroSurrealism. We'll also be donating comic books and works of speculative fiction to the Prisoners Literature Project, based in Berkeley, California.

For more information about these and other programs, please be sure to check back on this page for updates. You can also email us anytime, of course, or check out our Facebook page.


Background image courtesy of Jim Sher under Creative Commons license via Flickr. Image is a long exposure of the night sky above Cape Town, South Africa. As time passes with the camera's shutter open, it captures the paths of the stars across the sky.

Website design and hosting by Roscoe Labs.

Join our Google Group!

We've set up an email community on Google Groups to share information about AfroSurreal books, stories, and art. This is also a great place to hear about upcoming events. Please join us!

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Spirit-Talk Takes You Places

A Conference on AfroSurrealism, Comics, and Social Justice

On March 26, 2016, the AfroSurreal Writers Workshop and the African American Museum and Library of Oakland held our first conference on AfroSurrealism and Black Speculative Fiction. Taking its name from a line in AfroSurrealist Henry Dumas’s short story “Echo Tree,” Spirit-Talk was a great opportunity for us to inspire conversations, community, healing, and love through the arts.

The one-day symposium featured the creative work of writers, filmmakers, visual artists, and musicians. In our closing reception, we honored writer Juliana "Jewels" Smith, an Oakland native who's the creator of (H)afrocentric: the Comic.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the conference! A special shout-out in particular to members of our organizing committee, who worked tirelessly to make sure the event went off smoothly:

Shannon Holbrook holds a culinary degree and is trained in broadcasting on both radio and television. A gifted public speaker and comedian, Shannon has served as M.C. for Litquake’s “Fiction with Flava” and regularly hosts cooking demos and wine classes.

Veda Silva is the AAMLO’s Museum Project Coordinator and the Director of the AAMLO’s Writer-in-Residence program.

Stewart Shaw holds a BA in English with a creative writing emphasis from San Francisco State University, and a MLS from University California, Berkeley. He currently works as a librarian at the San Francisco Public Library. His poems have appeared in both online and print journals such as Missing Slate, Temenos and Toe Good. He is a Cave Canem Fellow.

Michele Simms-Burton is a writer, editor, social media advisor, content curator, certified instructional systems designer, and scholar of African American studies and women's studies.

Rochelle Spencer is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, co-editor of the anthology All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color, and a former board member of the Hurston-Wright Foundation.

Wandra Williams is a writer and teacher in the Hayward School District, where she is a site coordinator for the African American Student Achievement Initiative.