Nina Angela Mercer
Co-Founder and Executive Director of Ocean Ana Rising, Inc., Nina Angela Mercer is known for her creative writing, articulated through theatrical characters. Mercer began her writing journey at a young age by recording her thoughts on the page. As a child she loved to tell stories, read books and perform, so it’s no surprise that Mercer is fulfilling her childhood wishes. The playwright believes it is difficult to list all who inspire her writing because she considers every person she encounters to be an influence. ‘As a black woman making art in the 21st century, it is my responsibility to make art that seeks to dismantle the status quo. I want to disrupt injustice. Art can do that, because it sparks thought.’ With her art, she hopes to gain more support, space and opportunity to tell her stories. Mercer is an English Professor at Medgar Evers College, CUNY. Follow her art on her blog.
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St NE, Washington, DC, USA + 1 202 399 7993
Assignment Editor for News12 Brooklyn, Amelia Rawlins, also known as The Curly Journalist, is no stranger to writing stories. She has written personal pieces and editorial features since elementary school. Her love for writing earned her a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Studies with a minor in Psychology at Utica College in 2010. Her descriptive and sometimes playful sarcastic style of writing is used in her editorial pieces; however, as an assignment editor, it’s all about her conducting thorough pre-interviews and gathering details for reporters to later use for broadcasting. She hopes to gain credibility and trust from her News12 Brooklyn staff and viewers throughout the borough. Ms. Rawlins is currently working on a project about fibroids and how it affects the lives of African American women. She wants to encourage more women who suffer with the condition to speak up about their personal experiences and work together to come up with better solutions. ‘More research needs to be done to find solutions and causes, and I hope to gain that one day with this project,’ she says. When Ms. Rawlins is not preparing stories behind the scenes, she spends her time cooking, dining out with her partner and exploring food from different cultures. Follow Amelia Rawlins on @CurlyJournalist, and read her earlier work on OurTimePress.
News12 Brooklyn, 930 Soundview Avenue, Bronx, NY, USA + 1 718 328 7504
Singer and song writer Stephanie Jeannote says her inspiration for writing never begins the same way twice. Sometimes this Brooklyn resident gets ideas from what she sees while riding the subway, but a lot of her music focuses on love and inspirational themes of God and faith. ‘Writing for me is my release. It is what I love to do, even more than sing, so to sing a song that I write is like freedom,’ she says.Jeannote shares that she has written so much throughout her life that she can possibly compile new songs every day for the next 20 years due to her possession of two tall bins full of songs written in notebooks since grade school. When she isn’t working by day and performing live music somewhere in NY by night, her biggest hobby is researching all things related to music, attending live musical events, and listening to artists like Eddie Jefferson and Diana Krall to help improve her craft. Buy Stephanie Jeannot’s music at www.reverbnation.com/stephanayjnote and follow her on Facebook for all upcoming events and performances.
Fabienne Marie Volcy
Life Coach and Co-Author of Who Am I? I Am His, Fabienne Marie Volcy, is a writer and self-motivator by heart. She is influenced by writers who use their art to uplift others. Three years ago, she started sharing her inspirational words with the world by co-publishing her first book under the publication name One Voice For Him in collaboration with her business partner Martyne Anne Volcy. She explains that her style of writing is meant to inspire people to be the best individuals they can be. ‘I allow myself to be used as a vessel by God, and I simply write. I know that I am writing because there is an audience waiting to read it. I am not writing for my own recognition or glory but to the Glory of God,’ she says. Volcy loves that her encouraging words can reach larger crowds through her books because the spiritual connection they will gain from her work is just as prevalent. Volcy is currently working on a screenplay that defines all that is love, and a children’s series of books that addresses faith and Christianity fit for children to comprehend and enjoy. Learn more about Fabienne Marie Volcy at her site OneVoiceForHim.com and on Instagram at onevoiceforhim.
Barnes & Noble, 267 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, USA + 1 718 832 9066
This creative writing teacher at Prospect Heights High School uses her experiences through life to develop her ‘rawness.’ She calls it raw because her poems are from real life experiences being a young mixed race woman who is half Kenyan and half Irish navigating life in the big city. A lot of her written and spoken art incorporates the French, Kikuyu and Swahili languages because she lived in London and Nairobi, Kenya some years of her life. Great writers like Toni Morrison and James Baldwin inspire her work, but she says her grandmother, Belle Njambi, is her main poetic influencer because of her teachings and guidance of understanding her value growing up; nevertheless, Morgan’s individual voice is present. Her writing process also combines the idea of healing. When asked what she hopes her readers gain from her poetry, she said, ‘I hope there is a young girl somewhere who reads my work and feels inspired to keep on living like I felt I could keep living when I first read Ntozake Shange’s play For Colored Girls.’ Be inspired and come see her perform at Reel Works on 9 January at 5 p.m. where she is also beginning a workshop called The Art of Story Telling. Njambi Morgan is currently pursuing her CUNY BA degree majoring in International Relations and Social Justice through Poetry. View her work on YouTube and Joetorre.org.
Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, 540 President St, Brooklyn, NY, USA + 1 718 768 9000