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Online Seminar: Writing for Publication


Join us for the September Online Seminar: Writing for Publication, Saturday, September 30, 2023 

from 1-5 pm eastern time 


Masud Olufani, Kim Douglas & Kemba Saran Braynon will host this month.

Featured Guests: Dr. Beatriz Olson, author of Mind Body Secrets; and Sara DeRoo-Blomeling, author of Loving Desmond.

Featured Editor: Janice Nelson, who will provide an overview on developmental, line and copy editing, in addition to proofreading.

We will explore the challenges and opportunities of writing for publication, and all the steps involved. 

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Sharon Nesbit-Davis

Sharon Nesbit-Davis is an author, artist, and storyteller. She began her arts career by  joining the Jabberwocky Mime Troupe. Sharon worked as a solo mime artist performing for festivals, theaters, and schools. In 1996, she joined the staff of the Rockford Area Arts Council as a community arts coordinator and retired as the Executive Director in 2020.  Her memoir, Intended-A marriage in Black and White, (a ten year writing project) was published in 2021 by 10/16 Press. Sharon conducts memoir writing and creative recharge retreats which include storytelling, writing and painting. Sharon and her husband, George, currently reside in Evanston, IL where she writes and teaches on-line, and George serves as the Director of the Baha’i House of Worship.  They have two children, both award-winning writers, and eight grandchildren.

Masud Olufani


Masud Olufani is an Atlanta based multidisciplinary artist born in Los Angeles and raised in New York City, New Orleans, Miami, Dallas and Atlanta. He is a graduate of Morehouse College, and The Savannah College of Art and Design where he earned an M.F.A. in sculpture in 2013.


Masud has exhibited his work in group and solo shows nationally and internationally. He is the 2021-22’ inaugural Visual Arts Fellow at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. The artist has completed residencies at The Vermont Studio Center; The Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences; and Creative Currents in Portobello, Panama. He is a 2017 Southern Arts Prize State Fellow; a recipient of a 2015 and 2018 Idea Capital Grant; a Southwest Airlines Art and Social Engagement grant; and a recipient of 2015-16’ MOCA GA Working Artist Project Grant. He is the creative director of Blocked: A Global Healing Project, an multimedia performance created to memorialize spaces marked by the trauma of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.


As an actor, he had a recurring role on the BET series The Quad, and has appeared in numerous television shows including Greenleaf; Being Mary Jane, Devious Maids, Satisfaction, and Nashville. He is a featured actor in the film biopic All Eyez on Me. He was the co-host of the PBS news based investigative journalism show Retroreport, which aired nationally in 2019. He is the co-host of Undaunted, a new podcast series that centers the work of social change makers.


As a writer, Masud has published articles for Burnaway; Baha'i Teachings; and is a featured contributor for the Jacob Lawrence Struggle Series catalog, produced to coincide with a major exhibition of the Struggle Series paintings. His untitled memoir is currently in development.

Kemba Saran Braynon













Kemba Saran Braynon is a storyteller who brings a deep interest in history and sense of place to her work as an architect and writer. As a child, she realized her love for writing and began journaling as a way to understand the world around her. After graduating high school, Kemba spent a gap year volunteering in Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique, and kept journals detailed her experiences. In 1996, she published a memoir titled To Dine with the Blameless Ethiopians which described her experiences as a young American volunteering abroad while navigating apartheid, political discord, and extremes of wealth and poverty. 


Kemba attended the University of Michigan where she earned a BA in English Literature, a BS in Architecture, and a Master of Architecture. She worked as an architect in Chicago for 10 years, but she missed the joy of creative expression through storytelling. She eventually left architecture and accepted a position as an editor with a boutique publishing company. Although she enjoyed working with authors to help shape and refine their stories, the career change proved destabilizing to the fragile ecosystem of her marriage. During the ensuing divorce, she returned to Michigan to live with relatives where a prolonged stint of unemployment led to an unexpected burst of creativity. Kemba wrote a compilation of essays and poetry that described how she navigated, survived, and eventually escaped an abusive marriage and how she came to reclaim her own voice. The work entitled A Dress of Steel Mesh, was performed as a staged reading in Chicago at Silk Road Theater. 


During the Great Recession, work as an editor was financially unsustainable for a single mom, yet work as an architect was hard to come by. The only job she could find was a government position with the City of Detroit writing historic district reports and grants to protect and restore historic buildings. What appeared to be a professional detour became an introduction to the field of historic preservation and the way that her skills as a writer and architect could be combined to help communities protect and reuse their existing buildings.  Kemba remained with the City of Detroit during the historic bankruptcy when many of the city's cultural resources were on the chopping block. Grant funding was one of many approaches used by the City of Detroit and local non-profits to retain and repair historic buildings that would have otherwise been lost. During her tenure, she wrote and administered countless grants that helped repair museums and cultural resources, including the Albert Khan-designed Belle Isle Aquarium, The Scarab Club (one of the oldest arts organizations in Detroit), and Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Museum. Critical to her grant writing approach was telling the compelling story of why a building should be saved. 


In 2015, she joined Quinn Evans as an historic preservation architect where she continues to work with organizations intent on restoring, maintaining and finding new uses for their historic buildings. Kemba has been featured in magazines, including Great Lakes by Design (2021) "The Architects: Women in the Field and Their Inspiration, Their Hope, for the Profession", and in 2023 she received the AIA Michigan Presidents Award for her outstanding contributions to the profession. 


Kemba lives in Ypsilanti, MI, with her husband and two children and she is currently working on a memoir. 

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Kim Douglas

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Kim Douglas is the founder of Write to Unite, an online holistic book writing program, that supports leaders and change-makers to create a better world through writing the stories they were born to share—stories of endurance and resilience, transformation and empowerment.


Kim's deepest desire is to contribute to the healing and transformation of the world through creativity and writing. She believes the best ideas and the most valuable content for our writing exists right inside our lived-experiences—the present moment, our memories, our dreams, our yearnings to create a better world for ourselves and our children.


Traditional educational methods, cultural and family patterns and other forces have schooled us out of our creativity and silenced us. Throughout her 35-year career as an educator, writer and editor, Kim's ground-breaking practices and in-depth coaching and instruction have lit the imaginations and freed the voices of over 2,000 students and clients and have enabled them to write their stories of transformation and empowerment. 


Kim Douglas is the author of High Desert: A Journey of Survival and Hope and co-author of Arising with Kevin Locke. Kim is currently writing a memoir that explores the intersections of personal and social trauma, healing and transforming ancestral and cultural patterns, and disrupting the tendencies to silence and erase our most difficult truths.

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