Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative (KWBC)
A support center for aspiring Black writers around the state.

Are you a Black writer looking for guidance and opportunity?
Carnegie is offering classes at no charge to Black students in recognition of systemic racism, including in education and publishing, where Carnegie operates. Our goal is to welcome Black Kentucky residents to Carnegie, nurture their development, and remove financial obstacles for as long as needed.

All weekly classes and one-time classes at Carnegie are free to members of the Black Writers Collaborative. *

For more information on the KBWC or to register for a class, contact: Claudia Love Mair, KBWC Coordinator, or JC McPherson, KBWC Associate,

* Not included free of charge are the Author Academy, the Poetry Gauntlet, the Books in Progress Conference, Writer Mentoring, and Manuscript Review. There is separate financial support available for these programs.

Meet The Staff

KBWC Coordinator

Claudia Love Mair is here to answer any questions you might have about the craft and business of writing. She's a novelist in multiple genres and also a creative nonfiction writer, including Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black and White, Wounded: A Love Story, and Don’t You Fall Now (her memoir). Claudia Love holds a Masters in Fine Arts in writing from Spalding University, and her passion is to amplify Black voices at all levels.

KBWC Associate

Col. JC McPherson, Kentucky Colonel Goodwill Ambassador, has a background in writing, electricity, and general troubleshooting. During his time at the Carnegie Center, he has worn many hats. Currently he is an agent for the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative, Creative Writing Instructor, Rental Staff, and Staff Support. He is the author of On My Mind (blacoetry press), Jupiter’s Child (Winged City Chapbooks), and Hey Batta Batta (Lefthanded JuJu). In his spare time, he likes to cook, drink ice cold Pepsi, garden, build model rockets, and listen to music.

KBWC Affiliated Classes

Writing & Publishing While Black – Fall 2022

Black authors face special challenges in the publishing world, from blatant racism to microaggressions to dealing with the expectations of the publishing business, which is by and large centered in whiteness. Learn how you can succeed in writing and publishing while Black. Panelists: Claudia Love Mair, Crystal Wilkinson, makalani bandele, and Angela Jackson-Brown

This class is offered as a pre-recorded webinar. The link to the video and any accompanying materials will be emailed to you after registering.

Writing What Is: A Writing Circle for BIPOC Womyn – Fall 2022

The purpose of this circle is to offer a safer space (because there is no truly safe space) for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) womyn to write and share our truths. It will also serve to build a strong BIPOC womyn’s writing community. Each session will include writing prompts, time for sharing, and encouraging feedback from classmates. One week will also feature writing instruction by a professional BIPOC womyn writer. This class is for nonfiction writers. Limited to 15 participants. Meets Saturdays, September 17 - October 15, 10:00-12pm.

Performance Poetry 101: Spoken Word – Fall 2022

Over six weeks, students will develop their own voices and the most powerful ways to express them to an audience. Each class will be broken up into three segments. We’ll begin with a video portion that will be used to present examples ranging from poet readings to more performance-based work (such as the Last Poets and contemporary slam poetry). A writing component will be used to develop poetry that is meant to be heard. Each class finishes with time set aside for performance and getting comfortable in front of a microphone. Meets Wednesdays, September 21 - November 2, 5:45pm - 7:15pm.

Choosing Your Point of View – Fall 2022

Learn about the crucial role Point of View plays in your writing—from first to third person and beyond. In this generative workshop, we’ll explore the differences, similarities, and impacts each perspective brings to a story and then practice on our own writing. You’ll leave with a better understanding of the different rules, techniques, and tricks to pull readers in—and how to apply them to your work. Saturday, October 8, 2:00pm - 4:00pm.

Writing From the Inside Out – Fall 2022

This contemplative writing workshop provides an opportunity for participants to combine guided meditation and writing. We will journey into our bodies and then use a prompt to tell our stories from the inside out. We will commit what we find onto the page in the form of a freewrite. These freewrites may take the form of word association, poetry, or prose. Participants will then be invited to witness one another as we share the wisdom that comes to us from within. Saturday, October 22, 10:30am - 12:30pm.

Black & Lit Book Club

Black & Lit Book Club – Fall 2022

The Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative continues the popular Black & Lit Book Club celebrating Black Kentucky writers’ recent books. This book group will be open to KBWC members and anyone who wishes to attend. We will explore issues related to race and discuss the characters’ relationships, family, home life, dreams, and challenges. We’ll also study aspects of their writing, such as word choice, themes, character, plot, and setting. When possible, we will meet with the author during our book group. The KBWC Black & Lit Book Club will meet on the second Tuesday of every other month, beginning in September. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Kentucky Humanities, WUKY, and Blue Grass Community Foundation. 

Each month, the first 25 registrants receive a free copy of the selected book.

KBWC Contests

KBWC Events



Burn The Mic

Join us on October 25, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for Burn The Mic. Open mic kicks off at 7pm and the Featured Speaker, Ronald Davis, will perform at 7:30pm. upfromsumdirt is a poet, visual artist, and designer based in Lexington, KY. Learn more.


Burn The Mic: End of Summer Slam

Join us on September 2, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for Burn The Mic: End of Summer Slam. Open mic kicks off at 6pm and the Slam will follow soon after. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3 performers. Learn more.



Burn The Mic 

Join us on August 18, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for Burn The Mic, featuring LeTonia Jones. Open mic kicks off at 7pm and the featured artist will speak at 7:45pm. LeTonia A. Jones, MSW, is a death penalty abolitionist, activist, educator, writer, writing facilitator, and newspaper columnist. This fall, she will be co-leading "A Writing Circle for BIPOC Womyn" at the Carnegie Center. Learn more.

Juneteenth Slam

Join us on June 18, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for our first-ever Juneteenth Slam presented by the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative and Brown Owl. Open mic kicks off at 6 pm and the slam will immediately follow. You can win prizes! Learn more.


At the Clearing

We gather to grieve. We gather to witness. We gather to remember. On March 12, 2022, please join us at the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning to unveil the latest work by Kiptoo Tarus, inspired by the murder of Breonna Taylor and in support of the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative (KBWC). Learn More.

We hope to see you soon at the Carnegie Center, home to the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame and writers and readers of all levels.

Join Us

251 West Second Street
Lexington, KY 40507


(859) 254-4175

Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 7:30pm
Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

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