February 25th, author Grace F. Edwards, longtime director of the Harlem Writers Guild died due to natural causes.
Born and raised in Harlem, Grace F. Edwards was a beacon of hope, brilliance, and dedication within the New York literary scene. In 1992, Ms. Edwards became the first African American author signed to Doubleday . She is the author of seven books, In the Shadow of the Peacock, If I Should Die, A Toast Before Dying, No Time to Die, Do or Die, The Viaduct, and The Blind Alley. She is the 1999 winner of the Fiction Honor Book award from the Black Caucus of the American Literary Association. She earned her master’s degree in Creative Writing from the City University of New York. She’s a YADDO fellow. She reviewed books for the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Ms. Edwards has served as a professor of Creative Writing at Hofstra University, Marymount Manhattan College, the College of New Rochelle, and Hunter College.
Ms. Edwards, who was the secretary of The Harlem Writers Guild, stepped up to the role of director upon the death of Bill Banks, longtime leader of The Guild.
She served in the dual roles of director and secretary of The Guild for over a decade. Ms. Edwards has dedicated much of her life to ensuring that the guild thrives, serving as writing instructor, advisor, motivator, and mentor to the collective of passionate writers while keeping up with the student curriculum as a college professor and meeting her own publishing deadlines. Additionally, Grace Edwards often extended herself to such community programs as the 92nd Street Y, the once-popular Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center, and other networks to facilitate affordably priced writing workshops for otherwise economically disenfranchised writers in the community.
Professional Credits and Awards:
- Recipient of 2 awards for creative writing from C.A.P.S. (The New York Foundation for the Arts)
- Recipient of a YADDO fellowship award; and a Black Caucus ALA Honors award
- 4-year Writer-in-residence and instructor for The Writer’s Voice
- Instructor of creative writing at Marymount Manhattan College; Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center and Hunter College
- President of the Harlem Writers’ Guild [ 2007 – 2013]
- Contributor to the Los Angeles Times Book Review; The Washington Post Book Review.
- Mystery Writers of America and McCavity nominee.
- ‘Principal for a Day’ as sponsored by P.E.N.C.I.L. (Public education needs civic involvement in learning) at the following schools:
- Wadleigh H.S., West 114th St. NYC – Oct. 2005
- Benjamin Banneker H.S., 77 Clinton Ave. Brooklyn – Oct. 2006 Kappa II Middle School, 137 West 128 St. NYC – Oct. 2007
Here’s a link to the Grace F. Edwards articles on the Harlem World Magazine.
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