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From Our Perspective: Black Editors

Join PEN to hear from Black editors about their experiences and perspectives as literary professionals. Moderator CaTyra Polland will guide this discussion with Andrae D. Smith, Dr. Solomon Tention, and Cynthia Williams on how race impacts Black editors, how each panelist became an editor, recommendations to help aspiring Black editors, and solutions to address racial disparity in the publishing world.

We invite authors, editors, and publishers to interact during this jam-packed session, which is primarily aimed at non-Black literary professionals.

Registration for this event is now closed. Browse the calendar to find out what’s coming up next!


October 12, 2021


6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Online Event


  • Andrae D. Smith
    Andrae D. Smith

    Andrae D. Smith is an editor, book coach, and Amazon bestselling author. Having worked as an editor and writing mentor since 2014, he is passionate about helping authors to own their voices. He is on a mission to help inspired, influential individuals turn their passion and their message into books that transform lives, build movements, and create waves of positive change in the world.

  • CaTyra Polland
    CaTyra Polland

    CaTyra Polland, MA, is the CEO/founder of Love for Words (an editing boutique for writers and authors), an eight-times published author, and an editor and speaker. She is the creator/hostess of Editor Knows Best, an international writing and editing podcast for literary professionals. CaTyra launched Literacy Love, a scholarship for high school students, in 2020 and founded and hosted Writers Paradise, a writing forum for writers and authors.

  • Cynthia Williams
    Cynthia Williams

    Cynthia Williams, business and technical editing manager at Dragonfly Editorial, has nearly 20 years’ experience editing manuscripts and corporate communications on climate change, community capacity building, good governance, and social science. She is a poet, has worked as an in-house editor and a freelancer, and curates interviews with editors of color at Outside-the-Book.com.

  • Dr. Solomon Tention
    Dr. Solomon Tention

    Dr. Solomon Tention is an author of several books and serves as a higher education administrator, professor, and CEO of SIM Companies. With just over 10 years working in education, he has dedicated his career to building ecosystems dedicated help individuals thrive and experience holistic success.

    Solomon has authored several articles, book chapters, and publications and conducted presentations at various universities and national conferences. He serves on the review board for the Journal of Underrepresented and Minority Progress and maintains a research agenda that focuses on student affairs, cultural competency, diversity and inclusion, social capital, educational psychology, internationalization, social justice, community colleges, and student success.