In addition to hosting a live online meeting, we will also record it and post the link in the next month’s issue of The eQuill newsletter.


August 15, 1:30-4:00 p.m. – Online (


1:30-1:45 AWC Announcements about upcoming events.


1:45-3:00 Travis Hunter (“Journeys: My Non-traditional Route to Publication with One of the Big Five, Random House”)

Travis is an author, screenwriter, director and public speaker. His first novel, The Hearts of Men, was originally published in 2000 by Hunter’s own company, Jimrose Publishing House. During the 2000 Book Expo America in Chicago, Hunter received an offer from Random House for the re-release of The Hearts of Men. And so began a successful evolution of published adult novels: Married but Still Looking, Trouble Man, A One Woman Man, Something to Die For, A Family Sin, Dark Child and Momma’s A Virgin. Inspired by his work with teens as the founder of The Hearts of Men Foundation, Hunter created a young adult series: Two the Hard Way, At the Crossroads and On the Come Up, which were published by Kensington Publishing Group.

Hunter is a native of Florence, S.C. and resides in an Atlanta suburb. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and graduate of Georgia State University where he majored in film and video and minored in psychology. Always an avid reader, Hunter parlayed his passion for the written word into a career as an author, playwright and filmmaker who has produced 11 published novels, an Off-Broadway stage play for the adaptation of his novel, Married but Still Looking and a short film, which he wrote and directed based on his novel, Dark Child.

Travis states, “I never set out to be a writer and really didn’t have a clue, but could always hold an audience with my stories. While mentoring kids and encouraging them to read, I couldn’t find any fiction with positive Black men. So, I filled that void with my debut novel The Hearts of Men. Less than six months later, I was signed to Random House and am now twelve books in.”

On August 15th, Travis will speak about his non-traditional route to being published by Random House, the largest publisher in the world.


3:00-4:00 Rona Simmons (“Journeys: From Fiction to Non-fiction, Academic Presses, Resulting Books and What I’ve Learned”)

Rona Simmons is an Atlanta-area based author and has written both historical fiction and works of nonfiction. In 2016, she coauthored Images from World War II, celebrating the art of WWII veteran and artist Jack Smith. Her latest book, The Other Veterans of World War II: Stories from Behind the Front Lines, released in April 2020 by Kent State University Press again addresses the topic of the Second World War. The daughter of a WWII fighter pilot herself, she is proud to honor veterans and their stories through her work. Her writing, including, stories, articles, and interviews, has appeared in regional and national literary journals and online magazines. Simmons lives in the Atlanta area and is active in the local community, both for authors (as a speaker and member of the Atlanta Writers Club and the Georgia Writers Association), and for veterans (as a member of the Atlanta World War II Roundtable and the North Georgia Veterans Group). Simmons is also a contributing author and book reviewer for, an organization dedicated to reading and lifelong learning, and a volunteer for the Project whose intent is to profile all 400,000 of the US WWII fallen.

AWC members and other area writers know her for her nonstop approach to marketing and for her many efforts to promote her fellow authors.


On August 15, Rona will share lessons learned along her journey and answer questions about anything from her first novels to her latest nonfiction, from her experiences finding and successfully pitching academic presses, to working with small presses, self-publishing, and securing support through fund raising platforms, and most importantly, she says, networking.