#WEW: Women Who Empower Us – Terry McMillan
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It’s Women Empowerment Wednesday and #EssenceFest alum and best-selling author, Terry McMillan is yet another woman that empowers us. Her strong, dynamic, female characters and relatable prose have empowered African-American women everywhere for years but the woman behind these characters is even more inspiring. Here are a few little known facts about Terry McMillan:

  • McMillan’s first book, Mama was published in 1987 but her book deal didn’t include a budget for marketing, publicity, or a book tour. Instead, she self-promoted her book and funded her own book tour.


  • Mama garnered such a buzz that it demanded a second printing before it was even released.


  • She was once a writer for Essence Magazine.


  • She was once a member of the Harlem Writer’s Guild.


  • She discovered her fascination with words early on and honed her storytelling skills by taking creative writing classes.


  • She once won the Doubleday Fiction Contest, which is how her first book was published and how she met her agent.


  • When she was in her 30’s, she held a tenure track position in the English Department of University of Arizona at Tucson.

Stay tuned at EssenceFestival.com to see who will be at this year’s #EssenceFest to #EmpowerU!