New York Times-bestselling author Ashley C. Ford and the Indiana Authors Awards held a statewide speaking tour from April 12 to 14. Having spent the last several years in New York City, Ford moved “back home again” to Indiana in 2020. This Homecoming Tour celebrated the writer, host, educator and social media star and put her in conversation with local moderators in three Hoosier cities for conversations about her experiences as an Indiana author.
From her childhood in Fort Wayne to college days at Ball State to writing for worldwide outlets in New York City and back again to Indianapolis where she now lives and works, Ford brings with her both local interest and national acclaim. Telling the story of her relationship with her incarcerated father, Ford’s debut memoir, Somebody’s Daughter, explores themes of childhood, family, race, body image, education and home.
Ford was joined in conversation by poet Mitchell L.H. Douglas at the Floyd County Library in New Albany, writer Tamara Winfrey-Harris at Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis and Northeast Indiana Public Radio’s Terra Brantley at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne.
The Indiana Authors Awards Tour is a statewide speaking tour, featuring a prominent Hoosier author in conversation with local writers and thought leaders. With the goals of both highlighting Indiana’s national literary status and inspiring more residents to take up the pen and write, the Indiana Authors Awards Tour brings prominent writers to a community near you. Ashley C. Ford was the inaugural featured speaker of the Indiana Authors Awards Tour.
About Ashley C. Ford
Ashley C. Ford’s New York Times best-selling memoir, Somebody’s Daughter, was published by Flatiron Books in June 2021. Ford is the former host of The Chronicles of Now podcast and co-host of The HBO companion podcast Lovecraft Country Radio. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her husband, poet and fiction writer Kelly Stacy, and their chocolate lab Astro Renegade Ford-Stacy. Ford has written or guest-edited for ELLE Magazine, Slate, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Domino, Cup of Jo, and various other web and print publications.
new albany: Mitchell L.H. Douglas
Mitchell L. H. Douglas is the author of dying in the scarecrow’s arms, \blak\ \al-fə bet\, winner of the Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award, and Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem, an NAACP Image Award and Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominee. He is a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow and Associate Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.
indianapolis: tamara winfrey-harris
Tamara Winfrey-Harris is a writer who specializes in the ever-evolving space where current events, politics, and pop culture intersect with race and gender. She is the author of Dear Black Girl and The Sisters Are Alright. Winfrey-Harris’ writing can be found in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine, and The Los Angeles Times. Her essays have also been anthologized in The Lemonade Reader: Beyonce, Black Feminism and Spirituality (Routledge, 2019); The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery (Wayne State University Press, 2018); Black in the Middle: An Anthology of the Black Midwest (Black Belt Publishing, 2020); and others. Winfrey-Harris graduated with a BA degree from the Greenlee School of Journalism at Iowa State University, and is a native of Gary, Ind.
fort wayne: Terra Brantley
Terra Brantley spent 35 award-winning years in commercial broadcasting, 28 anchoring the top-rated morning and evening newscasts at WANE TV in Fort Wayne. She retired from WANE TV in June 2021, as the longest serving African American news anchor in the state of Indiana and then served as President/CEO of the Fort Wayne Urban League (FWUL) before taking the helm at WBOI in late January 2022. Brantley’s professional broadcasting career is laced with accolades that include induction into the Indiana Associated Press Hall of Fame and numerous first place awards from the Indiana Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists. She is also an Emmy Award nominee and recipient of many community-service awards, including the Indiana Commission for Women’s Torchbearer Award in Indianapolis and the Indiana Black Expo Broadcast Media Award. She is also the President and CEO of the Terra Brantley Foundation which awards scholarships to low-income women and minorities.
Brantley earned a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ohio University and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Institute of Technology. This community advocate and servant leader is a happily married mother of two.