Top 10 Street Lit Authors

by The Urban Book Source
December 2007

Teri Woods#1. Teri Woods

True to the Game. B-More Careful. Dutch I & II. Shannon Holmes. Kwame Teague.

Need more really be said?

Ms. Woods is the visionary, motive, and machine behind the success of the above mentioned titles. All of these are modern-day classics and the authors are among the best Street Fiction story-tellers in Street Lit history. Regardless of what the naysayers gripe about, the bottom line is that Teri Woods stands as a living legend in this genre. Take a look at who is included in this list of "Top Ten Street Lit Authors;" number four and number ten are both authors whose work was produced and published by Teri Woods; when these writers were faced with rejection, Teri said "Yes" when others said "No." She has branded herself to the point where she sells thousands upon thousands of books, before they are ever printed, to distributors, wholesalers, and retailers. As an independent publisher, she still out-shines her competition and some major publishers, who release Street Lit titles, in sales each year. She revitalized this genre and paved the way for the future players. All respect is due.

Vickie Stringer#2. Vickie Stringer

Vickie Stringer is the best-selling author of Let That Be The Reason and founder/owner of Triple Crown Publications (TCP). TCP is one of the most recognized publishing companies in the Urban Fiction renaissance which houses over 20 authors. How many times have readers purchased a book simply because of the logo/name on the cover without even knowing who the author was? The brand speaks for itself. Vickie is the reason that fan favorite titles like Gangsta, A Hustler's Wife, Sheisty, and Larceny were published and recognized. In addition, she is also the reason some of the top writers in the genre got a chance to be heard and become published authors. Currently she is also a literary agent who has made deals for many of the authors who were once on her label; landing them deals with traditional publishing houses, propelling their careers as authors. So recognize, realize, acknowledge, respect, and pay homage to a woman who has made Urban Fiction history.

Sister Souljah#3. Sister Souljah

Sister Souljah has penned one of the greatest Street tales in today's renaissance of Urban Fiction. The Coldest Winter Ever, is without a doubt the quintessential novel that has inspired and influenced many of the novels which have since followed. Sister Souljah is responsible for single handily rejuvenating the genre during its dry spell since Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim. At present she is at work on the sequel to her modern day, timeless classic, The Coldest Winter Ever.

Shannon Holmes#4. Shannon Holmes

Mr. Holmes is the most anticipated author in the industry; his freshman novel B-More Careful was an immediate cult classic, selling over 100,000 copies in its first six months of publication and continues to sell today as though it was just released. Shannon's second novel, Badgirlz, was published under the Atria imprint of Simon and Schuster, making him one of the first Street Lit authors to land a deal with a major publisher. On the back end of it all, Shannon has also dealt with two of the most successful and influential women in the Urban Fiction market. He was the first author to be published by Teri Woods—igniting the fire for B-More Careful in 2001—and he aided Vickie Stringer in the launch of Triple Crown Publications.

K'wan#5. K'wan

Gangsta, Road Dawgz, Street Dreams, Hoodlum, Eve, Hood Rat, Flexin & Sexin, Blow and Still Hood. K'wan is Street Fiction at it's rawest. Five years in the game, his own publishing company, Black Dawn Books, and over half-a-dozen exceptionally crafted tales, with an arsenal more waiting in his chamber, K'wan has shown what great story-telling can do for a young man at his lengths. K'wan has pioneered the road for many of the authors who have come after him and deserves the respect and admiration given to him by readers the world around. With his staying power, K'wan is miles ahead of many of his colleagues in the industry and has worked hard for his place in Street Lit history.

Wahida Clark#6. Wahida Clark

Wahida's Thug series, which includes: Thugs and the Women Who Love Them, Every Thug Needs a Lady, and Thug Matrimony has made her the Queen of Thug Love Fiction. Even though Wahida was in prison for almost as long as her books have been in print, her presence and power has always stayed relevant and indubitable. Ms. Clark's works have become a beloved treasure for readers of street fiction. With over 100,000 copies of her novels sold, the Wahida Clark Brand has become a force that cannot be ignored. She is also a literary agent.

Nikki Turner#7. Nikki Turner

From Triple Crown to Random House to Nikki Turner Presents (an imprint of Random House), and it doesn't stop there! Ms. Turner was also the first author signed to the G-Unit Books movement, a book publishing venture created by Hip Hop artist 50 Cent. Her first novel A Hustler's Wife is one of the bestselling books published by Triple Crown to date; during its release, it out sold Love by Toni Morrison, and at present there is a film deal in the works for her ground-breaking novel. Nikki's contributions to the Urban Lit genre are incomparable to most and she remains one of the industry's leading favorites among readers.

Mark Anthony#8. Mark Anthony

During the late 90's—at a time when there were only two (2) other publicly known gritty urban tales available on the market—when the traditional and major publishers were ignoring this budding genre of Street Fiction, Trendsettaz Entertainment was formed and Mark hit the streets with his self-published book entitled, Urban Massacre, which would later be changed to Paper Chasers. Though the production of these books was not quality and they were falling apart, he managed to successfully sell it to the public. Having survived the growing pains of the publishing industry, he would go on to build QBoro Books, which now manages over 30 authors and is one of the top publishers of urban fiction today. Later he would merge with Urban Books—who has major distribution through Kensington, a deal that separates him from all other urban book publishing companies—as well as ink deals with G-Unit Books. And to add to his long resume of success in this industry he is looking to produce films in the near future.

Treasure E. Blue#9. Treasure E. Blue

Dubbed the "Uncle" of Urban Lit; warmed-hearted and always willing and able to lend a helping hand; a fan favorite and readers champ, Treasure Blue is an asset to this blooming genre. Treasure's first book, Harlem Girl Lost, sold over 65,000 copies on an independent scale before capturing the attention of Random House. His Sophomore release, A Street Girl Named Desire quietly placed itself on best-sellers lists around the country.

Kwame teague#10. Kwame Teague

Can you say Dutch? An instant Street Lit classic, hands down; no argument, no contest. Kwame Teague is responsible for the creation of one of the most highly regarded books to ever hit the Urban Lit genre. Both Dutch I & II has made best-sellers lists across the nation and he's also the author of the underground titles The Adventures of Ghetto Sam and Glory of my Demise. Such success is definitely honorable in this cut throat industry, but more credit is due Mr. Teague's way as he has been behind bars the entire time his books have been in publication. A powerful author with a powerful voice.

Honorable Mention:

  1. KaShamba Williams
  2. Relentless Aaron
  3. Crystal Lacey Winslow
  4. K. Elliot
  5. TN Baker

The Top 10 Authors of Street Lit are based on market research by The Urban Book Source and the preferences of its visitors and judged against the following criteria.

1. The author must have made substantial and consistent contributions to the industry.
2. The author should have:

  • a broad range of recognition across the genre
  • a particularly strong following of readers
  • an outstanding novel that has proven itself as an industry classic

Related features/articles:
Top 10 Underrated Authors
Top 10 Books of All-Time

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