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

Comments page 25 of 819:
Click Here to Add a Comment
Tammy White :
Posted 3725 days ago
If you read the "CRITERIA" you'll see that this list was not based on Bookscan Retail Sales in 2007!
Thanks anyway! and six of the people you mentioned are on the list!
ME :
Posted 3725 days ago
The simple fact that Noire is not on here; makes this list BOGUS!
Top 10 based on -Actual Bookscan Retail Sales - in 2007
1. Teri Woods/Kwame/Caleb
3.Nikki Turner
4.Wahida Clark
5.Shannon Holmes
6. Kwan
7.Keisha Ervin
8.Tracy Brown
9.Deja King
Therone Shellman :
Posted 3726 days ago
I just want to say everyone on here deserves the light b/c I love lit period. And anyone who takes the time to put their thoughts on paper and bring life to words is someone to be recognized to me b/c most people just talk about it.
For the ladies at the top y'all are some of the best business minds in the game (you need to learn how to treat the people around you better-but thats another thing.)
TREASURE my friend. This is my last post in this blog but "Man keep it up! Even signed with the big wigs you still be in the streets showing love to the people who supported you from the gate. You're one of the people. Stay that way b/c God loves that trust me."
Tonya :
Posted 3729 days ago
That's whats up! I will be shooting you a email. Be easy Therone.
HisBetterHalf :
Posted 3729 days ago
Did a bit more reading on these pages...
And I see a lot of people are saying that Kwame didn't need Teri and he should have been #1....but from what I read Dutch III isn't great. NOt most of us are saying Teri and Kwame are beefing over money, but I was through some of the author threads on the forum and I found this...
"To the Dutch readers, fellow authors, and black bookstores that support the street lit genre for more reasons than the sales they generate:
Peace. This is Kwame Teague, the author of DUTCH. Many of you donít know this, but it is fact. I apologize for the delay in the release of DUTCH III. Your support is appreciated. Itís just a shame that you got caught up in the politics of this game. But I promise you that Teri and I will work this situation out before the end of the year. That I give my word on, God willing, and I donít take that lightly.
I do want you to understand that the issue hasnít been money. The issue has been over vision and direction."
KWAME says that they ain't beefing over money its vision and direction of the book. Now I have to ask this. If DUTCH I and II were so sick, and Teri was behind them, do you think DUTCH III could have been better if he stayed with her?
Be back....still reading through these pages.
HisBetterHalf :
Posted 3729 days ago
I'm extra late on this, but to this is a response to the people bashing Vickie and Teri.
Right is right and wrong is wrong, but come on, you call yourself a writer, so you should read a little bit right, you say you locked up for being a hustler, so you should know when someone is gettting over on you right, whether in a hand to hand sale of a quick nickle bag, or a few percentage numbers on a peice of legal paper, you should know when the number don't add up and the dollars don't make sense. These authors screwed THEMSELVES over. Plain and simple.
Therone Shellman :
Posted 3730 days ago
TONYA- (make sure you join my myspace network cuz I try to keep up with readers in the area).
I be mostly in Suffolk County, Bellport, Riverhead, Bay Shore, Central Islip, Brentwood, Wyndanch and Amityville (the hangout days have been over-when I'm around I'm slinging books). Basically these are all the townships where I used to get money in about a decade ago so I have a big underground following out here with my titles b/c people know me or know of me. For them it's like they're living the dream with me and glad for the changes i've made. People can hit me on myspace: or via email:
Tonya :
Posted 3730 days ago
Therone, I'm sure UBS won't mind if you let their website visitors know how to hit you up (email). I too am from the Island, so what I wanna know is what hood you be hanging out in? lol I totally agree with you about our self infilicted oppression. I see it all the time among us.
Therone Shellman :
Posted 3730 days ago
I'm going to be asked to go to the forums as well soon-so I'm a make this real quick.
TONYA---Sometimes I wish I was in Europe b/c people of African heritage when it comes to art are a lot more socially progressive. They for the most part write, sing, draw and paint as a means of freedom for themselves and our people. We in the states do the exact opposite. You would think by the way we use words and the PLATFORM WE HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING MEANINGFUL we love oppression and keeping the minds of our kind oppressed.
YUP I rep LI and I'm the only author from out here who actually be in the hoods.
BILAH- I grew up in THE NATION OF GODS AND EARTHS at the age of 15. It's very important to make yourself understood when you speak so my long responses are so that I cover every base so there are no misunderstandings.
Tonya :
Posted 3731 days ago
Therone, scratch that I did my homework. I see your in Long Island.
Tonya :
Posted 3731 days ago
Therone, So your in the UK?
Bilah :
Posted 3731 days ago
You got some longs replies, wow! But your are very true with the statement below.



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