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 26 of 728:
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Ms. J :
Posted 3204 days ago
I know for a fact that Vickie Stringer is bouncing checks! She was doing it in 2007 and she's doing it now in 2009... what a joke...
Lakishia Smith :
Posted 3251 days ago
I have to definiatly agree that Wahida Clark has that skill to tell a great story. I lovvvvvvvvvve reading her books because they are tight. You see, you can tell the difference between an author who writes street fiction after watching a few movies or watched the local news to get an idea of what to write about; and someone who actually lived it or has experienced urban life (for real). She is the real deal and I am a true fan!!!
Lakishia Smith, author
Kenyatta :
Posted 3374 days ago
Whahida Clark is the shittt!. Everyone of her books are I can't put down. I'm not taking anything from anyone else.
Street Reader :
Posted 3472 days ago
I've been following this urban fiction movement since the Bmore Carefull and Dutch days, and its crazy how just like these so called rappers it seems like all of these Authors are all writing the same stuff just different characters. Untill I came across this young handsome fellow from Queens who goes by the name of D.I., I tried asking what it meant but some how some way with my purse feeling 15 dollars lighter i was on the E train on my way to work with the thickest book i've ever held. It almost took me back to elementary school, but in any event the book was about 600 pages thick and I kid you not I was done with it in 2 days. Never have I ever came across a book like it, "Frost Bite". The title seemed catchy, couldn't really follow the cover, which looked like a girl shooting a gun, till i read the ending and got the cliche of the cover theme. (hint) The point of this message is to put Frost Bite on blast as one if not the best books i've ever encountered, if anyone get a chance please pick that up. I can gaurantee you've never came across a book like that.
Wallabee :
Posted 3485 days ago
Keisha and Clyde by Treasure E. Blue is AMAZIN!!! It don't come out until 8/26/08 but I got a copy. If you need one I saw it for 4.99 on ebay - search for item 280253243712. You have to get it.
Aimee :
Posted 3568 days ago
@ Pullin' cards:
You should have just written an article instead!
Pullin' cards :
Posted 3569 days ago
Ayyite, i'm new to this site, but i'm far from new in this industry, i've been around and choose to keep my affairs quiet, but i'm about to pull some people's cards on this list....first off, when you mean top street lit authors do you mean actual writers on people that had an impact in the game as far as shakers and movers and are doin' their thang in this genre. Now if you're talking about who had an impact in this game and definitely made their mark, okay....I can agree with this list, but if you're talking about folks that actually write their own work and put their sweat and tears into this here genre, then this list is bullshit....why, first off, Terry Woods, now the word is out that she didn't write none of her shit, she did it mafia style and got paid lovely off of other peoples craft and I don't consider her a top street lit author, but a shrewd business woman. Now, my next gripe on this list is Vicky Stringer...i've been hearing that she also has a ghostwriter behind her books...remember Dirty Red had like two different names behind that book before it even came out with her name posted on, once again, she's a shrewd business woman, who's really not paying her own authors their worth. Ayyite, next is Sister Souljah, now I heard from a strong source, that The Coldest Winter Ever, she didn't write...I heard that Tracy Sheroud, who's a very well known literary agent wrote that book for Sister Souljah....and her first book is No Regrets, which really didn't do well when it first dropped...but once again, shrewd tatics on her behalf and it made her name well known in this business. Nikki Turner, I feel that she came in the game at the right time, because her writing is not up to par with some of her other co-authors that i've read over the years. I feel her works and stories are weak, far-fetched and same plot different characters...and if she came out now as a new author now in this genre, she wouldn't be that infamous, because her stories don't stand out and besides, Shannon Holmes had to re-write Hustler's wife for her, because the story was that bad and Shannon had to practically beg Vickie Stringer to sign her to a deal....and Nikki, pay your peoples, because word do get around. Now last, Kwame
Teague, excellent writer, Dutch was the shit, but remember a year ago, nobody really didn't know who this guy was, and now with this beef he got with Terry Woods about Ghost Writing definitely put his name in the spotlight. But he's been out for a minute, with that Ghetto Sam book, it really didn't catch my attention...but he's doing his thang...but I think that the number ten spot should have been giving to someone else....but hey, who's listening....peace yo and i'll be back.
A reader :
Posted 3650 days ago
If this is a top ten list shouldn't it only list AUTHORS? and people that really write books.
I Get Money :
Posted 3665 days ago

You don't have to agree with the list!
shalonda :
Posted 3667 days ago
all ima say is i dont agree w this list !!!!!!!!!
Olivia :
Posted 3690 days ago
@ Me, you can go on with that. Noire recycles the same story. At least be creative.
ME - Again :
Posted 3693 days ago
Said "Criteria" states
- a particularly strong following of readers
Nothing shows that better than sales. Atleast in my most humble opinion!



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