Stringer grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Her mother was a schoolteacher and her father was an electrical engineer for General Motors. She briefly attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and was in the process of transferring to Ohio State when she became romantically involved with a drug dealer. The two had a son in 1992, after which Stringer and the boy's father separated. In order to support herself and her son, Stringer then turned to dealing drugs herself, and also worked as a manager of an escort service.
In September 1994, Stringer was arrested on drug charges after selling a kilogram of cocaine to a police informant in Columbus, Ohio. She pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering and received a seven-year sentence in a federal prison.
While in prison, Stringer wrote her novel Let That Be The Reason. She was released from prison in January 2001, and began working as a bartender. Stringer attempted to interest publishers and agents in her manuscript and was rejected twenty-six times. She borrowed money from her family and had a printer make a small number of copies of her book, which she then marketed and sold on her own. Sales were so good that Stringer soon had enough capital to found Triple Crown Publications - named after her drug crew - to publish her works and those of other writers, principally in the urban fiction genre, aimed at a demographic largely ignored by major publishers.
Stringer's second novel, Imagine This, was purchased by Simon & Schuster imprint Atria Books as part of a two-book publishing deal. As with her previous novel, Imagine This spent more than a year on the Essence paperback bestseller list.
- Smith, Dinitia (2004-09-08). "Unorthodox Publisher Animates Hip-Hop Lit". New York Times (New York City). Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- Stringer, Vickie (2006-05-01). How I Did It: Vickie Stringer, CEO Triple Crown Publications. Interview with Patrick J. Sauer. Inc. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- Barnard, Anne (2008-10-23). "From the streets to the libraries". New York Times (New York City). Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- Spavlik, Janet (2007-11-01). "Vickie Stringer: The Queen of Hip-Hop Lit". Book Business Magazine. Retrieved 2013-05-17.