Building literary capacity

Workshops and industry conversations through November and December round off an extraordinary year for the Bocas Lit Fest.

To mark its tenth year of building literary capacity in the Caribbean, the NGO has been offering a steady, mixed programme of free and paid writing workshops.

On Thursday 12 November, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest hosts the first of two interactive online workshops with St Kitts & Nevis-born author Carol Mitchell, guiding participants through the fundamentals of writing dialogue and point of view. In the second on Thursday 19 November, Mitchell shares insights for spotting and addressing common errors in participants’ manuscripts.

Both workshops are ideal for fiction and non-fiction writers and guarantee one-one feedback with Mitchell, who, in addition to having authored 18 books for children of all ages (three of which are forthcoming from HarperCollins), is the founder of Caribbean Reads Publishing.

Part of the ongoing Bocas Lit Fest How to series for emerging and aspiring writers, these workshops provide access to more of the tools, tricks and tips of their trade from the experts. Both sessions with Mitchell can still be booked at a discounted price of TTD500, or a single one at TTD300. To learn more and register, visit bocaslitfest.com/writerscentre/workshops

Consistent with its writer development thrust, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest recently launched Lit’s Be Real, a brand new, free, online conversation series and aimed at connecting Caribbean writers with a range of independent industry professionals abroad.

Hosted by Amanda Choo Quan, winner of the 2020 Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize which develops new writing talent, Lit’s Be Real offers frank, solution-oriented discussions with editors, educators, agents and more. The remaining three installments of the four-part series, livestreamed on the Bocas facebook page, are set for November 18, December 2, and December 16, at 6pm local time.

“All of what we do and how we do it is predicated on the understanding of who the beneficiaries are and the need to achieve our goal of creating greater access for Caribbean people to a vast and dynamic literary world”, says Bocas Lit Fest founder and director Marina Salandy-Brown.

She adds, “and one of the most successful ways in which we’ve demonstrated our place in this work in this tumultuous year is through the creation of our signature interview series, Bios & Bookmarks”.

The third season of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest Bios & Bookmarks, is back to ride out 2020 in high literary style. Since its strong November 1 season premier with St. Lucian born, Canada-based prize-winning poet Canisia Lubrin, with her second collection of poems The Dyzgraphxst, the series has featured TT author and 2016 winner of the CODE Burt Award for Caribbean YA Literature Tamika , with her forthcoming novel Off Track.

Also in the lineup for this season is the winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize Alex Wheatle whose new Young Adult novel Cane Warriors (Akashic Books) unfurls the momentous events of Tacky’s War in 1760s Jamaica.

The six-part weekly series continues this and every Sunday through December 6 at 3pm local time, and is free on the Bocas Lit Fest facebook page.

For more information on Bocas Lit Fest programme offerings and community activities, visit bocaslitfest.com, follow them across all social media platforms, @bocaslitfest, or call 222-7099.

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