Literary Festivals of the Caribbean

This is just a listing – some of these I’ve been to, some I’m slated to go to, some I’ve never been to. Just sharing all the ones I’m aware of.

AnguillaThe Anguilla Lit Fest – a Literary Jollification was held for the first time in May 2012 and attracted none less than bestselling author Terry McMillan and Antigua and Barbuda’s own Marie Elena John.
Review at Travel and Leisure

Antigua and Barbuda – The Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival. This started in November 2006 but is currently on hiatus. Keep checking the website or their facebook page in case this changes.
Here’s a post I did about the first year of the festival.

Barbados – Bim Literary Festival and Book Fair. I’ve read good things about the inaugural event in 2012. It takes place in May. Visit their website for updates.

Cayman Islands – Gimistory, the Cayman Islands International Storytelling Festival. I’m not familiar with this one but there’s more information, here.

CubaThe Havana International Book Fair. February. This is on the to-do list. Actually I would absolutely love to see a group of Antiguan and Barbudan writers experience this event, if anyone’s listening.
BBC Review

Curacao – well, this year 2014 in Curacao… this one moves around… the International Conference on Caribbean Literature, a project of Morehouse College out of the US.

Dominica – The Nature Island Literary Festival. It was started by Alwyn Bully in 2007. It’s held each August. I had the opportunity to attend in 20132 and wrote this. Check their facebook for updates.

GuadeloupeCongress of Caribbean Writers. April. I participated and blogged about it in 2013.  Like Bocas, there is a literary prize attached.

Jamaica – The Calabash International Literary Festival at Treasure Beach in St. Elizabeth. My favourite Caribbean lit fest location to date, Calabash was started in 2001. I was part of a group of Antiguan and Barbudan writers who attended the May festival in 2007 with backing from the Commonwealth Foundation and the mood of the event was appreciated by us all. I shared the experience here.
NPR review & Guardian UK review

Jamaica – Kingston Book Festival. A project of the Book Industry Association of Jamaica it is held in March. Check their website and facebook for updates.
Diane Browne review Plus this

Montserrat – Alliougana Festival of the Word dates back to 2009. November. Check their website and facebook for updates.
Event coverage at MNI Alive

New York – I intended to limit this to festivals taking place in the Caribbean…buuut the Caribbean Cultural Theatre Celebration of the Word in June rates a mention as does their running series of readings by authors from the region.

St. Martin/Sint Maarten – St. Martin Book Fair. May – June. Almost made it to the 10th anniversary in 2012 but it wasn’t meant to be. See their website and facebook for updates.

St. Lucia – The WordAlive Literary Festival takes place in March. Another one for the ‘to do list’.
Adrian Augier on WordAlive

Trinidad and Tobago – The Bocas Literary Festival. Started in 2011, this has a major literary prize and a grant for emerging writers attached. It takes place in April. Check their website and facebook for updates.
Bocas Review by Annie Paul and my experience here.

V I Literary Festival – This will be held for the first time in 2015.

Beyond the Caribbean

There are writers retreats and conferences I could add, not to mention more on the festivals already lifted, but I’ll stop there for now.

As with all content on,except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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