Carib Lit Plus Early to Mid November 2020

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information)

Kudos

Dawn French, Zoanne Evans, Adaiah Sanford, Arnold Ward, Karllen Lawrence, and Robertha Alleyne have been named as finalists in the first annual Caribbean Literary Works competition. The top applicants’ video pitches can be viewed on organizer the Ducreay Foundation, a non profit collaborating on the prize with Reycraft Books’, social media. At the end of the competition there will be three top finalists.
Winner: Reycraft publishing contract +5000 USD advance+ royalties from books being sold
Second Prize:2000 USD + Full free editorial review and mentorship by REYCRAFT Books
Third Prize:1000 USD+Full free editorial review and mentorship by REYCRAFT Books
The foundation – through its educational workshops, forums and activities strives to bridge the gap between different peoples, genders and backgrounds. It was founded by Ms. Dahlia A. Ducreay commonly known as “Dee”. She is a bilingual educational economist (Fluent Mandarin and English) from the Commonwealth of Dominica with extensive social, educational and economic development experience, who has worked and lived in Asia (People’s Republic of China) for over 10 years.

Reycraft Books is an American publishing house based in New York.

(Source – This one came in via email and I subsequently communicated with the founder Dahlia Ducreay)

Milestones

Lorna Goodison’s tenure as poet laureate of Jamaica has come to an end with well deserved plaudits. Goodison succeeded Mervyn Morris. Her tenure ran for three years. Jamaica is one of a small handful of Caribbean nations that has laureate programmes. The laureate works to enliven literary activity around literary arts in country and between the country and the world. (Source – St. Lucian poet John Robert Lee shared this article via email)

Caribbean Arts Funding (an update)

Arts funding and/or philanthropy allowing Caribbean writers to do what they do, create, is rare. But Catapult – a joint initiative by American Friends of Jamaica (a NY non profit with a 40 year history of funding charitable organizations in Jamaica), Kingston Creative (a Jamaica non profit set up in 2017 to enable creatives to succeed), and Fresh Milk (a Barbados charity which provides residencies and programmes to enable Caribbean artists to grow)- has made lemonade of these 2020 lemons, providing something that has long been needed – financial support with opportunities to write, to connect, to share, to grow. “In recognition of the serious impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries, a $320,000 fund from the Open Society Foundations was awarded to the American Friends of Jamaica, in collaboration with Kingston Creative and The Fresh Milk Art Platform, to support artists, creators and cultural practitioners throughout the Caribbean region. This grant recognizes the current global pandemic, a crisis that disproportionately affects the creative sector in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), few of which have the resources to provide adequate support to those working in this vital sector.” (Source: ACP-EU Culture)

We have reported on the Catapult grants in trickles but thought it prudent to provide a round up with context. The funding has been allocated to six areas: Caribbean Arts Showcase, Caribbean Creative Online, Digital Creative Training, Consultancy Vouchers, Lockdown Virtual Salon, and Stay Home Artist Residency.

The Caribbean Arts Showcase will present features by artists in written, video, or audio format which will be published to promote the talent and diversity in the region, and to give insight into the work and life of creatives.

The Caribbean Creative Online component of CATAPULT invites artists to share a recording of a performance, talk, webinar, workshop or other online activity on the platform of their choice. The goal is to increase artists’ visibility in the online arena, raise their comfort level with performing in the digital space, and support artists financially during the pandemic by allowing them to earn from online activities…Each of the 100 artists selected from across the English, French, Spanish and Dutch speaking Caribbean will receive a grant of $500 USD.” This list includes Jamaica’s Amina Blackwood-Meeks, whom Antiguans-Barbudans should know from her time here, Juleus Ghunta, whose works has been shared several times on the blog, AdZiko Simba Gegele, known around here as the first Burt Award winner, the Rebel Women Lit book club, Dominica’s Celia Sorhaindo, among others – including, as you’ll see below, yours truly.

The Digital Creative Training Workshops , creatives will develop essential digital knowledge and business skills to enable them to reach new audiences and markets which as a result of COVID-19 now must be accessed through digital tools and platforms.” There courses were held between September and October.

The CATAPULT Consultancy Voucher Programme provides professional expertise to cultural practitioners to aid in the development of entrepreneurial potential through their online presence. Creatives will receive consulting support from technical experts from the region to set up a website, social media platforms, or online store to increase their ability to conduct e-commerce and market their works globally. Each selected creative, 40 in total, will receive a $500 USD voucher to be used for website, social media, and/or e-commerce capability development.” Winners include Jamaican indie publisher Tanya Batson-Savage.

The CATAPULT Lockdown Virtual Salon programme aims to mitigate isolation, especially heightened during the current pandemic, by creating virtual platforms for cultural practitioners to engage in discourse about and explore their evolving practices. These one-hour artist talks from their homes or studios will be live-streamed via the Fresh Milk YouTube channel at 1PM and 4PM AST, every Tuesday and Friday between September 29th & November 20th, 2020.” You can also view the full playlist on the Fresh Milk YouTube if you miss the lives.

The Catapult Lockdown Virtual Salon begins here.

The CATAPULT Stay Home Artist Residency provides opportunities for 24 cultural practitioners from the English, French, Spanish and Dutch speaking Caribbean to be supported while safely remaining in their studios/work-spaces, each of whom will receive a $3,000 USD stipend to produce work over a two-month period.” This is the kind of support artists need and we can all look forward to the work to be produced by the likes of Trinidad and Tobago’s Lisa Allen-Agostini and Shivanee Ramlochan, and Bahamas’ Sonia Farmer, all of whom should be familiar to readers of the blog – with many more to discover.

Fresh Milk’s Founding Director Annalee Davis expressed enthusiasm regarding the partnership. “Fresh Milk is pleased to have the opportunity to partner on this critical project nurturing Caribbean artists. With little support available at the state level for so many cultural practitioners working across this vulnerable region, having an opportunity to facilitate Stay At Home Residencies and Virtual Salons means that more artists can safely remain in their studios and do what they do best-make art!” (Source)

What else to say except more of this, please.

(This has multiple sources – obviously, I’m an applicant and grantee but also the Salon updates have been flooding my instagram, and before that artist announcements on being awarded a grant has popped up on my facebook)

Events

Amanda Choo Quan, 2020 winner of the Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize, is hosting an online series called ‘Let’s Be Real’ — which takes the form of frank, solution-oriented discussions with editors, educators, agents, and more. “We aim to place Caribbean writers in conversation with people they would not normally have access to — international allies already dedicated to championing marginalised voices,” Choo Quan said. LIT’S BE REAL runs for a four-episode season every other Wednesday (4 and 18 November, 2 and 16 December, 2020), aiming to follow the arc of a writer’s career. Topics covered will include MFA and academic programmes, pitching and submitting articles to publications, and the troubling question of international audiences misunderstanding a Caribbean writer’s “voice.” Read more here. (Source – this one came to the Wadadli Pen mailbox from the Bocas Lit Fest, which also used the opportunity to announce season 3 of its virtual Bios and Bookmarks series, a series initially launched during COVID-19 lockdown)

***

The Best of Books bookstore braved the COVID-19 storm to host a live outside (masked up) meet the author event during the Independence season in Antigua and Barbuda. Of course, you can get the books in store any time.

Speaking of events, some of the videos I need to share are not a good fit for my youtube channel, so I made one for Wadadli Pen. Now, I just need an intern to run it. Here’s the first vid, from the Best of Books author event.

More pics and vids here.

(Source – having accepted an invite from the bookshop, I was at the event and asked them and participating author Brenda Lee Browne to send me pictures and video)


I will be recording a virtual Ask Me Anything and Reading as part of my Catapult Caribbean Creatives Online award. Ask your questions about themes, craft, and story related to my writing. Get them in this week by leaving them in the comments of any of my social media – video questions also welcomed. ETA: intake of questions have ended; video being prepped. Read about it here.


The National Public Library of Antigua and Barbuda’s Author of the Month series is back and the next author up is Floree Williams Whyte – author of Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses, Through the Window, and The Wonderful World of Yohan. Floree’s reading and book discussion is on November 25th 2020. And the best part is you can watch live on facebook from home. (Source – The NPL is active on facebook and I may have seen this flyer in my newsfeed there)


The Royal Society of Literature, in honour of its 200th birthday, and Bocas Lit Fest, in honour of its 10th, will be hosting an event, ‘What’s So Great about Jean Rhys?’ Dominican writer Jean Rhys wrote the seminal work Wide Sargasso Sea. Participants will include Trinidad and Tobago poet, columnist, and blogger Shivanee Ramlochan with novelist Linda Grant and academic Lauren Elkin. It’s on November 19th 2020. Register for the online event here. (Source – this came to my inbox with my rejection notification re the V S Pritchett prize)

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure/Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on 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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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, Wadadli Pen News

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