Tag Archives: caribbean literary resources

Carib Plus Lit News (Late September 2019)

The Caribbean Writer has announced its Volume 32 prize winnersTCW-Cover-VOL-32-2

Prizes include The Canute A. Brodhurst Prize of $400 for best short fiction; The Daily News Prize of $500 to a resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands or the British Virgin Islands; The Marvin E. Williams Literary Prize of $500 to a new or emerging writer; The Cecile de Jongh Literary Prize of $500 to a Caribbean author whose work best expresses the spirit of the Caribbean; The Vincent Cooper Literary Prize of $300 to a Caribbean author for exemplary writing in Caribbean Nation Language; and The Boyce Literary Prize of $500 to a Caribbean author for a work that best expresses the changing social dynamics of regional life. Not listed is the David Hough Literary Prize which is awarded this year for the final time. See who won. Congrats to the various winners.

Bahamas Post-Dorian; Let’s Talk Climate Change

The Bahamas still needs our help. As we know, it took a pounding from hurricane Dorian

The concern for us in the Caribbean is more than the immediate storms and the aftermath – devastating as that all is – but the ever-rising climate change impacts. Climate change is real – we who feel it know it – and the time for denial is over. Hurricanes have always been with us so believe us when we say (from 2017 on when Irma and Maria laid waste to the region including our own Barbuda) this is different – the frequency, the ferocity, the relentlessness, the heat, the storms, this isn’t normal – or if we don’t act, this will be our new normal and we won’t all survive it.

“We Bahamians listen to climate deniers in rich countries who are oblivious or indifferent to those who bear the weight for their wonderful lives. Meanwhile, the water rises from the ground in our yards because the water table is so high during high tide, and plants we once depended upon no longer grow. We experience too much rain or too little rain, and fresh water supplies are increasingly contaminated by rising sea levels.” Read more of  Hurricane Dorian Makes Bahamians the Latest Climate-Crisis Victims 

The article might make you cry as it gives you a visceral sense of the experience of those trapped on islands besieged by Dorian (another name retired from future Caribbean baby registries), but it also prescribes action and that’s what I wanted to share:

“So we mobilize. We call on the United States to pass the Green New Deal. We donate to groups like Head Knowles*. We consider how to gather volunteers and Bahamian mental health workers to deploy in the coming days. But we need everyone’s help and kindness. We need tarps, tents, sleeping bags, batteries, flashlights, heavy equipment, generators, chain saws, electrical workers and people capable of rebuilding communication towers and homes. We need nonperishable food, wipes, adult and children’s diapers, bug spray.

We need lots of things, but please — no tossed paper towels. This is not funny. Though gracious, Bahamians may toss them back to you.”

Through the Caribbean writers network, I have been informed that the Head Knowles Foundation is a women’s run community organization with hundreds on the ground and a track record – the message provided information on their South Florida drop-off point for those in the area:

Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport:
Headknowles Foundation c/o
Tropix Express
5610 NW 12th Avenue
Suite 203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
info@tropixshipping.com

The Foundation also has a Go Fund Me for money to assist with the relocation of people who have lost their homes, rescue planes, boats, and cars, and for teams who need to go back and forth from Abaco/Grand Bahama to Nassau to safety. The foundation can supply information about their 501c status etc. if you are a “big donor”.

Caribbean Books Online

Anansesem, the online Caribbean children’s lit magazine, has revamped its online bookstore. It is organized by country (here’s Antigua and Barbuda) Founder Summer Edward wrote on The Brown Bookshelf about the process.

“The most distinctive thing, however, about the new Anansesem Online Bookstore is that it carries only ‘own voices’ books. You may be unfamiliar with the term ‘own voices.’ Coined by Dutch YA author Corinne Duyvis in 2015, it’s a term that’s now widely used in the publishing world to refer to books for which the protagonist and the author share a historically marginalized racial or cultural identity. The need for the term ‘own voices’ as a distinguishing marker arose due to the long history, in traditional publishing, of majority-group authors being given free rein to write books depicting minority group characters, and the equally long history of minority-group writers not being given the same kind of access to tell their own stories…Indeed, there are drawbacks to searching/shopping for Caribbean children’s and YA books directly on websites like Amazon.com. Amazon.com doesn’t tell you which Caribbean CYA books displayed on its search results pages are own voices books. Also, Amazon’s search engine isn’t optimized for finding CYA books from specific Caribbean countries; for example, if you search for ‘Jamaican children’s books’ on Amazon.com, you’ll get a lot of irrelevant results including (for some reason) textbooks (lots of them) and cookbooks. Likewise, if you search for ‘Caribbean children’s books’ directly on Amazon’s website, their search results will show you a lot of CYA books from South and Central America, which while wonderful to know about, aren’t Caribbean books, and thus aren’t what you’re looking for.”

I’ve added the bookstore to the Caribbean Literary Resources page here on the blog. Thanks to Summer for this Wadadli Pen shout out in her article: “Anansesem contributor Joanne C. Hillhouse’s comprehensive blog, Wadadli Pen, was an extremely helpful resource for confirming the nationalities of authors of CYA books related to Antigua and Barbuda.”

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, 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, its Spanish language edition Perdida! , and Oh Gad! ). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page Jhohadli or like me on Facebook. Help me 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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Caribbean Literary Resources

DISCLAIMER: This page links to third party sites. Linked sites are not reviewed or controlled by Wadadli Pen (the blog, the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize nor coordinator/blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse); and Wadadli Pen (the blog, the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize and coordinator/blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse) disclaims any responsibility or liability relating to any linked sites and does not assume any responsibility for their contents. In other words, enter at your own risk. Some of these are cross-posted to the Opportunities page where you’ll find opportunities for writers in the Caribbean and beyond, as well as the Literary Festivals of the Caribbean page; there is also related content in A & B Writings in Journals, Showcases, and Contests (see R & D page) and on the A & B Artistes Discussing Arts page

Now, in mostly alphabetical order…

ACalabash interviews Caribbean writers and publishes curated creative content.

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The Allen Prize (founded by writer Lisa Allen-Agostini) is a not-for-profit company set up to reward, train and publish writers between ages 12-19 living in Trinidad and Tobago.

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Amplify Caribbean – a social justice initiative spearheaded by young Antiguans and Barbudans.

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 – Anansesem (founded by writer Summer Edward) is an online magazine devoted to Caribbean children’s and young adult literature written by both new and established writers. Anansesem no longer publishes but remains archived online and also has The Anansesem Bookstore through which Caribbean #ownvoices children’s books can be purchased; also the Anansesem facebook page is still regularly updated.

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ArtsEtc Inc. is an independent Barbadian publishing company and cultural forum founded in 2003 by writers Linda M. Deane and Robert Edison Sandiford. It aims to be the premier cultural forum for Barbados, offering readers independent, authoritative, entertaining, and timeless perspectives in words and pictures on all aspects of the nation’s arts.

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Badass Black Girl is a blog and vlog by Haitian-American writer M. J. Fievre which features conversations with Caribbean creatives and other women of interest.

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Beyond Publishing Caribbean is a group of artists and writers, coming together to produce graphic novels and comics of all genres. The group is also looking to get new artist and writers to come aboard, giving them an outlet to have their work published or to work on existing projects.

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BIM: Arts for the 21st Century is one of the older if not the oldest surviving Caribbean literary journals.

BIM COVER

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Bocas – it’s the Caribbean’s current dominant literary festival and this is its YouTube channel.

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Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival is a stateside Caribbean literary initiative inclusive of an annual festival, short story prizes (named for Trinidad-American writer Elizabeh Nunez), the BCLF Cocoa Pod on Apple podcasts, described as “a Caribbean storytelling experience in which writers of Caribbean heritage narrate their own stories. …rich with the rhythm, pitch and intonation of the one who wrote it”, and more. We are informed that they are open to receiving author press kits/bios/links and, also, review copies or ARCs (new releases) as they consider booking authors for their various programmes.

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Burt Award for Caribbean Literature was a literary development project (now discontinued) which financed the publication of competitively selected Caribbean teen/young adult books. It was coordinated by the Bocas lit fest in Trinidad and Tobago, and named for and financed by late Canadian philanthropist William Bill Burt (who died in 2017). There are variants of the programme in Africa and Canada. Read about Caribbean books published through this programme here on Wadadli Pen. (Pictured Bill Burt and Wadadli Pen founder/coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse, whose Musical Youth was second placed for the prize, at the inaugural CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Literature awards ceremony at the 2014 Bocas Literary Festival)

MJ_Bocas-Lit-Fest_NALIS_20140425371

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Calabash International Literary Festival is one of if not the Caribbean premiere literary festival. Held over three days in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, it was founded in 2001 by Jamaican writers Colin Channer (US-based) and Kwame Dawes (originally from Ghana), and Jamaican independent film producer Justine Henzell. The world class literary festival received the Madam C. J. Walker award from the Hurston Wright Foundation in 2021. (Pictured – Antiguan and Barbudan writers including Wadadli Pen’s Joanne C. Hillhouse, second from left, and former Wadadli Pen judge Brenda Lee Browne, third from right, during a 2007 Commonwealth Foundation sponsored trip to Calabash with Kittitian-British novelist Caryl Phillips, second from right).

Calabash pic

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Calabash is an international journal of Caribbean arts and letters founded and edited by US based Jamaican writer and artist Jacqueline Bishop. It has ceased publication but the content is archived, so you can still check it out. You’ll find interviews, reviews, poetry, short stories, and more – and not just from the English speaking Caribbean.

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Caribbean Authors is where the world meets Caribbean Literatures. It is the online platform of the Caribbean Books Foundation, a registered non-profit in Trinidad and Tobago with a mandate to connect the Caribbean community and its diaspora through literature. It is founded and directed by Trinidad and Tobago writer Marsha Gomes-McKie. Books written by Caribbean authors are catalogued on the site.

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Caribbean/African Book Blog focusses on publishing trends especially for the do-it-yourselfer, and also has interesting coverage of book clubs, authors, readings etc. It hasn’t been updated in several years but the content is archived on the site.

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Caribbean Children’s Fiction is the blog spot of Hazel Campbell, veteran Caribbean children’s writer, who provides invaluable tips on readying your work for publication, issues in Caribbean literature with an emphasis on children’s literature, and other writing news. The Jamaican writer died in 2018.

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Caribbean Civilization Tumblr shares things cultural and artistic from around the Caribbean virtual space. It hasn’t been updated in several years.

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Caribbean Intelligence shares news and analysis about the Caribbean. They were also running a writing contest at the time they caught our eye.

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Caribbean Literary Action Group is self-described as “a working group of Caribbean writers, publishers, academics, festival coordinators and other persons from the literary sphere, with a shared interest in promoting Caribbean writing and publishing…(and the site is a) central resource for writers and publishers to gain information on publishing, marketing, distribution and bookselling in the Caribbean and to share their expertise and best practices.” (Pictured – a CaribLit co-organized workshop in Guyana, facilitated by Johnny Temple of Akashic and Jeremy Poynting of Peepal Tree Press, and including writer-editors-publishers-program-directors from across the Caribbean, including Wadadli Pen founder-coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse, second row but second from left across, aimed to build editing skills in the region and by extension the literary ecosystem).

group-photo

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Caribbean Literary Heritage is a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust that promotes literary and archival preservation in the Caribbean and the diaspora, as well as bridging connections between the literary past and present with an interest in exploring the new challenges and possibilities of born digital initiatives. One of its major projects was 10 Questions with various Caribbean authors.

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The Caribbean Literary Salon– hats off to Anouska Kock, a freelance journalist and writer, born in the Netherlands to Dutch Surinamese parents and resident in Aruba, who drew Caribbean writers in to this virtual space to workshop, network, and support and promote each other. With more institutional support it could have really been something (but, alas); it now seems to be dormant or dead.

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Caribbean Passion is, per the blog’s about page, “the Caribbean’s first line of Romance novellas.” The blogger is Nailah Folami Imoja, a Barbadian/British writer and teacher.

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The Caribbean Press is a downloadable library from the Caribbean Press which includes Guyana classics and other Caribbean Press titles.

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The Caribbean Review of Books was an online magazine covering Caribbean literature and arts. It focussed on reviews of new and recent books of Caribbean fiction, poems, biography, arts, culture, and current affairs. The CRB also published new writing, interviews, and essays on literature and culture. It was originally published between 1991 and 1994 by the University of the West Indies Publishers’ Association in Mona, Jamaica. In 2004, the CRB was revived by a team of writers and editors based at Media and Editorial Projects in Port of Spain, Trinidad. It published its last print edition in 2009 and was relaunched as an online magazine in 2010. The online magazine ceased publication in 2020. Issues are archived online.

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Caribbean Science Fiction is a site for readers looking for Caribbean Science Fiction, Caribbean Science Fiction writers looking for a community, and for researchers looking to link up with others writing about Caribbean Science Fiction.

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The Caribbean Writer, produced by the University of the Virgin Islands, is in the top tier of Caribbean literary journals. Order copies by emailing orders@thecaribbeanwriter.org

Caribbean Writer 29

(Pictured is art ‘Mysteries and Contraditions’ by Antiguan and Barbudan artist Edison Liburd which formed the cover of The Caribbean Writer Volume 29, 2015)

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Caribbean Studies Association self-describes as an independent professional organization devoted to the promotion of Caribbean studies from a multidisciplinary, multicultural point of view. It is the primary association for scholars and practitioners working on the Caribbean Region (including Central America and the Caribbean Coast of South America).

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Caribbean Tales defines itself as the first full-service film sales, and distribution company in the English-speaking Caribbean with the aim of becoming the reference point for producers and buyers of Caribbean-filmed content.

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Caribbean Writers Online is the page on this site where we gather and share links to the websites of Caribbean writers. (Pictured are Caribbean writers Leone Ross of Jamaica and the UK, right, Marion Bethel of the Bahamas, centre, with Antiguan and Barbudan writer and Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse at the Caribbean Congress of Writers in Guadeloupe in 2013)

Caribbean Writers Congress with Marin Bethel and Leone Ross 2013

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Caribbean Writers tumblr   celebrates Caribbean writers by sharing excerpts from their work. It doesn’t seem like it’s being updated anymore.

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The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) provides  users with access to Caribbean cultural, historical and research  materials held in archives, libraries, and private collections, including but not limited to: newspapers, archives of  Caribbean leaders and governments, official documents, documentation  and numeric data for ecosystems, scientific scholarship, historic and  contemporary maps, oral and popular histories, travel accounts,  literature and poetry, musical expressions, and artifacts. One of the publications archived at dLOC is the Ma Comere Literary Journal, a publication of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars. Archived there are issues covering a number of years 1998 to 2009.

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Get Write!, tag line “we spark and inspire”, run by Barbadian writer Shakirah Bourne, is a place where struggling writers can release frustration through quotes, quirky articles, and valuable advice. It hasn’t been updated since 2019.

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Groundation Grenada is a social action collective focussed on the use of creative media to assess community needs, raise consciousness, and create positive radical growth. It is developed by Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe and Richie Maitland to share the vision that Grenadian Society is fertile for positive change, requiring simply the necessary seeds and by extension the seed sowers.

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Hands Across the Sea Hands-Across-the-Sea-logo-1is a US charity that helps stock school libraries across the Caribbean. Hands is a past Wadadli Pen patron.

St Johns Catholic Primary 2

Teachers from St. John’s Catholic Primary, 2013, collecting the prize for most submissions by a secondary school. The prize was US$500 worth of books towards a school library, sponsored by Hands across the Sea.

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Interviewing the Caribbean (IC),  founded and edited by Jamaican writer Opal Palmer Adisa, is an online/print journal, now published by UWI Press, that celebrates Caribbean artists everywhere. Each issue features works from Caribbean artists at home and in the Diaspora and, as the title implies, the mode is interview.

Interviewing the Caribbean

(Pictured is the Spring 2020 issue of Interviewing the Caribbean which features the Cherise Harris cover of With Grace, published by Little Bell Caribbean and written by Joanne C. Hillhouse)

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Jako Productions is a a cultural and entertainment enterprise that seeks to encourage the artistic expression of St. Lucian culture and to promote that culture worldwide.

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A site on the Legacies of British Slave Ownership.

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New Caribbean Voices is a books and writers podcast hosted by British poet, writer, and artist Malika Booker and produced by Peepal Tree Press.

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Novel Spaces was a space for an eclectic group of writers bound by a singular passion: writing and blogging about their writing and publishing experiences.  Novel Spaces ceased new updates in 2019.

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LoveAxe was a virtual summer 2012 book club whose members were Jamaican-American writer Geoffrey Philp, Bahamaian-Guyanese-American Stephen Narain, and Kelly Baker Josephs.

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Memorial page for the late Angela Cropper, founder of the Cropper Foundation under which falls the Cropper Foundation Residential Workshop for Caribbean Writers.

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The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. And their old but still useful site which was originally maintained by late historian Desmond Nicholson.

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The Museum has hosted several Wadadli Pen awards ceremony and collaborated on a showcase and fundraiser Word Up! 2006 (Photo of Wadadli Pen founder coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse producing and emceeing that event by Laura Hall)

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Pen Tuh Paper, tagline Caribbeanness deconstructed, identities explained, was a place for West Indies and West Indies descended poets. It has not been updated since 2012.

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Piton Noire – a collective which aims to nurture and encourage writers to explore science-fiction and fantasy genres, within a Caribbean context. Most of members hail from the Commonweatlh of Dominica but the collective is open to any writer with an interest in the Caribbean. Its mission is to create a unique body of work that speaks to Caribbean futurism while simultaneously preserving and building on the islands’ mythologies and folklore. Primary link is their YouTube channel; this is their facebook page.

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Poets of the Caribbean promotes Caribbean poets and poetry. It is maintained by Jamaican-Canadian-American writer Yasmin Morais.

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Repeating Islands curates news and commentary on Caribbean culture, literature, and the arts. It is maintained by Ivette Romero-Cesareo, born in the US-raised in Puerto Rico, and Lisa Paravisini-Gebert, who grew up in Puerto Rico.

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Rebel Women Lit RWL started off as a book club, and is now a lit community with a community library, bookstore, book subscription service for tea Lovers and book clubbers, podcast, magazine and lots of projects, among the more high profile and impactful of those being the Caribbean Readers Awards, in which readers nominate and pick the best Caribbean books (and other literary content) of the year.

with plaque Andre

2020 winner Andre J P Warner with the Wadadli Pen Challenge plaque. Andre went on to win the Rebel Women Lit Caribbean Readers Choice of 2020 for best short fiction for his storyA Bright Future for Tomorrow

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Seawoman Press, a blog run by Bajan writer Sandra Sealey, is a good resource for market listings and news from the literary scene.

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Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – Caribbean South Chapteris a professional information and networking society of over 19,000 authors, agents, editors and illustrators world wide. For financial members, benefits include
1.       Member swap services – where we can barter editing with editing etc
2.       Illustrator list and contacts on the website – so members can use your services more
3.       Free edits completed by Advisor for works under 1000 words
In addition to broader SCBWI benefits like:
·         Quarterly SCBWI magazine from the USA office
·         Weekly online industry updates via email and Facebook (please feel free to connect with me online)
·         Opportunity to attend the International Los Angeles & New York Conferences (conference fees to be borne by SCBWI member)
·         SCBWI biannual pre-Bologna Conference
·         USA and other international publisher information
Each member gets a personal page on Caribbean South website (i.e. in addition to your member page at the main site). Trinidad and Tobago’s Marsha Gomes-McKie is the regional advisor. Registration is done online.

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St. Lucia Oral History Project is a project of the Green Mountain Educational and Cultural Trust, Inc.

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The Spaces Between Words: Conversations with Writers… and Caribbean Writers in particular doesn’t exist anymore, due to the passing of Dr. Giselle Rampaul, but rates a mention for its readings and audio interviews with some of the best on the contemporary Caribbean literary scene (Nalo Hopkinson to Tiphanie Yanique, Lorna Goodison to Marlon James). I hope all those valuable interviews haven’t been lost.

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Tim Tim Bwa Fik is a podcast dedicated to Caribbean literarture and romance.

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Tout Moun: Caribbean Journal of Cultural Studies is an open access, peer-reviewed, academic online journal for the cutting-edge research in Cultural Studies produced in and about the Caribbean. The journal welcomes research submissions on diverse cultural projects in a broad range of media including critical essays in written format, visual essays (including photographs, drawings, videos and paintings), book reviews and works of fiction. Published annually Tout Moun is a project initiated by the Department of Liberal Arts at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago. The online journal responds to the challenges of a new publishing world, making papers and research accessible via the Internet, and in doing so, making the work of emerging Caribbean scholars and those already respected in this field, available to an international market.

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The University of the West Indies Press is a not-for-profit scholarly publisher of books in thirteen academic disciplines. It is particularly well known for its work in Caribbean history, Caribbean cultural studies, Caribbean literature, gender studies, education and political science. Founded in 1992, the press has over 350 books in print.

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Charmaine Valere, formerly Signifying Guyana, has not been updated since 2016 but has archived its news, reviews, series, and perspectives related to Caribbean Literature.

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Vintage Caribbean is a blog about Caribbean history, music, culture, people, and more.

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Voices from Haiti, tagline nou bèl e nou la (we are beautiful and we are here) celebrates the creative spirit of Haitians and friends of Haiti worldwide.

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West Indies Books -is a reference listing of literature by West Indian authors, primarily anglophone West Indian authors, but with a highlighted listing of Haitian authors and works. The list is compiled by Patrick Jamieson (I don’t have information on him and his Caribbean connection) and includes a search feature for finding works by author.

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WiWords seems to be a Caribbean version of the urban dictionary. It seems to be driven by a user additions – and to the point that I last visited it had low to nil Antiguanisms and Barbudanisms.

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Womanspeak is a journal of literature and art by Caribbean women edited by Bahamian writer Lynn Sweeting.

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Writing Home: American Voices from the Caribbean is a podcast in which each episode features an exceptional contemporary cultural actor in conversation with lit scholars and hosts Kaiama L. Glover and Tami Navarro.

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, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. If you use, credit. It you enjoyed, check out my blog. Thanks.

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