First Picks Made, Spots Still Available

Just sent out the first set of acceptance letters to the Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project. Yes, the cut off point for applications is July 15th but early application has its privileges and these applicants have proven that they have great potential and interest. In fact, three are former finalists in that other youth writing programme I manage, the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize. I’m thrilled to see that they remain committed to expressing their voice. One wrote: “I am very passionate about creative writing and [have] always been hoping for such an opportunity… in hopes that I can develop [the] amateur skills I believe I possess.”

The group is small but I’m loving the enthusiasm: “the thrill that I get when a new idea pops into my head coupled with my vigorous imagination are key factors that I believe that such a programme like this could benefit me tremendously,” another wrote.

I look forward to working with them all. What’s so cool about them (at least on paper) is that writing is one part of an array of interests, that they love to read, and that they’re excited about the stories they have to tell. One applicant wrote: “My other hobbies are drawing, writing stories and I am now working on a comic called […] and hoping it would become a cartoon one day.” How cool is that?

I like how impressively clear they are about what they hope to get out of the JSYWP. “I have been writing poetry for a year and a half,” one wrote. “I started to like poetry when I read a book called Sam Song and my favorite poem is The Pig Tale… I would like to take your writing workshop because I would like to get better at writing poetry and I would like to learn how to write a story.” Now I’ve got to go look up Sam Song and the Pig Tale!

One of the successful applicants is a youth volunteer with the Silston Library which is the JSYWP base of operations. Her desire to be a part of this is tied to her work with the library. “By participating in this club, I hope to obtain insights into a more imaginative way of presenting research information about our heritage to my generation and those to come,” she wrote. “It is my desire to take the knowledge and training from the club and impart it to my fellow youth researchers.”

Okay, that’s a little bit intimidating, right? But if they can stand up to the challenge of applying for the programme and placing that confidence in me, I will stand up to the challenge of delivering to them an experience that will hopefully deepen their appreciation for the literary arts and bring detail and depth to their writing. I hope that if nothing else they get from this a sense of the power of their own voice. The strength of their letters indicates that they’re already on track.

Limited spots are still available. But remember the cut-off point is July 15th. Submit letters of application to

Thanks as ever to pledged sponsors (some of whom have already delivered): Brenda Lee Browne, Dr. Jillia Bird, Townhouse Mega Store, Caribbean Water Treatment, Paperclips, Sanhall, Shirley Heights Lookout, and others.


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