Where to start?

I’ve been lobbying CODE, the Canada based non profit behind the Burt Award for Young Adult Caribbean Fiction, to locate one of their workshops in Antigua and Barbuda since I first learned about them so, I’m thrilled to report that it’s happening. This November. And I’ve been asked to assist with putting it together and to facilitate. I’m hoping teen writers and adult writers alike will take advantage of the opportunity. And when they do I hope it proves to be a growth opportunity for all of us.

Here are the details re the teen workshop:

The workshop is offered as part of CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, which aims to provide Caribbean youth with access to books they will enjoy and want to read. Through the Award’s book purchase and distribution program, a minimum of 1,200 copies of each winning title is donated every year to Caribbean youth through schools, libraries and community organizations. Workshop participants will have the option of adding their school to the distribution list for free copies of the 2014 winners.

DETAILS OF TEEN WORKSHOP: Caribbean workshops_Nov2014_teens

Here are the details of the workshop targeted at adults…interested in writing teen content:

Offered as part of CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature — which aims to provide Caribbean youth with access to books they will enjoy and want to read — the workshops are intended to help emerging or established writers of books for teens or young adults develop their skills, deepen their understanding of writing strategies appropriate for this age group, and encourage them to submit their work for consideration for the Award.

DETAILS OF ADULT WORKSHOP: Caribbean workshops_Nov2014_adults

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to facilitate. In more personal news, the path has not been without its potholes but my book Musical Youth, which placed second for the Burt Award earlier this year is… (almost) here! How close is it? Well, here’s the cover, featuring the art of Antigua and Barbuda’s Glenroy Aaron:


Don’t get jealous but I have a copy of the original painting in my home. Thanks, Glenroy.

I’ll be reading an excerpt from the book during a preview event the Friday evening before the workshops at the Best of Books. Meantime, here’s a blurb courtesy of publisher Caribbean Reads:

Can one summer make the difference of a lifetime?

Zahara is a loner. She’s brilliant on the guitar but in everyday life she doesn’t really fit in. Then she meets Shaka, himself a musical genius and the first boy who really gets her. They discover that they share a special bond, their passion for music, and Zahara finds herself a part, not just of Shaka’s life, but also that of his boys, the Lion Crew.

When they all get roles in a summer musical, Zahara, Shaka, and the rest of the Lion Crew use the opportunity to work on a secret project. But the Crew gets much more than they bargained for when they uncover a dark secret linking Shaka and Zahara’s families and they’re forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about class, colour, and relationships on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

1final_caribbean_logoMusical Youth placed second in the 2014 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature sponsored by CODE.

Musical Youth is a beautifully crafted novel with the leitmotiv of music running throughout it. This is a powerful and credible story of young love between two likeable heroes.”—CODE, Sponsors of the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.

If you’re as excited as I am, or even a fraction of it, please, please, please spread the word; I dream of Caribbean teens consuming this book like good food. Ain’t nothing wrong with dreaming but let’s put some pro-action behind it.

Thanks for always having my back. I appreciate it from my foot-bottom to my head-top.



      • Just writing to say that CODE and the Burt Award held a writing workshop in Kingston last March ni partnership with CaribLit and as part of the Kingston Book Fesival. This year we wanted to make sure we were reaching other countries too and so focused attention on putting on workshops in Antigua and Montserrat. We are planning more activities in Jamaica next year, though, so please say tuned.

      • Okay. Will information regarding upcoming workshops be posted on the CODE/Burt website? I’m verifying this because I really don’t want to let an opportunity like this pass me by just because I didn’t know where to look. Thanks much.

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