Antigua & Barbuda Literary Festival

 

This website was created to promote the The Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival for 2008. When I recently discovered the sites domain was available I bought it with the goal of recreating some of its original content from archived pages. I definitely didn't want someone else purchasing the domain and re-purposing it for something that had nothing in common with the original website which is what occurred with the Festivals new website which was launched in 2010. Although the Barbuda International Literary Festival's Facebook page was active through 2013 it now appears to no longer being used. There was a post regarding the 2009 Festival: "In case you haven't heard, the Festival has been canceled for 2009, due to lack of funding. It's a tough economy for non-profit events!"

In 2010 their Facebook post stated emphatically "The Festival IS going to take place this year, from Nov. 4-7 at the Jolly Beach Resort & Spa. Our emphasis will be on Caribbean children's and women's literature." Another 2010 post announced that a new website was created: http://antigualitfest.com/. Unfortunately, the newer 2010 site is now a Chinese website and no longer has anything to do with the Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival. I suspect the site's domain registration expired and a Chinese company bought it.

In regards to the older Barbuda International Literary Festival website for 2008, although the site will not be exactly as you remember it, I wanted to keep the spirit of the original website to live. I wish that this site will inspire someone to infuse monies to the non profit that put on the Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival. Although I work in Salesforce app development which made it easier for me to rebuild this site, I don't have the big pockets that are required to sponsor such an event. The team I work with help organizations and companies to the next level with custom Salesforce application development, cloud-based CRM, mobile applications, and other Salesforce integration services. For those unfamiliar with the Salesforce platform, it is one of the most powerful platforms to enhance relationships among a business/ organization and their customers. Employees can access Saleforce entirely over the Internet helping businesses to stay on the cutting edge of cloud, mobile, social, and data science technologies. It would be so great if one of our clients became interested in the Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival and perhaps help revive it.

Please be indulgent since the site does not look exactly like the original. Now let's take a nostalgic stroll back to 2008.

++++

Save the Date!
7-9 November, 2008
Jolly Beach Resort
Antigua, West Indies

The Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival, begun in 2006, is a 3-day celebration of literary arts, with workshops, author readings, book signings and special events in a beautiful tropical setting. The festival features prominent Caribbean, U.S., British and Canadian authors as well as publicists and publishers.

To date more than 65 authors have participated, and the line-up of literary stars for the 2008 Festival will be coming soon. While the festival features many authors from the Caribbean Diaspora, it also includes noted writers in a broad range of genres from poetry, photography and non-fiction to performance arts and drama. 

The venue in 2008 will be Jolly Beach Hotel, an all-inclusive resort on one of Antigua’s most picturesque beaches. The Festival Village will include workshop rooms and a book store as well as tents for children’s programs and live entertainment and a beach gazebo for author readings.

Among the specific activities planned for the 2008 Festival are:

  • Youth Day, where talented young writers attend workshops led by noted authors
  • Two days of workshops on the practical aspects of writing as well as lively discussions on timely literary topics by panels of authors and publicists
  • Author readings on the beach
  • A Gala Opening Ceremony and reception attended by the Governour General, Prime Minister and government officials of Antigua as well as the authors and Festival participants
  • A book sales area sponsored by Best of Books, where participants can obtain books to be signed by the authors
  • Children’s activities
  • Live entertainment

U.S., Canadian and Caribbean region literary fans can join in all the activities by booking a “Booklovers in Paradise” package, which features all-inclusive accommodations at Jolly Beach Resort as well as admission to the Festival.  These will be coordinated by Carib-World Travel in St. John’s, Antigua (268-480-2999).

+++

Friends of The Antigua Public Library —New York

Short Story & Visual Arts Competition – 2008

Held in conjunction with the 
Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival 
Dates of Competition: 
Sept. 15-Oct. 24, 2008 
Theme: 
My Antigua (and/or) My Barbuda 
Date of Award Announcement: 
Nov. 7, 2008 


At the Antigua & Barbuda Literary Festival Youth Day

All Antigua and Barbuda students enrolled in Forms 1 through 3 who have valid Antigua Public Library cards are invited to submit a short story or visual artwork to the competition. There is no restriction on the genre of the work submitted (mysticism, adventure, mystery, romance), as long as it involves the stated theme and is an original work. 
Finalists will be invited to the Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival on Friday, November 7, 2008, where the winners will be announced.


+++
 

History

In its first year, the Antigua & Barbuda Literary Festival carried a different name, The Caribbean International Literary Festival. It began as the brainchild of Baltimore Times publisher Joy Bramble and her sister Pam Arthurton, whose family settled in Antigua after their native land of Montserrat was devastated by volcanic activity.

No strangers to devastation, the sisters looked around their adopted land to see how they could become a part of the community of those looking to better their island. One of the key issues they honed in on was literacy, since this is the backbone of a strong educational system and a well-trained, professional workforce. They learned that the island’s only library had been devastated in a 1974 earthquake and had yet to be replaced, making access to reading materials difficult for the entire population.

So the goals of their festival became to inspire Antiguans and Barbudans with a sense of their literary history, to celebrate local and regional artists, and to raise funds to support the Antigua & Barbuda Library in whatever form it took. At the same time, to create an attractive and sustaining festival they knew they would have to involve the international literary community.
The Caribbean International Literary Festival opened in 2006 at the Jolly Beach Resort, with 43 well-known authors, publicists and publishers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and the Caribbean region. Over 200 participants enjoyed three days of workshops, panel discussions, readings, book signings and fundraisers. 

In its second year, the Festival received substantial financial support from the Antigua & Barbuda Ministry of Tourism, which recognized the importance of the event as a “book tourism” activity. In deference to this sponsorship, the organizers renamed it the Antigua &  Barbuda International Literary Festival. 

The event was moved to the Anchorage Inn and 32 authors participated.  The organizers introduced the first day Youth Day, and arranged for each secondary school in the nation and in Montserrat to send its three top writers to a day filled with workshops and seminars with noted authors at no cost.  Over 75 young people participated, and many returned the second and third day of the Festival to continue their interactions with the authors.

One of the key activities of the Festival was a Short Story Competition offered to Antigua & Barbuda school children by the Friends of the Antigua Public Library—New York (FOAPL).  Awards included a notebook computer for the first place winner, $500 for second place and $250 for third place, as well as special merchandise donated by the Festival’s sponsors.  Other awards given were honorable mentions, a special Courage Award, and a School Participation Award. In addition, Dorthea Nelson, the  APL chief librarian, received a special award for her unwavering support of the contest. The winners received their prizes during the Festival’s opening ceremonies.

Now in its third year, the Festival promises to capitalize on past success and create an even larger and more attractive event, with a stellar list of participating authors. The event moves back to Jolly Beach Resort this year, so that we can offer a fantastic beach setting for the author readings and other activities. The organizers plan to create a Festival Village, with tents for children’s activities and vendors surrounding the resort’s Conference Center, where most of the seminars will be held.

+++

Participants

Kwame Alexander
Poet, publisher and author of “Do the Write Thing: 7 Steps to Publishing Success,” as well as producer of the Capital BookFest in Washington, D.C.

Dawne Allette
Children’s author, poet and journalist from Grenada well known for her inspirational, lyrical and humorous children’s books

Tina McElroy Ansa
Novelist, publisher, filmmaker, teacher and journalist, organizer of the Sea Island Writers Retreat, and author of the new novel “Taking After Mudear”

Brenda Lee Browne
Antiguan journalist and poet who teaches creative writing to young people, and serves as chairman of the Antigua Independence Literary Arts Competition

Jason Cole
Illustrator from Barbados who has produced four award-winning children’s books

Junot Diaz
Named by New Yorker Magazine as one of the top 20 writers for the 21st century and author of “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,”  selected by Time as the best novel of 2007

Eric Jerome Dickey
Author of 17 novels, many of which have appeared on the New York Times and other best-selling lists. In 2006 he was selected Male Author of the Year at The 2nd Annual African-American Literary Award Show

Linda Duggins
Director of Multicultural Publicity at Hachette Book Group, USA,  and co-founder of the Harlem Book Fair

Zee Edgell
Award-winning novelist and short story writer from Belize who currently teaches at Kent State University in Ohio

Ramabai Espinet
Trinidadian novelist, poet and author of children’s books, as well as professor at Seneca College and the University of Toronto.


Gilly Gobinet
Antiguan watercolor artist who has published an award-winning series of illustrated Caribbean cookbooks

Lorna Goodison
Jamaican poet and recipient of the Musgrave Gold Medal as well as professor at the University of Michigan

S. James Guitard
Best-selling author and syndicated columnist who also serves as a featured consultant for the Anointed Author Workshop Series, a workshop for aspiring Christian authors

Marie Elena John
Antiguan author whose 2006 debut novel, “Unburnable,” was short-listed for the 2007 Hurston-Wright Legacy Awards in the Debut Fiction Category

Mondella Jones
Literary agent, president of MJLA Media, and former senior editor of Black Issues Book Review

E. Ethelbert Miller
Literary activist and award-winning poet/author of 10 books, including "How We Sleep On Nights We Don't Make Love." Since 1974, he has been the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University.

Stacey Evans Morgan
Screenwriter and writer/producer of UPN’s hit show The Parkers and the NAACP Image Awards Show

Mary B. Morrison
Novelist, poet and non-fiction author who conducts workshops on self-publishing. Author of the best seller “Sweeter Than Honey”

Motion, Wendy Brathwaite
Poet and performance artist from Toronto, Canada

Victoria Christopher Murray
Christian-centered novelist and author of an inspirational teen fiction series

Elizabeth Nunez
Trinidadian-born novelist and winner of the 2001 American Book Award as well as chair of the English department at Medgar Evers College

Roscoe Orman
Television and film actor who played “Gordon” for 30 years on PBS’ acclaimed Sesame Street as well as a poet and author of a memoir about the show and a children’s book

Esther Phillips
Poet who won the Alfred Boas Poetry Prize of the Academy of American  Poets in 1999. She is founder of Writers Ink Barbados and an educator at Barbados Community College.

Althea Prince
Antiguan-Canadian novelist, essayist and children’s author who received the first Antigua & Barbuda Literary Prize in 2007.

Arnold Rampersad
Trinidadian-born biographer and literary critic whose first book, “The Life of Langston Hughes,” was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. His recent book, a biography of Ralph Ellison, has met with considerable critical praise.

Victoria Rowell
Distinguished, versatile actress (The Cosby Show, The Young and the Restless) as well as author and filmmaker who is an international advocate for foster children

Esmeralda Santiago
Puerto Rican-born author of memoirs, novels, essays and opinion pieces as well as a producer and writer of documentary and educational films

Frances Anne Solomon
Director and producer of Canadian sitcoms and documentaries as well as head of her own production companies, one of which is a non-profit company for multimedia products aimed at the educational market

Verna Wilkins
Grenada-born founder of Tamarind, a publishing company in the U.K. specializing in children’s books as well as author of 30 picture books and biographies for younger people

Delilah Winder
Celebrity chef, restaurant owner and cookbook author who has appeared on various Food Network shows. Winner of Oprah’s “Favorite Mac-n-Cheese” competition

+++

 

2010 Festival Plans

 

Planning Underway for the 2010 Antigua & Barbuda Literary Festival

The organizers of the Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival are planning for an exciting 2010 Festival.

“This year we are going to employ a whole different organizational strategy than we did last year.  We will rely less on the old fashioned way of festival planning and instead use various social networking tools as the dominant means of organizing presenters and attendees for the event," said Co-Founder Pamela Arthurton.

Joy Bramble, the Festival's other Co-Founder, followed by saying that "We are talking with a variety of key people to anchor our 2010 event.  We look at 2010 as being both fun and educational - during the festival and the planning throughout the year.  We welcome all people who wish to help out and believe that reading and education are the cornerstones for our children's future success."

Volunteers can contact the festival organizers at any time via our contact form.

AntiguaAndBarbudaLiteraryFestival.com