A call for Caribbean nationals, writing in English and resident in the Caribbean to contribute to anthology targeting COP29 audiences

Anthology’s Main Editor, award-winning writer and former UWI St Augustine Dean of Humanities & Education, Funso Aiyejina.

The Cropper Foundation, a Trinidad & Tobago-based non-profit, is inviting submissions from emerging and established, published, and unpublished Caribbean writers across poetry, fiction, and non-fiction genres for the region’s first climate justice-themed literary anthology Writing for our lives. The Call will open officially on May 7, 2024, via the webpage https://thecropperfoundation.org/writingforourlives/.

Writing for our lives was conceived as an anthology of stories illuminating the urgency of the climate crisis for people and communities of Caribbean states marked by their varied yet substantial vulnerabilities.

The anthology aims to platform the implications for the health, livelihoods, culture, heritage, and well-being of the many who go unseen, unheard, and, ultimately, unaccounted for at international and local levels of decision-making.
The initiative is the second strand in the Today Today, Congotay! project, a series of climate justice, multi-media arts-based interventions being rolled out over the period 2023-2026, with funding from Open Society Foundations. It follows the pilot of a climate justice-themed community micro-theatre undertaking in 2023, executed in collaboration with two secondary schools situated in semi-rural communities in Trinidad.

CEO of The Cropper Foundation Omar Mohammed says, “We believe our writers and artists are among the most qualified anywhere to interpret, reflect on and portray the disproportionate burdens of climate adjustment for the most vulnerable groups in our region.” Mohammed adds, “This anthology is essentially a clarion call for our writers to
validate the voices of the underrepresented in the climate crisis, that they may be considered too.”

The project builds on the legacy of founders John and Angela Cropper’s vision for a seminal environment for the strengthening and exploration of Caribbean identity through literature. Beginning in 2000, the same year the Foundation was registered, the Cropper Writing Residency was one of the first ventures of the newly formed non-profit.   Through its fifteen (ten adult and five teenaged) residential three-week workshops to date, led by award-winning writers Funso Aiyejina and Merle Hodge, the programme has helped mold over 180 Caribbean writers from almost every country in the anglophone Caribbean.

Many of these writers have gone on to publish with some earning major regional and global literary distinctions and accolades – among them, Jamaicans Kei Miller and Ishion Hutchinson; Haitian-Canadian Myriam Chancy; Tiphanie Yanique of the US Virgin Islands; and TT authors Ayanna Lloyd-Banwo and Andre Bagoo.

Writing for our lives will be published in collaboration with the Bocas Lit Fest-run imprint Peekash Press, with a view to producing an initial e-book for international release at the annual landmark climate conference, COP29 in November 2024. A regional launch of print and audio publications will follow in the first quarter of 2025.

To be eligible, writers must have Caribbean citizenship, be resident in the region, and be at least 18 years of age by June 7, 2024.  Pieces must demonstrate relevance to the theme of climate justice in a Caribbean context. The deadline for submission is midnight on June 7, 2024.

Successful applicants will be announced in July 2024. In addition to receiving expert group and one-on-one editorial support to strengthen their submissions towards the development of final pieces, they will receive an honorarium on submission of final pieces.

Invoking the Cropper Writing Residency’s spirit of kinship, selected writers will also be required to participate in peer review sessions and will be expected to contribute to the development of a virtual, regional writing community. To help ensure submissions are thematically relevant, interested persons are strongly encouraged to register for the two-part virtual climate knowledge sessions scheduled for May 14 and 15, 2024. Details will be available at  www.thecropperfoundation.org from May 7, 2024 upon the opening of the Call for Submissions.

For any queries about eligibility requirements or the application process, email [email protected].

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1 Comment

  1. May 5, 2024

    Don’t forget about Derrick Walcott ’93 Pulitzer Prize winner from St. Lucua.

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