Deadline extended for Caribbean climate justice anthology submissions

Shivanee Ramlochan. Photo by Elechi Todd

The deadline for submissions to the Caribbean climate justice anthology, “Writing for Our Lives,” has been extended to midnight on Friday, June 14. This extension provides Caribbean writers based in the region, writing in English, an additional week to prepare and submit their poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction pieces for consideration.

The Cropper Foundation encourages potential contributors to explore the climate justice resources available on the anthology’s webpage at Here, writers can find eligibility criteria and submission guidelines to aid in their preparation.

To  ensure that submissions are on theme, the organizers have made available recorded webinar presentations from Caribbean experts and advocates. These presentations cover a range of topics, including climate change impacts, policy and economics, climate litigation, and the intersection of climate justice and social justice.

Writing for Our Lives aims to compile stories that highlight the urgency of the climate crisis for the people and communities of Caribbean states, which are characterized by their diverse yet significant vulnerabilities. This anthology is the second component of the “Today Today, Congotay!” project, a series of climate justice and arts-based interventions scheduled to unfold from 2023 to 2026, with funding from the Open Society Foundations. The project follows a 2023 pilot of a climate justice-themed community micro-theatre initiative, conducted in collaboration with two secondary schools in semi-rural Trinidad.

The selection and editing process for the anthology is being led by award-winning writer and long-time friend of the Foundation, Professor Emeritus Funso Aiyejina. Professor Aiyejina has played a formative role in the development of the Cropper Foundation Residential Workshop for Caribbean Writers, alongside author and lecturer Merle Hodge.

Reflecting on the anthology’s mission, Professor Aiyejina stated, “Justice, truth, empathy, and honesty were some of the concepts that often foregrounded our workshop discussions at the Cropper Workshop, no matter the subject. These same concepts are what we must urgently bring to bear on our relationship with Mother Earth. We either speak up in her defense now and force restorative and regenerative actions, or we shall be swept away with everybody else as she is forced to respond to our recklessness and abuse with her own uncontrollable vengeance of Moko.”

This anthology represents a crucial opportunity for Caribbean writers to contribute to the global conversation on climate justice, emphasizing the unique challenges and perspectives of their region.

Renowned Trinidadian poet, essayist, and critic Shivanee Ramlochan, a respected ‘Cropperite’ herself, will be providing valuable support for the upcoming project. Reflecting on her experience with the Cropper Foundation Writers Workshop, Ramlochan expresses how it transformed her identity as a Caribbean writer and instilled a sense of pride in her cultural heritage. She is thrilled to collaborate with esteemed writer Funso Aiyejina, whose mentorship during a past workshop significantly influenced her growth as a writer. Ramlochan believes that their joint efforts will result in a powerful anthology that sheds light on urgent issues facing the Caribbean, particularly the climate crisis.

CEO of The Cropper Foundation, Omar Mohammed, is pleased with the overwhelming support received for the Writing for Our Lives anthology. He envisions the initiative as a platform to unite various stakeholders, including civil society, government entities, and institutions, to raise awareness about the critical justice issues related to climate change. The anthology, set to be published in collaboration with Peekash Press under the Bocas Lit Fest imprint, will release an e-book internationally at COP29 in November 2024, followed by print and audio versions in early 2025. The selection of successful applicants will be announced in July 2024, with each participant receiving expert editorial guidance and an honorarium upon submission of their final pieces.

For inquiries regarding eligibility criteria or the application process, interested individuals can reach out to [email protected].

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