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Portal for Caribbean Publishing Launches at Bocas

Roland Watson Grant and Kei Miller at the Cariblit sponsored Kingston Book Fest

In the Caribbean, information often has a tendency to seek out the nearest black-hole or vortex where it hides itself from the ordinary onlooker. The Carib Lit website, a project of the Caribbean Literature Action Group, is being created to counteract this tendency, at least in relation to the publishing industry. The site, is being launched at the third Bocas Literary Festival, Port of Spain Trinidad.

CALAG, a collection of writers, publishers, editors and other representatives of the publishing industry, was created at the 2012 installation of the Bocas Lit Fest with the support of the Commonwealth Foundation.

Carib Lit coordinator, Kellie Magnus explains that the overarching project goal is to identify and implement collaborations that will fix Caribbean publishing. She noted, however, that in the short term, they are identifying, collating and sharing existing information.

Carib Lit will be an open access site housing information about several aspects of Caribbean publishing.

“It’s a single source, a trade portal, that presents information relevant to writers and publishers in the English speaking Caribbean,” Magnus said. “It will be where you go to find out what’s happening in Caribbean publishing.”

Magnus explained that Carib Lit will house a database which includes a directory that maps the industry (including publishers, writers, booksellers), literary agents interested in Caribbean content, festivals and book fairs, libraries, as well as resources such as templates for contracts, proposals and print quotes.  The site will also offer a blog featuring interviews by established and emerging writers as well as videos and guest posts.

Though the website is not yet fully populated, it aims to become a hub where best practices and resources relevant to the region can be shared.

Carib Lit will be launched on Saturday, April 27. The third Bocas Lit Festival is being held at the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain, April 25 - 29, 2013.