Thursday, April 12, 2012

Commonwealth Writers newsletter

April 2012

Welcome to our first Commonwealth Writers newsletter.
Your support has played a key part in shaping our growing community of writers across the Commonwealth - we hope that our author interviews, articles, ideas and Katrina Best (writer-in-residence) have helped to inspire and inform your writing.

©Commonwealth Foundation/Colin Patterson
As you know, last year we modernised the twenty five year old Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the more recent Commonwealth Short Story Competition and launched two new awards in their place:  the Commonwealth Book Prize and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Thank you to all of you who entered. The number of entries has increased and we received books and stories from countries which had never entered before.
We’ll be announcing the shortlists for both prizes on 24 April. On 22 May we’ll be letting you know the five regional winners for each prize. From those regional winners, we’ll be selecting the two overall winners, one for the Commonwealth Book Prize and one for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. As part of a new global partnership between Commonwealth Writers and Hay Festival in Wales, the two overall winners will be announced there on 8 June. The prizes will be presented by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the winners will be talking to Harriett Gilbert about their work.

We’ve just launched our Publishing Portal. With a dedicated page for each Commonwealth country, our interactive map reflects our latest research.  We hope this will initiate discussion and give you a platform on which to share opinions and ideas. We want to use this forum to explore publishing solutions, which could help create a fairer and more accessible publishing landscape for writers and readers. Please go to your country’s page and use the comment box to share your experiences.  You’ll see a quote on each country’s page, some literary, some to inspire you and some to make you think.  We’ll also be running weekly country polls to discover how you feel about key issues.
Our first focus is on the Caribbean, in response to its desire to develop a new publishing infrastructure. As part of this, Commonwealth Writers has joined forces with NGC BOCAS Lit Fest and the British Council to support writers, writing and publishing.  The Caribbean Literature Action Group (CALAG) will be launched in Port of Spain on Wednesday 25 April. The quotes on each Caribbean country’s page are from research and interviews conducted with the members of CALAG. Please respond to these in your country’s comment box and add your own thoughts; in turn these can then be shared with CALAG.
Building on this, there’ll be a publishing debate at Hay and we’ll be at The Literary Consultancy in London to examine international perspectives on publishing on Saturday 9 June. This event will be chaired by Ellah Allfrey, deputy editor of Granta.
If you are not yet a member of our active online communities, please connect with us on FacebookTwitter and the Commonwealth Writers website

Best wishes,
Commonwealth Writers

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