Caribbean Literature Action Group
In 2011 the Commonwealth Foundation undertook some research into the state of publishing in Caribbean. The results highlighted a lack of a regional literary publishing industry which is compounded by an absence of training and development opportunities for writers, few technical skills, a lack of exposure and distribution opportunities as well as geographical challenges.
In April 2012 Commonwealth Writers, The British Council and the NGC Bocas Literary Festival joined forces to launch the Caribbean Literature Action Group, known as CALAG. It’s a results-oriented action group of professionals from the Caribbean literary sector whose aim is to develop and implement a number of initiatives to support an infrastructure for literary publishing within the region and to link the Caribbean’s writers to the rest of the world; for example, a regional online hub to connect writers and publishers, and mentoring and editing schemes.
Read more about how CALAG came about…
Why we created the publishing portal
“Although there is a ‘thrill’ to being published overseas, the reality is that there is space for very few writers to make it outside this continent.” Wame Molefhe, Writers Association of Botswana
Commonwealth Writers wants to hear how we can help writers to reach wider audiences. We’ve launched this portal to learn more about publishing in your region to help create a more equitable industry. In response to the small number of Prize entries from some countries, Commonwealth Writers has been researching the state of publishing in different parts of the world. We talked to writers and publishers in regions which have little or no infrastructure for fiction writers. These included the Caribbean, Pacific islands and a number of African countries.
Now, we want to hear from you. Please share your publishing experiences, including local initiatives that may have worked in your country, ones that you think might work, and ones that were less successful. We’re keen to know about the challenges you face in getting published wherever you are. Each Commonwealth country is represented on our interactive map, highlighted within our Prize regions: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, The Caribbean and The Pacific.
In the coming months the map will show your ideas for publishing initiatives. All of the country pages are now open. There are quotes and thoughts to stimulate debate. Our focus starts with The Caribbean, where there is a desire to develop a publishing infrastructure. As part of this, Commonwealth Writers with NGC BOCAS Lit Fest and the British Council are launching the Caribbean Literary Action Group (CALAG) and online we include quotes from individuals and organisations to highlight the challenges and the potential of the region.
We hope that by providing a place where writers, editors, agents and literary organisations can share and access each other’s experiences we can move towards a fairer and more accessible publishing landscape for writers and readers across the Commonwealth. Please leave short posts in response to the information we upload as our events, online activities and public debates take place.