Friday, 31 July 2015

Young Adult Literature (Jamaica) Readers at 2015 Auntie Roachie Festival / 2PM, Monday, August 3, 2015

Young Adult Literature (Jamaica) Readers at
2015 Auntie Roachie Festival /2PM,  Monday, August 3

Kingston, July 31, 2015
The Young Adult (YA) Readers Hangout at the JCDC Independence Village will present three award winning Jamaican authors in the Young Adult (YA) book segment of the Auntie Roachie Film, Television and Literary festival which will be held on Monday August 3  between 2PM and 2:20PM.

Featured readers will be author of Bad Girls in School and Young Heroes of the Caribbean, Gwyneth Harold Davidson, the author of Inner City Girl and The Salt Loses Her Savor, Colleen Smith Dennis and the author of two novels Sketcher and Skid, Roland Watson Grant.

The YA Readers Hangout will be open all six days of the Independence Village, noon to midnight, August 1 to 6.

The booth will have Jamaican YA fiction books on display for browsing. Literary festival collaborator, Gwyneth Harold Davidson, will be on hand to share her thoughts on Jamaican YA books that she has read, and which are available in print or e-book editions.

Festival goers who play chess and who enjoy pen and paper activities are invited to drop in, and hang out at the YA Readers booth.

YA books are considered to be fiction and non-fiction books that are marketed to adolescents. YA books include well-known classics, as well as contemporary books and the themes identify with coming-of-age issues. YA books can be found across several genres including romance, fantasy, graphic contemporary and historical fiction, and literature.

The JCDC Independence Fair will feature daily and nightly entertainment for the family including music performances, exhibitions, craft fair and Jamaican food and drink. There is no cover charge to enter the fair before 5PM.

Author Profiles
YA Readers for the 2015 Auntie Roachie Film, TV and Literary Festival

A former English teacher and current advertising copywriter and creative director for over a decade, Roland Watson-Grant insists that he started his literary career writing thirty-second short stories for radio and television in his native Jamaica. In 2011, he ventured to put his characters out onto the world stage. That same year, his short story, Sketcher, was named an International Prize Winner in the Annual Lightship Literary Prizes held in Hull, England. Another short fiction entry, Home Run, was long-listed in the competition.

A live reading at the Lightship Awards ceremony in the fall of 2011, attracted a London Publisher and in February 2012, Roland was offered a book deal to turn Sketcher into a full-length novel of the same name. Sketcher, the novel was released in May 2013 to critical acclaim and was nominated for an Amazon Rising Star Award that same year. The novel has received several accolades: Times of London called Roland Watson-Grant’s debut: “A wonderfully joyous, eccentric first novel”; Bookseller Magazine described it as “a tragicomic tour de force”; and the Spectator referred to Sketcher as “most original by a mile”.

A Turkish version of Sketcher was released in Istanbul in October 2013. The sequel, entitled Skid, WAS released by Alma Books in June 2014. Roland appeared at the Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta held in Treasure Beach in February 2012; and the Kingston Edition in February 2014.

Colleen Smith-Dennis was born in the parish of St. Elizabeth. She attended the Maggotty High School and graduated in the late seventies. After completing one year Youth Service, she attended the Bethlehem Moravian Teachers College where she specialized in the teaching of English Language at the secondary level. She later enrolled in the University of the West Indies where she completed a certificate and a honours degree, again in the field of the teaching of English.

 In 2006 she completed her Masters in Education in the same area again at the University of the West Indies. Currently, she is a teacher of English at a high School in St. Andrew.
Published by LMH Publishing in Kingston, her YA novel, Inner City Girl was nominated for the 2011 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her other novels are For Her Son and The Salt Loses Her Savor.

Gwyneth Harold is a Jamaican novelist, short story writer and public relations practitioner. Her work in the YA genre has been for printed books, online books, newspaper series and radio series. She is also a collaborator of the Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta that is held in Treasure Beach Jamaica.

Harold Davidson’s manuscript for Secret Identities of the Rio Minho received the JCDC 2002 Award of Merit for Novel; and her short story collection Here and Elsewhere won the Una Marson Book Prize 2001 for Collection of Short Stories. In 2007, her novel Bad Girls in School was short Listed for Vic Reid Prize for children 2007, and was published by Pearson in that year.

Harold Davidson’s adventure series Fly Guy ran in the Gleaner’s Youth Link and is also a four-part audio drama series that is freely available on YouTube.

Her contemporary novel with historical stories, Young Heroes of the Caribbean was independently published in 2014. Historical fiction stories from the novel were used in the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) radio series Young Heroes, which was aired in 2014 as a part of the organisation’s 50th anniversary celebrations.


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Come Talk About Jamaican YA Books

Come talk about Jamaican YA books

Lovers of YA fiction are invited to drop in and have a chat about Jamaican books written in that genre at the YA Readers Hangout from at the JCDC Independence Village. YA fiction, and author and literary festival collaborator, Gwyneth Harold Davidson , will be on hand to share her thoughts on Jamaican YA books that she has read, and which are available in print or e-book editions.

The featured book at the booth for sale will be Harold Davidson's Young Heroes of the Caribbean, which is realistic contemporary fiction with historical tales woven in. A chess board for all-comers and occasional writing activities will also be at the booth during the fair.

The Independence Village will be open from noon to midnight daily, August 1 - 6 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, Hope Road in Kingston, Jamaica.

YA books are considered to be books that are marketed to adolescents and young adults. It is within the canon of children or juvenile books and includes well-known classics as well as contemporary books. Themes in YA usually cover coming-of-age issues across all writing genres including romance, fantasy, graphic and literature.

Harold Davidson's comments on Jamaican books are on her Goodreads page

The Independence Fair will feature daily and nightly entertainment for the family including music performances, exhibitions, local food and drink.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Caribbean Authors Promoted at the 2015 Harlem Book Fair

Caribbean Authors Promoted at Harlem Book Fair 

Bazba Theatrical Players Ltd (Bazba) reported good exposure for the Caribbean authors who they represented at the 17th annual Harlem Book Fair which was held on July 18, 2015 in Harlem, New York City. Bazba was the official flagship carrier of the English Language Caribbean books at the fair. It was an all-day, indoor and outdoor event supported by Colombia University School of the Arts, The New York Public Library (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture), Barnes and Noble Booksellers, C-SPAN 2 Book TV, Hotel Beacon and City Sightseeing New York and Dark and Lovely.
Caribbean Authors at Harlem Book Fair
Caribbean authors take a photo call after reading to hundreds of festival goers at the 17th annual Harlem Book Fair during a steel-pan infused Bazba Hour on July 18 in Harlem, New York. The readers promoted by the Bazba Theatrical Players Ltd were (left to right): Basil “Kusoonogo” Lopez Only as the Wind Blows, Ants and the River (Jamaica); Tiphanie Yanique, 2015 Phillis Wheately Awardee for Fiction Land of Love and Drowning (US Virgin Islands); Denecia Green Sex, Lies and Betrayal and Russel Brooks The Demeter Code (Barbados).

Books carried by Bazba, a Jamaican based publishing and literary arts company, represented independently published authors from the region and works from other publishers with Caribbean connections. Among Bazba’s collection was, The Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique of the Virgin Islands. Yanique was awarded 2015 Harlem Book Review, Phillis Wheatley Award for Fiction; the award is named in honour of African born and American enslaved poet, Phillis Wheatley, the first published poet of African American descent.   

The selection of one of Bazba's featured authors as an awardee helped to generate more interest among patrons. Additionally, a panel discussion focused on 'Writing the Caribbean Life' held at the Countee Cullen Library Auditorium gave the Bazba represented authors, Basil ‘Kusoonogu’ Lopez, Denecia Green, Russell Brooks and Tiphanie Yanique a platform to share expressions about writing from a Caribbean perspective.

Founder of the Harlem Book Fair, Max Rodriquez said, “The Caribbean and its writers have a long history of impacting world literature and culture. Especially so American culture and geography, which is thoroughly informed by the migrational and cultural contributions from Caribbean peoples. The Harlem Book Fair is the fitting opportunity to acknowledge the Caribbean contribution to the literature of the African diaspora, to American culture and to give it its rightful place in the canon of world literature.”

Young adult and graphic novel, fiction writer Denecia Green of Jamaica, whose writing career started at the Teen Herald, said that the festival gave her a lot of exposure. "It opened a world of opportunity for me. I was able to speak on a main stage in front of a large number of people for the first time, and was interviewed for an hour on Mello FM in Brooklyn." Green promoted her novel Lies, Sex & Betrayal.

Writing the Caribbean Life Discussion at the Harlem Book Fair

Discussions on writing Caribbean spoken languages in books were points of discussion at the ‘Writing the Caribbean Life’ at the 17th Harlem Book Fair on July 18 in Harlem, New York. The panel was moderated by Managing Director of Bazba Theatrical Players Limited, Yashika Lopez and featured writers (left to right): Basil “Kusoonogo” Lopez Only as the Wind Blows, Ants and The River (Jamaica); Denecia Green Sex, Lies and Betrayal (Jamaica); 2015 Phillis Wheately Awardee for  Fiction, Tiphanie Yanique, Land of Love and Drowning (Virgin Islands); Russel Brooks The Demeter Code (Barbados).
Other authors represented by Bazba at the Harlem Book Fair were: Dr Michael Barnett, (Jamaica) Rastafari in the New Millennium; Laura Francis Sharma (Trinidad), Til The Well Runs Dry; Naomi Jackson (Barbados) Star Side of Bird Hill; and other Jamaicans: Steve Cole, Nuggets of Truth- Golden Principles for Successful Living; Teisha Mott, Persaud Girl Series; Mandisa Parnell, The Boy Next Door; and Gwyneth Harold Davidson, Young Heroes of the Caribbean.  Persaud Girl Series, The Boy Next Door and Young Heroes of the Caribbean are Young Adult genre books.

Bazba’s goal is to attract more Caribbean nationals to the fair, and will continue to focus on that as it prepares for Bazba’s 6th year involvement at the fair and its 2nd year representing Caribbean authors.