Showing posts with label Jamcopy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jamcopy. Show all posts

Friday, 31 July 2020

A Manuscript - The Amazing Adventures of Maude, a Jamaican Grandmother

There is someone in the family who surprises, who decides to inhabit more good space and give loving support;
Maude decided that this was her.

Read the manuscript at the link below:

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Component of a Knowledge Society

Security is the primary reason why we live in communities. I do not wish to discuss security, but to present the idea that for security to be assured, communication needs to happen within the group so that everyone who has a role can be prepared to do it.

In the public sector, this translates to effective communication between agencies and also between the state and its publics. During emergencies and national events this communication is more visible, but it happens every day. At a strategic level, this communication would be led by specialised government bodies guiding policies and actions for the subject areas for which they command.


For clarity, this is what I am saying: for legal matters, the opinion of the Office of the Attorney General is sought; for environmental matters, the National Planning and Environment Agency has to put in a word; for citizenship issues, the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade lay out the facts and provide a way forward.


The public sector cannot be an equivalent to the private sector as each ministry is an essential operation that strengthens the whole under direction of Cabinet and also under the oversight of Parliamentary Commissions.


Notwithstanding the excellent quality of products that are currently delivered by the public sector communications agency, the agency does not provide executive level services for its subject area of public sector communication. If such support were to be tabulated, it would begin with the actual implantation of the existing 2015 GoJ Communication Policy and development of a strategic plan that will usher components of the policy, where relevant, as is done in other subject areas.


Specialist MDAs are supposed to provide whole of government executive support for major projects from the concept development stage, use networks to build alliances, provide expertise for the evaluation of bids, provide monitoring and quality assurance during project development and implementation and also participate in the evaluation and billing. Perfection is often not achieved, but that is the role of specialist institutions in major

projects. In addition to specialist bodies, government also relies on cross functional teams drawn from its MDAs to provide some oversight of executive level activities.


Communication practitioners in MDAS have a full slate of scheduled and seasonal work that is dedicated to the corporate plan of their entity, so undertaking major projects will require outside contractors whose work should be under adequate oversight by professionals with the required experience and skills. Many times, for large projects, these skills do not reside – in fullness – within these diverse bodies. To say it another way, in the field of communications, individual public sector MDAS does not generally have the specialist skills required to carry out large and complex projects, this is really not required for the regular functioning of the bod.

Aside from this, the public sector itself does not have a cadre of executive C Suite level practitioners to assist MDAs to develop, select and monitor major communication projects that are beyond the scope of the established scheduled activities.


Conceivably, the government executive agency for communication can shear away the more mundane activities and instead focus on high level substances that require analysis, deeper research, multi-sector collaboration and corporate governance, talent recruitment, development and protection.

The cost of communication tools has dramatically been reduced to the point where even low income persons can deliver a polished product from software that they got free or at a low cost. Training to undertake communication projects are available in Jamaica and or through certification on the Internet or through practice.


The NWA shed itself of construction and moved into quality assurance and implementation, In Agriculture, government plantations, factories and farms are no more; in Transportation, the national airline is extinct.


There are cost savings that can be made to enable the public sector communications agency to deliver higher level services to the government:

  • Accelerate the automaton for booking, distribution and billing processes for stock items;
  • Eliminate content platforms that do not locomote towards the national development goals;
  • Eliminate production of physical materials
  • Reassign records and archives to the Institute of Jamaica or Jamaica Archives and Records as appropriate
  • Outsource content production to agile creative houses and state-of-the-art suppliers.

These savings can create a high performance unit of professionals whose experience and knowledge would make them the equivalent of Queens Councils, Major Generals, Professors, Licensed Public Accountants, Commissioners and Surgeons that are found at the apex of other disciplines.  


If Jamaica is to be a knowledge society then the public sector has to exploit the value to be gained from the deployment, utilization and retention of knowledge professionals.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Pursue African Publishers - A Igoni Barrett Urges at Kingston Book Festival 2012

Pursue Publishers in English Speaking African Countries
Nigerian Short Story Writer Igoni Barrett Urges at 
Kingston Book Festival 2012

Nigerian short story writer with Jamaican roots, Igoni Barrett, encouraged Caribbean writers to seek publishing opportunities in English speaking African countries. Barrett, who was speaking at the Kingston Book Festival on March 16, said that Kenya and South Africa have populations of about 40 million and 50 million respectively and Nigeria 150 million people; and books for a Jamaican market can be sold where English is spoken.

Seek publishers in English-speaking African Countries
Speaking of overcoming distribution problems between writers and booksellers he said, "The key is partnership" and that South Africa is known for having a very vibrant publishing industry. 

"As you submit work to publishers in Jamaica in the Caribbean in the US, in the UK and Canada it is also important that you go beyond. South Africa is a place I would advise you to publish. Many well-known writers started publishing in South Africa. The local publishers, who you probably have not heard of publish good, well-packaged books, promote you and sell your books locally and strike a deal with a UK publisher. People like Nadine Gordimer, and Nobel Laureate John Maxwell (JM) Coetzee started that way," he said.

Speaking of the kind of books that sell well in Nigeria, Barrett said that text books, self help books, memoirs, political books, and popular fiction do well, benefiting from the country's large population. 

"The publishing house I worked for (Farafina) published a social studies supplementary text book, at the time the book was produced, Farafina, was not sure how well it would do and produced two million copies, the copies were sold out in three months," Barrett said. He noted, however, that fiction did not sell anywhere nearly as well.

He said that cultural similarities between Caribbean countries like Jamaica and English speaking African countries arise a shared language, physical appearance of the people and linkages through history. 

Journals in Nigeria would welcome Caribbean writers
"I can see how the success of (books) in the Jamaican market will be transferrable to the Nigerian market or the Ghanian market or the Kenyan or South African market...A business book written for a Jamaican market can be sold in Kenya, for example," Barrett said.

He also highlighted cross cultural opportunities in the area of journal publishing.

"Until I came to Jamaica I was not aware of the Jamaican Journal, which is a journal I would like to submit work to. In Nigeria there are several journals that feature the work of Caribbean writers and I can see the Jamaican Journal doing well in Nigerian universities; so there needs to be closer ties," he said.

Barrett also said that the selling price of books by African writers in Jamaica bookstores can be reduced if Jamaican publishers got the rights to publish African writing for the Caribbean market.  He gave the example of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Purple Hibiscus that sells for the equivalent of J$300 in Nigeria but was for sale for J$1,500 in Kingston.

Barrett arrived in Jamaica to participate in the Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta 2012 that was held in Treasure Beach on February 25. His travel was supported by the Tourism Enhancement Fund of the Ministry of Tourism. Special partner for the 2012 fiesta was Jamcopy, the Jamiacan copyright agency.

Gwyneth Harold is the writer of the young adult novel, Bad Girls in School
Review of novel

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Two Seasons Talking Trees - A Most Inspiring Day

Two Seasons Talking Trees – A Most Inspiring Day

Part 1

Easton Lee
Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta delivered “a most inspiring day”, according to a very satisfied member of the audience. Well-known and new Jamaican writers brought life to their own work on the grounds of Two Seasons Guest House (, Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, on Saturday, February 25.

Tallawah Magazine ( editor, Tyrone Reid, declared that the Fiesta “featured a host of strong presentations”, and named writer-playwright-Anglican priest Easton Lee as the “bonafide highlight”.  Before launching into hilarious tales, Lee explained that “None of what I write, I invent. It’s out of my experience, what I hear, what I see. Sometimes you combine two stories and make one.”

“It was their regular Friday night spree where they shared stories as they consumed round after round of their favourite white rum. For the past hour they were at it until the talk got around to horses,” were some of the lines of his final tale which was about a race at the now defunct Gillnock race course in St Elizabeth.

Newer voices were also well received. Melanie Schwapp read from her first novel, Dew Angels, which follows the protagonist, Nola Chambers, through her life’s journey. The excerpt gave the lead up to the moment where a child lost trust in a parent who should have been caring and protective of her.

After opening with a haiku type poem, Monique Morrison did a clear delivery of her poem, The Poetry Eater. “The poet does not know that some eat his poems from white plates with elaborate blue patterns with knife and fork, dabbing the clean corners of their mouths while their tongues dance with energy and appreciation…Some tear his poems like Boston Jerk Pork, letting the spice burn the fingers, the tongue, the stomach and burn all the way back out.” Then she moved easily into love poems.

An insightful discussion on writing for children gave panelists Diane Brown, Jean Forbes, Sharon Martini, Kellie Magnus and moderator Suzanne Francis-Brown, herself a writer for children, the opportunity to share their different experiences of how they came to be writing in the genre and their experiences and approaches to publishing. Writer of Max and Me, Sharon Martini, a resident of Treasure Beach, said that her writing for small children aimed to create fun and whimsical stories featuring black children. Martini ended her contribution to the discussion with a song, self-accompanied on guitar.

Multi award-winning author, Jean Forbes, writes for ages 8 to 12 “when the parents stop buying books if they ever did buy them”, she remarked. Several of her stories are included in books and audio tapes available only in government-funded primary schools. Her encouragement to writers is, “With the new media, the power is shifting. We have to be a little bit more entrepreneurial. We cannot wait on publishers, we have to take the material and get it out ourselves.”

Children's Writers
She also spoke to the value of comics. “Boys will read a comic in preference to what is a chapter book or story book. Comics are fine but you have to promote your material. You have to go into the schools, you have to read to them. You have to ask some of the agencies that when you are giving books it would be so nice if you could give them ours, but you cannot convince them if you do not go with them and read for them.”

Kellie Magnus, who writes for age 8 and under and has her own children’s media company, Jackmandora, also repeated the importance of reading to audiences as a way to promote your material. Magnus showed how she had overturned popular wisdom on the limitations of local publishing. She remarked that before she started publishing, “I was appalled at how few [local books for children] there were and how badly they compared in terms of production values with the English and American books on the shelves.” According to Magnus, if she followed popular wisdom, her first Little Lion book should have sold 3,000 copies over five years. However she happily reported that, “We put the first Little Lion out, it sold 5,000 copies in six months. It is now in its fourth printing. We have done two books since then that have continued to do well.”

She reads in one school per week all through the academic year and said that she listens to the children, notes that they do not want to be babied, and incorporates that feedback in further work. She also said that that today even the rural children are very urbane and, as a publisher, she has banned “donkey stories” as the children do not relate to that. She wants more Manning Cup and Champs stories. She later read from her work, Billy Bully.

After writing for age groups 12 and under, Diane Brown now writes for an older age group. Her route to publishing also started with a Ministry of Education project for primary schools. Brown related a bit of the recent history of publishing for children in Jamaica which included the writers’ group, the Children’s Writers’ Circle, and the Pebbles Series from Carlong Publishers. Brown has written time travel books which is fun but helps to introduce history to children. She read from Island Princess in Brooklyn, featuring the feisty 13-year old barrel child, Princess McQueen, who wants to live with her grandmother in Jamaica instead of migrating to Brooklyn. It involves emotions children do feel in those environments.

Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta did have a children’s programme managed by Ingrid Blackwood. The children came on stage towards the end of the day to deliver a skit that they had rehearsed during the day. Effie Mills from Treasure Beach closed the children’s segment.

JAMCOPY (, the Jamaican copyright licensing agency, was a special partner for the literary stage. The opportunity was used to urge writers to become a member to protect their copyright.

Gwyneth Harold is the writer of the young adult novel, Bad Girls in School
Review of novel