How I Met Olive Senior

So if you’ve been following my scribbles and read the post about the Evolution of my Writing voice, you would know that Olive Senior is my favourite Caribbean writer. As soon as I heard that she would be attending Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad, I booked my ticket! I stated that:

“I hope to meet Olive Senior at BocasLitFest next month in Trinidad, and I will be try to stay calm, normal and be level-headed, and thank her for inspiring me so much with her novels. I will not scream like a groupie…I will not scream like a groupie…I will not.”

Sigh.

At least I didn’t scream like a groupie…for her to hear.

It all started at the cocktail party at the residence of the Trinidad British High Commissioner. I was all dressed up, level-headed, surrounded by great food and drinks in a lovely environment. Perfect time to meet your favourite author right? But fate would not have that. I found out Olive Senior was there hours later when I was home. To rub salt in my wound, I saw this picture online:

cocktail

Yup.

There I am – seemingly high on wine – yapping away to someone while the person I came to meet stood RIGHT BEHIND ME!

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Small Axe Literary Competition Open for 2013

The Small Axe Literary Competition encourages the production and publication of Caribbean fiction and poetry. The competition focuses on poetry and short stories from emerging writers whose work centers on regional and diasporic Caribbean themes and concerns. This competition is part of the Small Axe Project’s ongoing commitment to Caribbean cultural production and our mission to provide a forum for innovative critical and creative explorations of Caribbean reality. With this competition, we hope to encourage and support the region’s rich literary heritage, in the tradition of precursors such as BimKyk-over-al, Focus and Savacou.

The competition consists of two categories: poetry and short fiction. Two winners are chosen from each category by a distinguished panel of judges. First Prize: $750 Second Prize: $500. 2013 Competition submission deadline: 31 May, 2013

Winners of the 2012 competition will be published in Small Axe 42 – July 2013.

 

http://arcthemagazine.com/arc/2013/04/small-axe-literary-competition-open-for-2013/

The Evolution of My Writing Voice

I’ve wanted to write this post since my partner in words, Hadlee Sobers, asked getWriters what writers most influenced their writing style. As usual, I have to start the story from when I was a wee tot, and can never just give a straight answer without the back-story.

Sweet Valley High

I have to fight off the wave of nostalgia just from looking at this book cover. I used to INHALE Jessica and Elizabeth stories. Charles Colton says that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,and I certainly proved my adoration for the troublesome twins with my first story called Jealousy Can Kill, written when I was about nine or ten years old. My protagonists were Lily, a red-haired, green eyed cheerleader, and Zachary, her blonde, blue-eyed boyfriend. I’m looking at the story now, and it really isn’t bad. Maybe I will share an excerpt in another post. 🙂

Now, every time I think about Sweet Valley High, I think about Chimimanda Adichie’s Ted Talk on the dangers of a single story. At that time I wasn’t reading children’s  books with Caribbean characters, or stories that I could relate to. I don’t know if these books weren’t written or if they just weren’t available to me. I remember asking a friend what “a crumpet” was, and I desperately wanted to try treacle pie, thanks to Enid Blyton. That discussion is for another post though. Right now I want to thank Francine Pascal for sparking my interest in reading, and being my first inspiration for putting pen to paper.

PS. I  just found out that Charles Colton coined that famous phrase thanks to Google.

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