The celebrations kick off the first week in March in the traditional Kingston Book Festival time slot, peaking mid-year for the official July 13 anniversary and continuing through the end of the year with a planned regional conference on digital publishing.
The highlight of the March activities is a two-day workshop on writing for children and young adults, sponsored by CODE, a Canadian NGO and CaribLit, a regional literary promotions project. The workshop will be repeated in Trinidad and Guyana.
The Jamaican edition will be co-facilitated by veteran children’s book author and Musgrave medal winner, Diane Browne and Canadian Young Adult author, Richard Scrimger.
The workshop will be centred on technique, feelings and fun. Students will learn the techniques of writing for children and young adults as well as the process of channeling their feelings and experiences into compelling stories. Exercises will focus on using character archetypes, character development, point of view and dialogue and will comprise both group-work and individual story-boarding.
Scrimger, known for his humour, promises a highly interactive workshop. “Overall, my aim is to get the students interested in the idea of story. In telling stories we are looking deeply into our own lives, examining why we act the way we do.
“Paying attention to other peoples’ stories, adding our story to the total, counting ourselves in, is a necessary step towards self-knowledge, good citizenship, tolerant community.”
In addition to dealing with the differences in the craft of writing for children and young adults, Browne will focus on specific local challenges that may lend themselves to story development.
The workshop is free and runs March 6 and 7 from 10am to 4pm at the Spanish Court Hotel.
Register for the workshop. Learn more about the facilitators at scrimger.ca and dianebrowneblog.blogspot.com.
For the Kingston Book Festival schedule, visit bookindustryja.com.
Thursday, March 6
10:00am-12:00am: Lying, Stealing, and Bad Parenting: How to Write Children's Fiction (Building Stories from Within), Richard Scrimger
1:00pm-2:30pm: Early Childhood: Roots, Rhythm and Reading Levels, Diane Browne
2:30pm-4:00pm: Writing Exercises, Richard Scrimger and Diane Browne
Friday, March 7
10:00am-12:00am: A Jamaican/Caribbean Twilight or Hunger Games Series? The Writing of YA Material, the Target Audience and the Gatekeepers, Diane Browne
1:00pm-3:00pm: Writing Exercises, Richard Scrimger and Diane Browne
3:00pm-4:00pm: Review work/Q&A