With just 9 days to go before the deadline for applications (Feb. 29) we can report that we have reached 85% of the quota of serious applicants we had hoped for. If this trend continues we’ll be able to put on a crackingly good writing fest come May this year.
Planning for PREE’s Writing Studio started in June 2019 as soon as we heard we had received a Prince Claus Fund Next Generation grant. On our first wish list of writer tutors we had Edwidge Danticat and Jacob Ross. Unfortunately Danticat wasn’t available and we never got around to inviting Ross, deciding to save him for the next one. The remaining seven writers we invited all accepted enthusiastically and are the writers who’ll be teaching the studio.
With tutors of the calibre of Marlon James, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Kei Miller, Garnette Cadogan, Ishion Hutchinson, Ingrid Persaud and Safiya Sinclair those lucky enough to attend PREE’s inaugural writing studio are in for a treat. In addition there will be a publishing studio by Little, Brown/Hatchette/Dialogue Books publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove. What more could an aspiring writer ask for?
We’re aware that the fee we’re forced to charge to recover costs and sustain PREE means the Studio is beyond the reach of some writers. We are making every effort to subsidize deserving writers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to come.
In the meantime we’ve already begun to create a wish list for our next writing studio which includes extraordinary writer tutors from elsewhere–Jeet Thayil from India and Irvine Welsh, the Scottish author of Trainspotting for instance, might well be on the roster along with literary agents such as David Godwin and we hope Caribbean-connected writers such as Leone Ross, Curdella Forbes and Gauitra Bahadur. El Nathan John from Nigeria would be on that list as well and for YA writing, Yaba Badoe.
So stay tuned! Closer to the time we’ll be announcing a line-up of exciting public panels, craft talks and discussions planned for the evenings of the 25th, 26th and 27th of May.