Submissions open for literary anthology on climate justice

A call to Caribbean nationals, writing in English and residing in the Caribbean, to contribute to an anthology aimed at the COP29 audience.

The Cropper Foundation invites submissions from emerging and established, published and unpublished Caribbean writers across poetry, fiction and non-fiction genres for the first literary anthology with climate justice as its theme, Writing for Our Lives.

The Call will be officially opened on May 7, 2024 via the Foundation’s website

Writing for Our Lives is conceived as an anthology of stories that highlight the urgency of the climate crisis for people and communities in Caribbean states characterized by their varied but substantial vulnerabilities.

The anthology aims to map the implications for the health, livelihoods, culture, heritage and well-being of the many who remain unseen, unheard and ultimately unnoticed at the international and local decision-making levels.

The initiative is the second part of the Today Today, Congotay! project, a series of climate justice and multimedia arts-based interventions to be rolled out over 2023-2026, with funding from Open Society Foundations.

It follows the pilot of a climate justice-themed community microtheater project in 2023, conducted in collaboration with Brazil and Williamsville high schools.

CEO of The Cropper Foundation Omar Mohammed says: “We believe our writers and artists are among the best qualified to interpret, think about and portray the disproportionate burdens of climate adaptation on our region’s most vulnerable groups. ”

Mohammed adds: “At its heart, this anthology is a loud call for our writers to validate the voices of those underrepresented in the climate crisis so that they too can be considered.”

The project builds on the legacy of founders John and Angela Cropper’s vision of a pioneering environment for the strengthening and exploration of Caribbean identity through literature.

Beginning in 2000, the same year the Foundation was registered, the Cropper Writing Residency was one of the newly formed nonprofit organization’s first ventures.

Through its fifteen (ten adults and five teens) three-week residential workshops to date, led by award-winning writers Funso Aiyejina and Merle Hodge, the program has helped develop more than 180 Caribbean writers from almost every country in the English-speaking Caribbean .

Many of these writers have gone on to publishing and some have earned major regional and global literary awards and accolades – including Jamaican Kei Miller and TT authors Ayanna Lloyd-Banwo, Danielle Boodoo-Fortune and Barbara Jenkins.

Writing for Our Lives will be published in collaboration with Bocas Lit Fest-run imprint Peekash Press, with the intention of producing a first e-book for international release during the annual historic climate conference, COP29 in November 2024.

A regional launch of print and audio publications will follow in the first quarter of 2025.

To be eligible, writers must have Caribbean citizenship, reside in the region and be at least 18 years old as of June 7, 2024.

The pieces must show relevance to the theme of climate justice in a Caribbean context.

The deadline for submission is June 7, 2024 at midnight. Successful applicants will be announced in July 2024.

In addition to receiving an expert group and one-on-one editorial support to strengthen their submissions for the development of final pieces, they receive an honorarium for submitting final pieces.

Invoking the kinship spirit of the Cropper Writing Residency, selected writers will also be required to participate in peer review sessions and will be expected to contribute to the development of a virtual, regional writing community.

To ensure submissions are thematically relevant, interested parties are strongly encouraged to register for the two-part virtual climate knowledge sessions scheduled for May 14 and 15, 2024.

Details will be available on from May 7, 2024, at the opening of the Call for Submissions.

For questions about eligibility requirements or the application process, please email [email protected].