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Peepal Tree Head Leads Preparing for Publishing Workshop at UWI

Jeremy Poynting of Peepal Tree Press

The rejection letter is often the lot of writers. Yet, as boy scouts have known, preparation is everything. So, although it will not keep would-be writers from hours of nail-biting, wailing and gnashing of teeth, ensuring your manuscript is up to snuff before you send it off to a publisher will lessen the likelihood of rejection (hopefully). To that end, the Department of Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, Mona will be staging a workshop led by veteran publisher, Jeremy Poynting on getting manuscripts ready for the unflinching eye of the publisher.

Dubbed ‘Preparing for Publishing’ the workshop aims to help writers do just that. The workshop will focus on areas such as arranging a collection for publication, self-editing as well as the editing and selection process at Poynting’s Peepal Tree Press, the leading publisher of Caribbean and Black writing in the UK. Aspiring writers can glean much needed insight into the publishing process, allowing the manuscript submission process to feel less like shooting fish while blind-folded.

Poynting is the managing director of Peepal Tree. The press has an impressive roster of writers which has included Kamau Brathwaite, Sylvia Wynter, Kwame Dawes, Chris Abani, Christian Campbell, Myriam Chancy, Austin Clarke, Merle Collins, David Dabydeen, Curdella Forbes, Wilson Harris, Ishion Hutchinson, Anthony Kellman, George Lamming, Earl Lovelace, Una Marson, Kei Miller, Anthony McNeill, Orlando Patterson, and Patricia Powell. 

In a release put out by the Department, Kwame Dawes notes that Peepal Tree’s success is declared in the number of awards and prizes won by the books it has published. 

“The most compelling case that the press has made for itself for Caribbean writers has been the marked success that Peepal Tree books have had with book awards over the years, “ Dawes said. These prizes include Casa de las Americas, Forward Poetry Prize, The PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, OCM Bocas Prize, the Guyana Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. 

The workshop will be held at the Neville Hall Lecture Theatre, UWI, Mona on Saturday November 1, 2014 from 11 am to 2:30 pm. Further details about the workshop, including cost can be had from the Department of Literatures in English.