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Writers Unite: Jamaican Writers Society to be Launched

Jamaica’s literary landscape is about to get a little bite with the formation an association of writers dubbed the Jamaican Writers Society (JaWS). JaWS is intended to be an inclusive professional society, for writers working across varied media and genres. The Society is set to have its first public meeting/launch on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at 6:00 pm.

According to a press release, JaWS, which was initiated at the instigation of the Jamaica Copyright Licensing Agency (JamCopy) is being created with the lofty mission of strengthening opportunities for Jamaican writing and writers as well as advancing a reading culture in the wider society.

A Cow Called Boy, famed children's novel by C. Everard PalmerIn keeping with this mandate, the launch date was also selected to commemorate the late novelist and journalist C. Everard Palmer who died on June 16, 2013. Palmer, is the author of well-known children’s books such as A Cow Called Boy, My Father, Sun-Sun Johnson, The Wooing of Beppo Tate, and The Cloud With The Silver Lining. Palmer was born on October 15, 1930.

Celebrated poet Tanya Shirley (She Who Sleeps With Bones) will be evening’s guest speaker and the Society is being touted as important to all writers interested in improving the Jamaican literary landscape. Currently manned by a small steering committee, JaWS has as its vision the creation of a thriving community of Jamaican writers, creating works of literary and artistic merit and contributing to Jamaica’s cultural and national development. In that vein, its mission is the promotion and protection of writers and their interests as well as providing development opportunities.

The society will be open to a wide range of writers including poets, novelists, short story writers, journalists and columnists, freelance writers, bloggers, playwrights, script writers (radio, television and film), academic writers, non-fiction writers as well as editors.
JaWS has membership on two levels. Full membership is for professional writers, but associate membership is also open to emerging writers, students and others working in related fields.

The launch is slated to take place at the offices of Jampro, 18 Trafalgar Road. It is a public event open to all writers.