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Calabash Lit Fest Teams Up With ScreenCraft for Hollywood Writing Workshop in Jamaica

Calabash Lit Fest teams up with ScreenCraft for Hollywood writing workshop in Ja

The black sands of Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth on Jamaica’s southern shore, seem about as far away from Hollywood as one can get, at least mentally. But the idyllic, laid back fishing village, peppered with quaint guest houses is perfect for writing. And so, September 12 - 16, 2017, through the ScreenCraft Screenwriters Residency Program, Hollywood will journey to Treasure Beach, at least to do some writing. 

ScreenCraft has teamed up with the Calabash International Literary Festival and the Jamaica Film and Television Association to make it happen. The result of that collaboration is that two Jamaicans have the opportunity to benefit from two of the four scholarships being offered to attend the workshop, which costs US$2,300. 

This isn’t Calabash’s first foray into film. The festival has screened several films in the past as well as held a screenwriting workshop with Laurie Parker in 2015. 

Housed at Jakes, the ScreenCraft Screenwriters Residency combines one-on-one mentorship, development of a feature-length script or television series, and networking opportunities with top entertainment industry professionals. 

This year’s mentors include Peter Craig screenwriter of The Town and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay; Eric Fineman, Sony Pictures VP of production; Hannah Ozer, literary manager at Kaplan/Perrone; and Zack Estrin, showrunner of Prison Break and the upcoming Lost in Space.

In an interview with Variety, John Rhodes, head of ScreenCraft indicated that there are plans afoot to make it an annual event. 

“The Calabash International Literary Festival is a huge partnership win for us and we look forward to some high-quality writers and significant creative partnership that emerge from this unique program,” Rhodes said. 

Early applications for those applying for the scholarship are due March 30, 2017 (US$39.00) and the final deadline is April 20, 2017 (US59.00). General applications open on April 20 and close June 1, 2017. 

Through it's fiction and poetry writing interventions, the Calabash Lit Fest has had a significant impact on developing writers emerging from the island, including Man Booker Prize winning author Marlon James and PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award winner Ishion Hutchinson.