Caribbean Authors Workshop
In January, 2024, a plan that the Macmillan Education Caribbean team has been working on for a year to recruit and train local authors came to fruition.
Why did we want to do this? First, 2023 marked 70 years of Macmillan publishing for the Caribbean, which seemed like the perfect time to give back in a meaningful way by sharing our expertise to develop and support local talent. Second, we wanted to demonstrate that Macmillan’s DEI values are realities, not simply aspirations.
Training new authors helps Macmillan to develop materials that reflect life in the Caribbean, including all its diversity, and are truly relatable for the wide range of teachers and students who we serve.
A fantastic response from across the Caribbean to our ‘Work with us’ initiative, has given us a rich pool of talent for current and future projects.
Selected respondents with relevant experience were set a task: to write a sample following a brief and amend it appropriately in response to editorial feedback, while meeting deadlines. The quality of the samples was extremely high, so with a very promising group of potential authors in place, we planned our first ever author workshop. Also present were development editors from the UK team and skilled authors, all with a considerable wealth of Caribbean authoring experience, to ensure that our Caribbean talent had access to a range of views and expertise.
The author workshop took place in Mandeville, in central Jamaica. Sessions covered topics and activities ranging from writing specific features and activities, researching for writing, briefing illustrations, avoiding plagiarism and how to fit in writing alongside busy professional and home lives. Everyone present at the workshop learnt a great deal, with learning flowing in all directions. All presentations were followed by discussion and activities.
The workshop ended with a graduation ceremony in which publisher James Orr presented certificates to our first Macmillan author workshop graduates: from left to right, Timeisha Jacobs from St Vincent and the Grenadines; Donia Thomas from Jamaica; Mansha Hunte-Baptiste from St Lucia; and Krystal Smith and Emily Redwood from Jamaica.
Our ambition is that they are the first in a sustainable flow of local authors who enrich our method of working and our publications to embody Macmillan’s commitment to continuing to provide a focused, Caribbean-specific learning experience.