November 1st declared National Authors Day in Tobago

Xavier Edwardz

The Tobago Writers Guild (TWG) has contributed to Tobago’s literary landscape and to the growth of Tobagonian literature from its inception in 2006, to its incorporation in 2010 to present day and in honour of Authors Day, which is widely recognized on November 1, the Guild has declared the date as National Authors Day, which will now be observed annually. This year’s theme “Write Minded – Evolution of the Quill” is part of the Guild’s continued mission over the last 14 years to honour and support local authors and writers of all genres.

The .group will on this day officially launch their website, where the twenty-two (22) writers of the Guild will be featured. They will also host a free webinar called From Pen to Publication, where they will decode how to become becoming a published author.

National Authors Day will be followed in 2022 by an official launch of the Guild’s recently incorporated publishing house (TWGPH), which is yet another one of the critical support strictures that writers’ need. This will make the process of becoming published an easier one for our local writers.

The mission of the Guild from inception has been the promotion a Literary Arts Culture with a special focus on Tobago while advocating, supporting and nurturing writers from the island and those residing there. This mission now includes writers from as far afield as Israel. The Guild continues to facilitate local, regional and international opportunities for exposure, growth and the continued evolution of its writers.

Jewel Greene-George, TWG Marketing Director said: “The social and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic have emphasized the true value of writers and the impact of articulating, through the written word, a collective, cultural and individual experience of the times. In the future, humanity will look back on the written word to inform them of how Trinidad and Tobago was impacted by this pandemic and they will have our writers to thank.”

Xavier Edwardz, President said: “The Guild has survived and continues to thrive where other organisations have not been so lucky. Many were halted in their tracks by the pandemic but thankfully our current executive was able to adapt to the

conditions imposed by the lockdown and later a state of emergency (SOE) from face to face to the virtual space almost seamlessly.”

The pandemic, which saw the closure of both institutions and businesses, has had the complete opposite effect on the Guild.

Their membership continues to grow steadily, more projects are emerging and the pace and number of their activities has not been affected. They have four (4) established subsidiaries First Mic, hosted by children (a talent show-case for children ages 7 to 14), The Next Chapter (an open mic for adults, presently the only one in Tobago), the TWG Lecture Series (a collaboration with the Tobago Library Services), and the TWG Publishing House. Their annual activities are also ongoing and thriving. An upcoming event is the annual Reading Fest scheduled for November 14, 2021.

The Guild also reached out to its community with a helping hand when, in December 2020, they held their first Christmas Hamper Drive which aimed to alleviate the financial burdens on families. This, they will be making an annual part of their community outreach.

The Guild is open to all writers and literary lovers of all genres and continues to maintain an open-door policy of inclusivity. For more information call 1(868)620.5799 or go to their website stated above.