Oct. 29, 2007 -- The Caribbean Literary Arts Festival, introduced in Antigua in November, 2006 was a great success, winning accolades from many.  Spearheaded by Carib-World Travel and The Baltimore Times newspaper, numerous celebrated authors, including  Antiguan Jamaica Kincaid converged in Antigua, garnering international attention for the island as well as promoting the wonderful world of words to school children and Antiguans in general. This demonstrated success has earned the Festival a permanent spot on the nation’s calendar of events.

Now being held under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and renamed the “Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival,” this year’s event will take place 2-4 November 2007. To date, over15 internationally acclaimed writers, publishers and publicists have confirmed their attendance.  Visiting authors include Eric Jerome Dickey, Elizabeth Nunez, Victoria Christopher Murray, Donna Hill, Ava Hutchinson. Dawne Allette, James Guitard, Jason Cole, Anthony Winkler and George Irish.

The festival will be held at the newly renovated and expanded Anchorage Inn on Anchorage Road, St John’s, Antigua. Literary enthusiasts will have an opportunity to hear some of their favourite authors read their work and will also be able to attend various workshops designed to bring to the surface more of the nation’s dormant talent.

The festival will open with Youth Day, where the Antigua, Barbuda and Montserrat secondary schools are sending their top three writers to attend a series of workshops on writing. Authors giving workshops include Dr. Althea Prince, Brendalee Brown, Dawne Alexis Allette, Ava Hutchinson and Joanne Hillhouse.

At the Opening Reception on Friday evening, Althea Prince will receive the First Annual Antigua & Barbuda Literary Award and Hansib Publishing will debut the new edition of “A Little Bit of Paradise,” a premium coffeetable book featuring photos of Antigua and Barbuda.

 Saturday’s schedule includes workshops and book signing sessions with the various authors. Topics include “Writing African American Christian Fiction,”  “Staying the Course with Writing,” “Finding the Angle," It's Your Turn: Find Your Authentic Self and Go Fetch It,” and “Voices Within – the Many Facets of Woman.” Special sessions based on historic topics, cookbook literature, helping children enjoy literature, and photography will be offered to widen the festival’s appeal.  In addition, there will be a unique panel discussion on the abolition of slavery, analyzing what kinds of stories have been produced from that experience.

 On Saturday evening, the Festival will conduct its major fundraiser, a Dinner Cruise on the Black Swan. Tickets are $120 per person, and all funds raised will be used to purchase new books for the Antigua and Barbuda Library.

 Sunday brings more opportunities to hear writers reading their works and signing books, as well as workshops on such topics as “Self Publishing,” “Finding Your Voice Within,” and “Writing Caribbean Humor for an International Audience.”  Special sessions will include a discussion of “Democracy Diplomacy” with Max Hurst and Dr. George Irish and a discussion about preserving our food heritage through writing.

 The Festival will wrap up with a Sunset Party at the Anchorage, where participants can talk with their favourite authors in a relaxed atmosphere. A steel drum band will provide entertainment, and there will be a special “open mike” format for poetry readings.

 Major sponsors for the weekend event include the Antigua & Barbuda Ministry of Tourism, Digicel, Carib-World Travel, Best of Books and the Baltimore Times. Other sponsors include West Indies Oil, Antigua & Barbuda Social Security, Virgin Airlines, Harney Motors and The Bird Law Firm.

Festival registration is $250 for two days, and $125 for a single day. Registration forms can now be obtained from Carib-World Travel at Woods Centre or from the Best of Books on St. Mary’s Street in Antigua, or by contacting K.C. Nash at 268-723-7740. People can learn more about the event at www.caribbeanliteraryfestival.com.