Marina Salandy-Brown is founder of the Bocas Lit Fest, the writer and reader development organisation in Trinidad and Tobago, which hosts the Caribbean’s largest annual literary festival, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, of which she is the director. Established in 2011 along with the annual OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for the best book by a Caribbean author, the non-profit has added several other prizes over the last decade that have helped propel a new generation of Caribbean writers onto the literary scene. The Bocas Lit Fest has revitalised interest among Caribbean readers in literature through a series of innovative on-going projects, including an annual 5-day children’s literary festival and working with school teachers to advance the creative teaching of literature. Its projects fully exploit popular literary forms and new technologies to engage readers and writers of all literary genres and ages. The NGO runs a literary consultancy, and Peekash is its imprint which aims to publish an annual anthology of Caribbean writing as a standard setter in local publishing. International partners such as literary agencies, publishers, universities, festivals and funders are key allies.
Marina is known as the BBC producer who, with Melvyn Bragg, made the BBC Radio Programme Start The Week, a prize-winner and a critical platform for writers, but her documentary and live current affairs work also won her several media awards during her 20 years at the BBC. Honorary doctorates (D.Litt) from the University of Westminster and the University of the West Indies are among her other accolades. Her non-fiction writing has been anthologised, she is also a newspaper columnist and represents her organisation at the World Alliance, an international network of the world’s literary festivals. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Fellows are nominated by peers and elected by our Council of writers – our governing Board. Being elected a Fellow of the RSL is a lifetime honour. This role gives them the opportunity to support other writers, readers and the future of literature. The RSL connects writers in the Fellowship to one another, and to a wider readership.