Young Storytellers Bring About "Explosion Of Culture"


Tribune Features Writer


THE FOURTH instalment of the Storytellers Convention was “an explosion of culture”, according to organisers, and featured a group of young Bahamian writers from schools across the islands.

The event was held at the Meli� Nassau Beach Resort and was presented by the Commonwealth Writers of the Bahamas organisation.

The convention was an evening of spoken word presentations, story-telling, dance, Junkanoo and rake n’ scrape music.

Showcasing their talents were the junior writers of the group, who added their flair and sense of fun to the proceedings.

Commonwealth Writers of the Bahamas is a non-profit organisation whose vision is to reach the Bahamas and the world through the written word and ensure that all its members who are interested in becoming published authors or have a career in writing receive the basic skills.

“The convention was an evening of fun and laughter, featuring master of ceremonies Godfrey Basden, rake n’ scrape by the Tropical Depression Band and (singer) Veronica. There was also Junkanoo by Sharif Taylor’s group, followed by a reception,” Vera Chase, president of the Commonwealth Writers, told Tribune Arts and Entertainment.

The Storytellers convention is hosted yearly so that students can learn more about the culture of the Bahamas.

Based on the unique stories told during the convention, Ms Chase said those who participated demonstrated great promise as aspiring writers and journalists.

“The purpose of this storytelling event is to highlight the Commonwealth Writers of the Bahamas and the role it plays in preserving Bahamian history,” she said.
The event also served the purpose of launching the group’s collaborative book, “A Collage of Dreams”.
In 2004, the Commonwealth Writers group launched a national poetry and short story competition to test the creativity and interest in writing throughout the Bahamas.

The talent was undeniable, so the group decided to compile a collection poems and stories from past competitions in a book.

Junior writers who participated in the convention included Nastacia Turnquest, Yamille Moss, Cholee Deveaux, Caitlin Brown, Dariq Chase, Esther Simms, Shantelle and Shavonne Beneby, Romain White, Aaron Major, Donovan Butler and adult storyteller Michelle Turnquest.

Berthenae Dean from Dumfries Primary School Cat Island represented the only participating Family Island school.

Ms Chase said because of the lack of sponsors and funds, students from the Family Islands were unable to travel to Nassau this time around.

Last year’s Storytellers Convention was attended by students and parents from Hope Town Primary, Abaco; Orange Creek Primary, Cat Island; Nicholl’s Town Primary, Andros; Rock Sound Primary, Eleuthera; Inagua All Age School, Inagua, and Tabernacle Academy, Grand Bahama.

“Next year, by the grace of God, the Commonwealth Writers anticipate taking this Storytellers Convention international to Atlanta, Miami, so that others can enjoy this Bahamian cultural event. It is very important to ensure that students who are the leaders for tomorrow know the history, culture, things past and present about the Bahamas,” she told Tribune Arts and Entertainment.


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