Press and Announcements

Here you will find the latest news and updates from Anansesem. (Click on [+] to read archived announcements.)

Anansesem in the Press

• The launch of the Anansesem Online Bookstore was reported on the Children's Book Council (USA) website. (25 September, 2019)

• Read about the launch of the Anansesem Online Bookstore on The Brown Bookshelf website. (26 August, 2019)

• On the occasion of our eight anniversary, Anansesem was featured on the website of the UK-based Independent Publishers Guild. (5 June, 2018)

• Anansesem Editor-in-Chief, Summer Edward wrote about the importance of own voices in Caribbean children's/YA publishing in the November/December 2017 issue of Horn Book Magazine . (9 November, 2017)

• Anansesem Editor-in-Chief, Summer Edward, was invited by Horn Book Magazine to help curate a children's and YA book list for Caribbean-American Heritage Month. (29 June, 2017)

• Anansesem was profiled by the Caribbean Research Empowerment Network- CREN (a project of The UWI Family Development Centre) in their Advocacy Works! Spotlight. (2 May, 2016)

• Anansesem Editor-in-Chief and Founder, Summer Edward, was named Chair of Judges of the Chapter Books Committee for the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes. (10 November, 2014)

• Anansesem Founder Summer Edward was interviewed for Duotrope Digest's Editor Interviews Series. (2 December, 2012)

• 2011 Caribbean Children's and Young Adults Books - An Overview by Anansesem's Editor-in-Chief on Zetta Elliot's blog (26 November, 2011)

• Summer Edward Launches a Literary Online Platform for Children on Caribbean Book Blog (2 June, 2010)

• Anansesem, a Caribbean Children's Literature Magazine, is Launched on   (27 May, 2010)

• One-of-a-Kind Caribbean Children's Literature Magazine Launched in The Bajan Reporter   (23 May, 2010)

Newsletter Archives

Anansesem sends out a newsletter to email subscribers once every so often. Read the newsletter archives here.

Archived Announcements

Dear Readers: On the Closing of Anansesem (10 July, 2020) []

Dear Readers,

Earlier this year, before people across the world were asked to shelter in place in their homes, Anansesem announced that we were switching to a new publicaton model. For 10 years, we put out submission calls and published issues based on responses to those calls. Starting in 2020, we'd decided to stop open-call submissions and instead rely on a team of correspondents from various Caribbean countries to produce content for the magazine. We also announced that Emily Aguiló-Pérez had joined us as the new editorial head, replacing Summer Edward. With a small but growing team of correspondents volunteering their time and talent, we'd hoped to usher Anansesem into a new era. These decisions were all made in the waning months of 2019, before any of us could know what lay ahead.

Since then, like almost everyone, we've been forced to reconsider our professional and personal priorities. Under normal circumstances, it's challenging running a small literary magazine when we receive such little funding and are unable to pay contributors and team members. In these drastically changing times, when jobs are on the line and the financial future is uncertain, it's become clear that running a magazine using volunteer staff, as we've done since our inception, is no longer feasible. There is also the simple fact that these are incredibly stressful times. Everyone is facing their own unique set of challenges. We'd planned to roll out new content by early May, and that has not happened. Our team members have simply had too much on their plates.

So it's with sadness and perhaps a bit of stoicism that we announce that Anansesem is joining the increasing number of publications either closing or going on hiatus indefinitely since the pandemic started. Right now, the magazine's future is uncertain, but everyone at Anansesem remains committed to championing good Caribbean books for young readers. Anansesem has been a safe, inclusive space for discussion and celebration of the Caribbean's youth literature and it's a space we hope to revisit in happier, stabler times. We hope those times will come soon enough.

Our website will remain online and our online bookstore will remain open. You can still purchase back copies of Anansesem here; issues published before 2017 remain freely accessible.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who submitted to us over the years and to everyone who has supported our work. We're grateful to past magazine staff for their part in creating a vital, versatile platform and for hosting important literary and cultural conversations over the past 10 years. It has been a remarkable run.

We send our deepest wishes for the health and safety of our community.


The Anansesem team

Introducing a New Publication Model for Anansesem (1 January, 2020) []

Dear Readers,

Anansesem will be introducing a new publishing model in 2020. In short, the ezine will move away from a submission-based model and towards a citizen journalism model of regional and international news-gathering.

Since our founding in 2010, the number of submissions to Anansesem has become unmanageable for our small team of volunteer editors. The move to a citizen journalism model will allow the ezine to continue achieving its mission ("fostering a vibrant community around Caribbean children's and young adult [CHYA] books and broadening public, literary and artistic awareness, and critical appreciation, of Caribbean CHYA literature") without sacrificing editorial quality and efficiency.

Starting in 2020, we are piloting having Country Correspondents in as many countries as possible, who will send us information about going-ons in their country related to Caribbean CHYA literature. Country Correspondents are savvy writers who are highly knowledgeable about CHYA publishing issues and who are dedicated to championing people whose voices and experiences are rarely seen in "mainstream" media coverage of CHYA literature. Country Correspondents are responsible for collecting stories and then reporting the news in writing, to be published on our website. The post is unpaid, as are all advisory board members. If you would like to become a Country Correspondent and we have a vacancy for your country, please contact us.

Our editorial teams of past and present are extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to work with an incredible, talented body of approximately 200 contributors over the last ten years. We will continue to champion their work, even as we discover new voices and talent. We will also continue to advocate for operational funding for small Caribbean literary arts publications like ours, in hopes that Anansesem may one day be able to pay staff, writers and illustrators for their invaluable work.


Summer Edward


Exciting Changes Coming to Anansesem! (6 April, 2017) []

Dear Readers,

Change is in the air, both in our Caribbean backyard and further abroad, and while not all of it is reassuring, here at Anansesem we want to keep steering the ship in the right direction.

Since Anansesem was launched in 2010, our small, dedicated volunteer staff has spent thousands of hours of labor and love producing issues, moderating Twitter chats, and maintaining our website and social media pages. Over the past 6 years, together with contributors to the ezine, we have created a digital archive of valuable arts and letters, painstakingly curated and edited.

In addition to archiving information from the annals of Caribbean children's and young adult (YA) literature, our site has grown to become a resource for announcements about publications, events and other items of interest to readers, scholars and creators of Caribbean literature for young audiences.

When we created the ezine, the intention was to keep the magazine open access (i.e. freely and immediately accessible to all by online reading) for as long as possible. We always knew, however, that to make the ezine sustainable, transitioning to a paid or subscription model at some point would be inevitable.

Currently, our volunteer editors are facing increasing demands in their professional lives. In particular, our Editor-in-Chief, who, through a mixture of circumstances, has worked part-time for many years, will soon be taking on a full-time teaching position. We want to continue devoting our professional efforts to Anansesem and the advancement of Caribbean children's/YA literature, and in order to do so, some changes have to be made.

All of this is to say that, starting September 2017, access to Anansesem will require a small fee. Professionally designed PDF editions of individual issues will be available for download at the reasonable cost of USD $4.00. All back issues prior to September 2017 will remain freely accessible on the web. Moving forward, some free content will also still be available in the form of short bi-monthly features. We are also working on print availability at some point in the future.

We value your readership and support, and remain devoted to building editorial excellence and expanding the ezine's offerings. We trust our readers will continue to evolve alongside us, and look forward to this next phase of Anansesem's development!


Summer Edward


New Publication Schedule (18 September, 2012) []

Dear Readers,

This past May marked the second year anniversary of the launch of Anansesem. We can't help but feel proud of everyone involved for what we've accomplished thus far.

Running an ezine, I have learned, requires going with the flow. In order to keep the ezine up to standard and provide you with the best reading experience, we will be switching to a bi-annual publication schedule. Henceforth, Anansesem will put out issues in May and December. The next issue will be the December 2012 issue, with a Novemeber 25, 2012 submission deadline.

For information about how to submit to Anansesem, please see our Submission Guidelines pages (For adults and for kids).

We remain committed to fulfilling the mission we set for Anansesem. Please continue to send in your submissions and happy reading!


Summer Edward


Special “Best of Wadadli Pen” Issue for the Month of July (12 July, 2011) []

This month, we are pleased and excited to announce our special “Best of Wadadli Pen” issue!

The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize is an annual writing competition for Antiguan and Barbudan youths, founded in 2004 by Joanne C. Hillhouse, author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight and Oh Gad! (forthcoming) and D. Gisele Isaac, author of Considering Venus and the Young Explorer publication. The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize’s stated mission is “to promote a love of the written word among young people, provide opportunity for fledgling writers, channel youthful energies into creative endeavors, promote the works of young writers, give youths an opportunity to see the works of their peers, and create a lasting impact by preserving young people’s literary endeavors and putting them to use.” Hillhouse recently wrapped the 2011 installment of Wadadli Pen, which has grown to include the visual arts.

What can you expect from the “Best of Wadadli Pen” issue of Anansesem?

The “Best of Wadadli Pen” issue of Anansesem will feature a diverse mix of some of the best writing and art produced by the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize competition over the years. Of special interest are the winning entries from the 2011 run of the competition, which challenged contestants to create stories and illustrations for children through young adults.

Each day, starting on July 15th, Anansesem will publish two Wadadli Pen winning pieces, until the issue is complete. Please stay tuned for our “slow-reveal”! Also included in the issue will be dramatized recordings (audio clips) of several of the past Wadadli Pen winning pieces. Voiced by the Optimist Youth Drama Group (Antigua) and recorded by Antiguan production house, HAMA Productions, these exciting vocal interpretations bring engaging Caribbean voices to the reading of Antiguan and Barbudan youth’s literary creations.

We hope you enjoy the special “Best of Wadadli Pen” issue. We invite you to leave comments here on the Anansesem website― let the young people whose works will be featured know that you appreciate their efforts.

You can read more about the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize and its past and current sponsors/partners on the official Wadadli Youth Pen Prize website. Anansesem is proud to support the work and mission of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize.

Inaugural Issue: A Note from the Editor (6 September, 2010) []

Dear Readers,

As I sit down before my computer to write this the day before the release of the inaugural September 2010 issue of Anansesem, I find that I am having a sort of delayed reaction to the work that we have been able to accomplish over the last five months. It is only now, looking at the completed issue, at all the great writing and art that we  are ready to unveil, that it strikes me just how much had to happen for us to arrive at this moment.

I think back to when I first had the idea of starting Anansesem, all those months when the possibility of establishing an online forum to showcase Caribbean children's literature seemed to haunt my nights and days like a recurring vision. I think of all the people who came on the scene at just the right time, like-minded people who were ready to water the seeds of this project so that it could blossom into a reality. Namely, my fellow Editors, Anouska Kock, Carol Mitchell, Sandra Sealy, and June South-Robinson. These four ladies responded to the call without hope for any other recompense save the personal satisfaction of rendering service to the cause of Caribbean children's literature. Some things are impossible to do alone and without your advice and support ladies, Anansesem might never have got off the ground. Thank you.

Truly, there are lots of people to thank. Many from literally all corners of the world have sent us emails, Facebook and Twitter messages congratulating us on founding Anansesem. Back in May, we were we surprised to find that U.S.-based multicultural literature advocates,, and the Ireland branch of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) had featured us in their newsletters and on their websites. At the time we were amazed by those shows of support from remote quarters, but in retrospect it is easy to appreciate the fact that children's literature enthusiasts and advocates outside the Caribbean are just as excited about the launch of a Caribbean children's literature ezine as we are. To everyone cheering us on from outside the Caribbean region, we say thank you. One of our goals is to bring Caribbean literature for and by children to the world, and all of you, on your blogs, Twitter pages, and via word of mouth, are helping us spread the word.

Closer to home, the support has also been tremendous. We have been featured on Caribbean Book BlogCaribbean Literary Salon, and in The Bajan Reporter. There are also plans to feature us in Outlish and the Antigua Observer. Aside from that, our Facebook and Twitter pages (and my email account) have been simply flooded with messages from well-wishers. Aspiring Caribbean children's writers and illustrators have personally contacted me, some from as far as the UK, excited to share their books, their ideas, and to get advice. It is not an exaggeration to say that there is a stir out there, subtle as it may be. It is to you all, the Caribbean massive, and especially those of us in the Caribbean children's literature community that we dedicate the first issue of Anansesem. Most of all, we dedicate the issue to the children of the Caribbean who will hopefully visit the website and enjoy the content. It's up to you parents and teachers to see that they do!

And what will you find in this first issue of Anansesem?

Bajan teenager and young aspiring poet, Che Blackman, graces us with his poetry, in which the voices of Caribbean youth ring through loud and clear. We are happy to present an exhibition of Annalee Davis' original artwork from the children's book Diego Dish and Carlotta Spoon. It is also with great pleasure that we feature poems by the likes of Carol-Ann Hoyte and Maggie Harris, children poet veteran that she is. The short stories written by adults in this issue are varied and ambitious, and it is our dearest hope that parents will read them with their children and also download and use the pdf. version of the issue when it becomes available. There are some longer stories targeted at older children, like Jan Bester's Mama and Me on Montserrat stories which are sure to strike a chord with those of us who remember the eruption of the volcano and understand the troubled history of this special island. The multi-talented Jan Bester also gives us the gift of her poignant illustrations to accompany and complete the stories. Anansesem Editors Anouska Kock and myself weigh in with insights into children's literature in Aruba and a review of Mario Picayo's picture book A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z.) Finally, we also welcome children's writer Jim Wasserman, our 'Guest from around the World.'

We hope that you will enjoy the inaugural issue of Anansesem and that you will continue to visit the site again and again in the future. Some of the stories and poems here take a re-reading or two to really appreciate them. And as we say at the end of an Anancy story or other oral tale in the English-speaking Caribbean...crick crack monkey, jack mandora me no choose none, wire bend, story end!

Best wishes,

Summer Edward


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