About BWSI


What Is It?

The Bahamas Writers Summer Institute, in collaboration with the College of the Bahamas’ School of English Studies, is a 3-week Caribbean-centered creative writing program that brings together beginning and established writers in an exploration of the practice and theory of the literary arts, and the transformative relationship between imagination and culture. 

Our Philosophy

BWSI believes that writers are not separate from our cultures, but rather play a profound role in the co-creation of our communities and the world. As Bahamian novelist Keith Russell has said, writers “imaginatively examine the world that is, and story a world that can be.” In a Caribbean context these acts of imagining and storying are vital as we continue to name ourselves and possibilities of being in small and large places.

Structure of the Program

Participants focus on one genre in The Caribbean Voice Craft Workshops (fiction, memoir, playwriting, poetry or screenwriting) for the duration of the program, studying creative process and craft intensively with published authors and other emerging and advanced students. Additionally, participants study and discuss the particular perspectives of Caribbean literature and theory through seminars dedicated to the works of Visiting and  Guest Writers in our Caribbean Literary Imagination Seminars. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend master classes with renowned Caribbean writers such as Olive Senior, George Lamming, and this year’s Visiting Writer Patricia Powell, as well as our weekly Writers in Community Series and The Writing Life, public readings and discussions that will introduce them to the diversity of accomplished local writers and publishers of Bahamian and Caribbean works.

BWSI believes that it is through dialogue with each other and our literary traditions, as well as practice of the craft, that students will come face to face with their own voice and its power to transform self and the world.

Spirit of the Program

Our faculty members are all published writers and/or scholars living in the Caribbean and the diaspora, and whose work reflects a diversity of genres and cultural and ideological perspectives. We encourage students to bring to the program a spirit of intellectual inquiry and playful risk-taking, all the better to participate in a learning community that values curiosity, intellectual and artistic excellence, social engagement, and appreciation of the differences in ourselves and others. 

When Is It?

BWSI 2012 will run from July 8th thru July 29th, 2012. All workshops and seminars take place between the hours of 6pm and 9pm, with the exception of Visiting Writer Master Classes which will take place from 10am-1pm on July 27th and 28th.

Where Is It?

Located in the heart of Nassau, Bahamas, BWSI will hold craft and seminar classes on the College of the Bahamas’ campus in the Michael Eldon Complex. Ask about housing possibilities for students coming from the Family Islands, other parts of the Caribbean, and the diaspora.

 What Is The Cost?

The cost of this 3-week intensive program is between $400 and $495 (see deadlines below); this includes 27 hours of instruction, guest writer presentations, as well as all necessary reading materials. Master classes with Guest Writers and additional workshops presented by visiting writers are an additional $50 each. A limited number of scholarships are available, including the Jeane Thompson Playwriting Scholarship. High School students and COB students are encouraged to apply. There is no application fee. Deadlines are as follows: Early Admission: May 15th – Tuition is $400; Late Admission: June 15th – Tuition is $450; Rolling admission June 15th –July 8th – Tuition is $495. For more information visit us at https://bwsi.wordpress.com or write to bahawsi@yahoo.com, or call us at (242) 326-3481.


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