M-Island Narratives initiated a series of workshops, lead by Jamaican guest speaker, Kei Miller – Editor for the Caribbean Writers Series for Heinemann and, up until last academic year, a creative writing lecturer at the University of Glasgow.
The event took off on the 1st of August with a lecture called ‘In an Editor’s Chair,’ which revolved around what editors look for and judge when reading manuscripts. As an editor and writer himself, Miller delivered a stunning, light hearted lecture in which we also had the opportunity to play the role of editor by reading anonymous pieces of work from the “slush pile” and giving valid reasons as to why we thought it may have been rejected – or if we thought that it deserved a chance. Placing yourself in the “editor’s chair” allows you to get some distance from your work and see it differently, thus being able to judge aspects of your own work - a point that Kei Miller stressed throughout the lecture.
Over the weekend, Kei Miller led four separate workshops through which writers had the opportunity to submit a piece of their work and have an editor as well as fellow writers deliver constructive criticism. Through this, Kei Miller also explained how certain techniques used, or that could’ve been used, improve one’s work. Miller’s experience in the field of creative writing allowed the workshops to be informative and fruitful, giving anyone attending an amazing insight to how an editor thinks, as well as how a writer may make their work stand out and have a stronger voice.
The event, co-ordinated by Josianne Mamo – who will be starting her PhD in creative writing this scholastic year at the University of Glasgow – proved to be a hit, leaving all people who attended more than pleased with the entire event.
However, the event has not ended quite yet. On Tuesday 5 August, in the Pjazza Teatru Rjal Green Room, M-Island Narratives will be hosting a spoken word event, allowing anyone to perform a piece of writing. It will also be an opportunity to listen to Kei Miller performing his own poetry. This is at an entrance fee of €5, and tickets may be purchased from ticketline.com.mt.