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Call for writers from the Commonwealth

Commonwealth Writers and the School of Advanced Study, University of London, are looking for submissions from writers whose heritage includes the experience of indentured labour.

The anthology (title tbc) will include poetry, nonfiction and fiction and will be published in 2018 by the School of Advanced Study to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of indentured labour. Twenty of the 52 countries of the Commonwealth were affected by indentured labour migration in the twentieth century. The anthology will explore and be shaped by the legacy of indentured labour.

All writers from the Commonwealth are eligible.


Please submit only ONE of the following:

One Poem or

One nonfiction proposal or

One short story

Please ensure your name, the title and page numbers are included on the document you submit.

The length of the short story/nonfiction should be between 1,500 and 5,000 words. Please include a short biography, stating what your nationality is, and your writing history.

Send your submissions to: commonwealthwriters@gmail.com. Please write ‘Indentured Labour Anthology’ in the subject heading.



The three editors are:

David Dabydeen

Academic Professor David Dabydeen is one of the leading writers of the Indian indentured experience in the Caribbean. He worked at the University of Warwick’s Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies for over two decades. An award-winning poet and novelist he has written extensively on migration, belonging and identity. In addition to his work in the academy, Professor Dabydeen has taken part in a number of programmes for British radio and television. Most recently he worked on the series Neither Here nor There for BBC Radio Four. He has served as Guyana’s Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO and from 2010 to 2015 he was Guyana’s Ambassador to China.

Maria Del Pilar Kaladeen

Maria del Pilar Kaladeen is an Associate Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London. Her work as an academic focuses on colonial writing on the system of indenture in Guyana and she is currently working on the publication of a monograph on this subject. Maria has a strong interest in the promotion of academic knowledge through public and community engagement She has designed and led academic projects that involved knowledge exchange activities with London’s homeless. Work by Maria will appear in an anthology of personal writing, by women from the Guyanese diaspora, this autumn.

Tina K. Ramnarine

Tina K. Ramnarine is a musician, anthropologist and global cultural explorer. She researches performance, politics and arts responses to global challenges. Her publications include the books Creating Their Own Space: The Development of an Indian-Caribbean Musical Tradition (2001), Ilmatar’s Inspirations: Nationalism, Globalization, and the Changing Soundscapes of Finnish Folk Music (2003), Beautiful Cosmos: Performance and Belonging in the Caribbean Diaspora (2007), and the edited volumes Musical Performance in the Diaspora (2007) and Global Perspectives on Orchestras: Collective Creativity and Social Agency (2017). She is Professor of Music at Royal Holloway, University of London.

www.commonwealthwriters.org | @cwwriters

www.sas.ac.uk | @PoCoSaS 

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‐ Home of the Best in Caribbean & Black British Writing ‐