An experienced dramatist, Myrle started her creative journey on her native island the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat with a passion for theatre. She played major roles in renowned Caribbean plays, such as “A View From the Bridge”, “Coming Home to Roost” and “Making It”, “Moon on a Rainbow Shawl” and “Old Storytime”. After the onset of volcanic activity on Montserrat she relocated to the island of Antigua, and while living there she played a major supporting role in the movie “No Seed” produced by HAMA Films Antigua in 2002. Read More
St. Kitts-Nevis born Carol Mitchell is the founder of CaribbeanReads Publishing and the author of eighteen books for children of all ages (three of those are forthcoming from HarperCollins). She holds an MFA in fiction, a certificate in editing from UC Berkeley, and has taught literature and creative writing at George Mason University in Virginia, USA.
Carol’s short stories have appeared in Akashic Books: Mondays are Murder series and in several Caribbean journals. She was short-listed for the Burt Award for Young Adult Caribbean Literature in 2016 and has twice been long-listed for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Carol continues to teach creative writing and to work on her novel.
She blogs at carolmitchellbooks.com.
Workshop – Write Your First Children’s Book at AFW Litfest 2020.
Dion Johnson, also known as the Womanologist, is an ex-midwife and Director in public services, where she pioneered, co-ordinated and led special services serving highly vulnerable and marginalised client groups.
Dion is a multi-award-winning Women’s champion with the re-powerment of women at the heart of her work. She works behind the global leadership scenes as Master Coach, Strategic Ally and trusted advisor to some of the most influential women across sectors and industries. She is challenging and changing the inner narrative about what it means to be a credible influencer in today’s fast changing work space. Her clients are Chief executives, Directors and Heads across sectors because when these women truly thrive (not just act like they are thriving) so do boards, organisations, industries and ultimately our world.
Dion was born with a pronounced facial disfigurement Her story of ‘unmasking’ is a powerful metaphor that is now captivating and inspiring leaders across the globe to “Show Up, Speak Up and Shake Things the hell Up”, authentically, within their sphere of influence too. She’s passionate about and uniquely skilled to help women rise above professional challenges and #BeMoreInfluential in their roles.
Christal Clashing is a pioneer in aquatic spaces in her home country of Antigua and Barbuda. In 2004, at the age of 14, she became the first female swimmer to represent her country at the Olympic Games in Athens. She later joined Team Antigua Island Girls to become the first all-black team and first all-female Caribbean team to row any ocean when they crossed the Atlantic in 2018/2019. She has since taken up freediving and hopes to establish a national record in her country.
Being involved in swimming at an early age, she found a passion for sport and studied Sports Development at the University of Portsmouth in the UK under a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. She also secured a studentship at the same university to complete her Masters by Research in Science.
She is a certified ASCA swim coach, ACA stand-up paddle instructor and PADI divemaster who has honed her skills across the five countries she’s lived in – Antigua, The Bahamas, Australia, England and Costa Rica. As an adventure guide and travel writer, she brings an international perspective to the engagement of outdoor and aquatic adventure sport.
Patricia C. Daway, was born on the Emerald Isle of Montserrat in 1976 to a Montserratian mother and Antiguan father. In spite of her arduous journey she has always had positive aspirations. After completing secondary school in Montserrat 1993, Patricia moved to Antigua for college and to London in 1998 for university.
A year before she graduated from university, she launched a non-profit organization called DaWay To Fitness to promote health and wellness for young people aged 10 to 25 as a means of raising awareness to encourage and empower young people to live a healthier lifestyle. More than a decade later Patricia decided to move home to Montserrat to set up a mini spa. However, the volcanic eruption back in 1995 obliterated two thirds of the island, leaving significantly grave impact on anyone trying to do business on the island. Reluctantly, Patricia closed the doors to her business on January 31, 2020 and sought out her next adventure – Canada.
COVID-19 intervened with her plans for her time in Canada, and trapped with no way to go back to the islands, she went into a season of introspection. Focused on being thankful for life whilst looking over the poems she wrote over the years about her personal struggles, it was then she decided to share her secretly guarded poetic memoirs to the world – through her new book titled Shunned: How Love of Self Became My Redemption.
LaShaunda Hoffman is the author of Building Online Relationships – One Reader At A Time about how she created and promoted Shades Of Romance Magazine a digital magazine for readers and writers of multicultural literature for 20 years online.
Sharmen Greenaway has a passion for writing, inspiring and motivating others through the written and spoken word. She is a prolific writer and Amazon Bestselling author with more than 22 books to her name. She was an editor for the online magazine, Focus of New York for two years.
Sharmen is a Specialist Nurse with expertise in Neurology and Continuing Health Care in London. Her academic history includes studies at Masters and Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Health Studies at the City University and London Metropolitan University in London, Registered Nurse in Montserrat and Mental Health Nursing in Jamaica
including advanced counselling in St Lucia and family and group Counseling 101 at the University of Tampa Florida. She is a Certified Public Speaker and popular presenter at spiritual events in London including annual ladies day events and retreats. She is also a Certified Life Skills Coach (USA).
Chavel Thomas is a 26 year old Antiguan. He’s an avid photographer as well as a lifestyle & culture content curator.
Ronelle King is an Afro-Barbadian human rights activist and intersectional Caribbean feminist. In 2016, she founded the viral social media movement #lifeinleggings, which later evolved into a grassroots organisation, Life In Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence through Education, Empowerment & Community Outreach. As Director, her role is to ensure that the organisation fulfils its commitment to reducing the region’s pervasive rape culture and helping to eradicate regional occurrences of gender-based violence.
In 2019, she co-founded Pink Parliament, an initiative which encourages girls between the ages of 14-20 to consider careers in politics. Through her work, she has been a driving force in highlighting key issues pertaining to gender rights, youth development and the protection of marginalised communities. She views her work as helping to create an inclusive, sustainable and equitable region for all.
She was awarded the 2017 Youth Hero (Female) Award by the Barbados Youth Development Council and the 2018 Queen’s Young Leader Award by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, in acknowledgement of her dedication to reducing gender inequality in her country and region.
Session: 2020 AFWLITFEST – Using Social Media to Activate Change
The youngest competitor in the 2020 Miss Chicago’s Outstanding Teen Competition at just 13, Eden Wilson won the Interview Award, Entrepreneurship Award, Miracle Maker Award, and the People’s Choice Award, and is currently serving as Miss Chicago’s Outstanding Teen 2020 (teen competition within the Miss America System).
She is a champion rhythmic gymnast, owner of the Lemonerdy.com shop and YouTube channel, a 9th grade Honor Roll student, avid writer and coder. She has performed monologues on television and at the Kennedy Center, winning the Executive Producer’s Choice Award for Best Female Performance.
She has appeared on WUSA 9’s Great Day Washington, Washington Full Circle on DCN, and Good Day DC on Fox 5. Eden was also invited to BlackDoctor.org to discuss her prostate cancer awareness and early detection platform with physicians on Facebook Live for their over 2 million followers.
Her goal is to inspire everyone to share their stories and pursue their dreams by sharing her various hobbies and talents from reading, coding, and trying interesting foods to making crafts, cooking, and hanging out with her friends.
While prostate cancer awareness is the cause to which she dedicates the bulk of her advocacy, she also has made videos promoting voting, coronavirus safety, and healthy eating.
If Eden looks familiar to you, maybe you saw her several years ago on Season One of Lifetime’s Child Genius when she was just eight years old. Today, she is a fourteen-year-old who enjoys working out virtually with her friends, baking muffins, and tutoring kids in reading. This self-described “renaissance girl” says that her aspiration is to “do all the things,” and to encourage her generation to live life fully.