Writing for Our Lives

Writing for Our Lives was conceived as an anthology of stories illuminating the urgency of the climate crisis for people and communities of Caribbean states marked by their varied yet substantial vulnerabilities. These stories will consider the implications for the health, livelihoods, culture, heritage, and well-being of the many who go unseen, unheard and, ultimately, unaccounted for in the decision-making of those with power, purveyors of our collective resources.  

The anthology will be published through the Trinidad and Tobago-based imprint Peekash Press, producing an initial e-book for international release at the annual landmark climate conference, COP29 in November 2024. A regional launch of print and audio publications will follow in the first quarter of 2025.  

The Call for Submissions for the Writing for Our Lives anthology under the Today Today, Congotay! project opens on 7 May, 2024. The application deadline is 14 June, 2024, at midnight AST time. No late entries will be accepted. 

For any queries about eligibility requirements or the application process, please contact the anthology coordinators at writing@thecropperfoundation.org.  

Why The Cropper Foundation?

The project builds on the legacy of founders John and Angela Cropper’s vision for a seminal environment for the strengthening and exploration of Caribbean identity through literature. Beginning in 2000, the same year the Foundation was registered, the Cropper Writing Residency was one of the first ventures of the newly formed non-profit.  

Through its fifteen (ten adult and five teenaged) residential three-week workshops to date, led by award-winning writers Funso Aiyejina and Merle Hodge, the programme has helped mold over 180 Caribbean writers from almost every country in the anglophone Caribbean.  

Many of these writers have gone on to publish with some earning major regional and global literary distinctions and accolades – among them, Jamaican Kei Miller and TT authors Ayanna Lloyd-Banwo, Danielle Boodoo-Fortune and Barbara Jenkins.  

What is climate justice?

Climate justice intertwines human rights and development, prioritising a people-centered approach. It aims to protect the most vulnerable and ensure fairness in sharing both the burdens and benefits of climate change. Grounded in science, it recognises the necessity of equitable management of global resources. Climate justice underscores the unequal distribution and impacts of climate change, stemming from historical and systemic factors. It advocates for inclusive and nuanced strategies in global climate action, addressing underlying inequities. By acknowledging disparities and promoting fairness, climate justice strives for a world where all individuals can thrive amidst environmental challenges.


The Cropper Foundation (TCF) is inviting submissions from emerging and established, published and unpublished writers across poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction genres.  

To be eligible, writers must: 

  • Be Caribbean nationals living and working in the Caribbean and writing in English; 
  • Be at least 18 years old by June 7, 2024; 
  • Submit pieces relevant to the theme of Climate Justice in a Caribbean context. 

Entries must not have been previously published in any form (including live performances or shares on personal blogs or social media channels).

If entries are published, or accepted for publication, elsewhere between submission and acceptance, they will no longer be eligible. You must inform us immediately if work is accepted for publication elsewhere by emailing: writing@thecropperfoundation.org

Each application must include a completed online application form, Applicants may submit in one genre category (poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction) only, which must be indicated on the form. 

For each application, please also upload a PDF (via the online form) containing the following, and keeping within the prescribed word/page limits: 

  • An unpublished piece in the stated genre to be considered for the anthology.  
  • Word and page limits:
    • Poetry submissions are limited to a maximum of five (5) poems not exceeding 15 pages in total.
    • Fiction and creative non-fiction submissions are limited to one (1) submission at a maximum of 7,000 words.

When submitting your piece:

  • Do not write your name or provide any other form of identification on your manuscript or in the submission document title. All submissions will be considered anonymously
  • Work must be typed, in a legible font (Arial or Times New Roman), font size 12, double spaced, A4, and submitted as a PDF file.

Please note that the use of generative AI to create submitted pieces is prohibited.

Dates & Deadlines

The Call for Submissions for the Writing for Our Lives anthology under the Today Today, Congotay! project opens on 7 May, 2024. The application deadline is 14 June, 2024, at midnight AST time. No late entries will be accepted. 

Successful applicants will be announced in July 2024. Selected writers will: 

  • Receive expert (group and one-on-one) editorial support and guidance to strengthen their submissions towards the development of final pieces; 
  • Be required to participate in peer review sessions with other selected writers; 
  • Be expected to contribute to the development of a virtual, regional writing community.  
  • Receive USD250 on submission of final pieces to publishers. 

Original Artwork

Artist’s Statement:

When approached to create the piece I wanted to convey the story that need to be told in a way that was visually appealing but also get the message across to the viewer. The conversation was about rising sea levels which is a challenge we face worldwide but is especially a threat to Caribbean islands.

To reflect this, the painting was first heavily thought about and sketched. The point of view is upward, almost as the viewer is looking upward to the Twin Towers in Port of Spain, which are submerged under the ocean.

This addresses that theme of rising sea levels and was a way to convert that global issue into something the viewer could easily understand and relate to.

Furthermore, with the addition of the actual figures of rising sea level, research was done and the figures of mean sea level rise from the period of 1993 to present day ( from 0.1 inches to 0.13 inches) were derived.

From this set, a pattern of digits (0.10, 0.11, 0.12, 0.13, 0.14, 0.15) were used in a pattern of the ripples at the surface of the ocean.

Artist: Jaidn Bain

Biography: Jaidn Bain is a 16 year old contemporary artist who hails from the south land, Marabella to be exact. He attends Asja Boys College, San Fernando. The form 4 business science student is currently pursuing 10 subjects for CXC.

Jaidn’s mother noticed his artistic ability when he entered San Fernando Boys Government school at 5 years old and promptly enrolled him in art classes. His artistic skills and ability developed over the next few years resulting in him participating in the prestigious arts and music festival – Sanfest in March 2019 at the age of 11 where he was awarded a Certificate of Merit for his art piece. In November 2019, he won 1st place in his age category 10-13 years in the Office of the Prime Minister – National Aids Coordinating Committee NACC art competition.

In January 2023, he entered the Ministry of Tourism Culture and the Arts competition – Wellness in Tourism, A View from the Classroom. He was given an honorable mention at this competition which held an exhibition of the prize winners at the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago in March. This gave him the opportunity to interact with fellow artists which spurred him on to become a member of the Art Society.

Since then he has been actively participating in several exhibitions including showings at the Rotunda Gallery, Red House, Mille Fleurs and the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago. He also developed an interest in curating and assists with staging exhibitions as well.

Anthology Editors

Funso Aiyejina is a Nigerian poet, playwright, short story writer, biographer, and literary critic.  He is the author of A Letter to Lynda and Other Poems (winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize); I, The Supreme and Other Poems, and The Legend of the Rockhills and Other Stories (winner of Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa). He is a James Michener Fellow of the Caribbean Writers Summer Institute, University of Miami, Miami and an Honorary Fellow of the International Writers Workshop, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong.  

Aiyejina is a widely published critic on African and West Indian literature and culture. He is particularly notable for his work on the writing of Earl Lovelace, having been the editor of A Place in the World: Essays and Tributes in Honour of Earl Lovelace at 70 (2008) and of Earl Lovelace: Growing in the Dark (Selected Essays) (2003), as well as author of the 2017 biography Earl Lovelace (University of the West Indies). He is also the editor of Self-Portrait: Interviews with Ten West Indian Writers and Two Critics (2003) and co-editor (with Paula Morgan) of Caribbean Literature in a Global Context (2006). He is co-editor (with Judy Stone) of The Cropper Foundation’s 10th anniversary anthology Moving Right Along: Caribbean Stories in Honour of John Cropper (Lexicon Trinidad Ltd, 2010), and the editor of Thicker Than Water (New Writing from the Caribbean) (Peekash Press, 2018).  

His latest book of poems, The Errors of the Rendering (2020), was shortlisted for the Derek Walcott Poetry Prize. His play, The Character who Walked out on his Author has been performed in Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria, and Jamaica. 

He is a founding member of Trinidad and Tobago’s Bocas Lit Fest team and was Co-Facilitator of the Cropper Foundation Residential Writers Workshop from its inception in 2000 through 2019. He is Emeritus Professor of Literatures in English, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.  




Shivanee Ramlochan is a Trinidadian poet, essayist, and critic. Her collection of poems, Everyone Knows I am a Haunting (Peepal Tree Press) was shortlisted for the 2018 Felix Dennis Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Her second poetry collection, Witch Hindu, and her debut creative non-fiction book of essays, Unkillable, which focuses on Indo-Caribbean women’s disobedience, are both in development.  

Shivanee has served as Book Reviews Editor of Caribbean Beat Magazine since 2012. She has worked for the Bocas Lit Fest, the Caribbean’s largest Anglophone literary festival, since its inception, and currently serves as Festival and Programme Manager. Shivanee is Social Media and Events Manager for Paper Based Bookshop, Trinidad and Tobago’s sole Caribbean specialty bookseller. She was Chief Guest Editor for Susumba’s Book Bag Issue 10: Natural Disasters in Our Caribbean / Queer & LGBT Caribbean Lit, and has served on adjudication and editorial panels for Commonwealth Writers’ adda; Honeysuckle Press; The Forward Prizes; The Caribbean Review of Books, Discover T&T, and others. Currently, she serves as Translation Selector for the Poetry Book Society.  

She is the Co-Editor, alongside Lucy Evans, of the forthcoming Peekash Press anthology, Unstitching Silence: Fiction and Poetry by Caribbean Writers on Gender-Based Violence (2024).  Shivanee is also a fellow of the Cropper Foundation Residential Writers’ Workshop in 2010.

Submit Applications Here

Climate Justice knowledge sessions recordings

Ryan Assiu
The Science of Climate Change

Dr. Keron Niles
The Politics and Economics of Climate Justice

Malene Alleyne
Climate Litigation and its role in the Caribbean

Christine Samwaroo
Advocacy and Activism for Climate Justice


The ‘Today, Today Congotay!’ programme is supported through funding from Open Society Foundations.