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Let’s do the ‘write’ thing!

JCDC promotes creative writing competition

BY RHOMA TOMLINSON Observer writer editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 10, 2014    

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Many Jamaicans write poetry, short stories, novels, songs, drama productions, picture stories, newspaper articles, and so much more, yet few of these pieces ever get beyond the rough draft, and are often discarded somewhere on a dusty bookshelf, or forgotten on some old electronic storage device.

Eager to make a difference, the nation's premier cultural entity, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), is calling on Jamaicans, young and old, to enter their creative pieces in the national Creative Writing Competition.

JCDC Parish Cultural Organiser Vivien Morris-Brown said children as young as those in primary school were eligible to enter the competition, as there are junior and professional categories. Entries are open now for all JCDC competitions, she said.

"People can enter up to three pieces within each category. So if you write poetry and short stories, for example, you can enter three poems and also enter three short stories," she explained in a recent address at the official launch of the islandwide creative writing exhibition at the Manchester Parish Library in Mandeville.

The exhibition highlights a list of past gold, silver and bronze medal winners across a plethora of categories and features a new publication authored by Edward Baugh, entitled The Gold Anthology, Award winning pieces for the JCDC Literary Festival 1999-2006.

She says entries for the adult and children gospel competitions were extended to January 31, while the parish Festival Queen competition will take place on February 16.

Meanwhile, the Jamaican Copyright Licensing Agency (JAMCOPY) is reminding Jamaicans to guard their intellectual property, by ensuring that they engage in what it calls "poor man's copyright" practices.

Manager of Licensing and Membership at JAMCOPY Joan Pinkney told those who turned out at the JCDC launch event to ensure that they protect their work from theft, by posting a copy of their work to themselves and keeping the sealed copy unopened. "Even if you're a student and you sit down and scribble something in your break time, post it to yourself, go to the post office and send it to yourself. If somebody uses your work without permission, this can act as proof that the work was originally yours. That's the safest way of ensuring that nobody takes your creative work," she said.

She spoke of instances in which persons had exposed their work to supposedly trustworthy persons, and had only known that they'd been exploited, when their work turned up in use elsewhere, without their permission. She said though, that Jamaicans are becoming more educated about copyright, and there were fewer instances of people's work being stolen.

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