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Sekou keynote speaker at V.I. Writers Association first conference

Lasana Sekou
Great Bay, St. Martin (April 1, 2014)—St. Martin author Lasana M. Sekou was the keynote speaker at the first conference of the Virgin Islands Writers Association (VIWA) held in St. Croix on Monday, March 31, 2014, said VIWA principal Valerie Combie.
“One major concern of our writers is to get their work published. The committee thought that Mr. Sekou could enlighten us on the process by describing some of the challenges a writer may encounter, especially a writer in the Caribbean,” said Combie, who is an associate professor of English at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI).
During his presentation Sekou pointed out challenges writers may face during the writing process and in preparing their manuscript for an agent or publisher to consider or review for publication. He also gave tips on tackling these challenges.
Sekou was also asked to “tell us about the possibility of having our work published by House of Nehesi Publishers,” said Combie. Sekou is the projects director at House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).
Valerie Combie,
UVI associate professor,
organizer of the Virgin Islands
Writers Association Conference
Mostly VI writers from St. Croix attended the one-day conference where about 10 writers read from their book or manuscript. One high school drama group performed three monologues. The conference started at 8 AM and concluded at 3 PM. UVI dean Dr. Simon Jones-Hendrikson, folklorist Wayne “Bully” Peterson, Annette Michael, Dr. Frank Mills, doctoral student Brianna J. Grantham, Dr. David Gould, and high school student Victoria Smith, were among the readers.
Sekou’s 50-minute presentation included a question-and-answer period and a reading from the French Quarter cockfight story is his book Brotherhood of The Spurs. He also promoted the upcoming 12th annual St. Martin Book Fair among conference participants.
The theme of the writers conference was “The Faces of V.I. Writers” – organized in collaboration with the Virgin Islands Writing Project and UVI. 


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