Book Fair brings a wealth of knowledge to budding writers

The Cayman Islands Book Fair opens a new chapter with its third annual event this weekend (Saturday, Nov. 7). Staged at the Harquail Theatre from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the fair promises to connect Cayman’s reading public and nascent writers with authors and others from the publishing world, through a slew of workshops and side events to engage attendees.

Entry is free, but there is a charge of $85 to attend the workshops.

The brainchild of Elke Feuer O’Donnell, the book fair is aimed at readers wishing to connect with local writers and anyone interested in becoming a writer or blogger. The organizer will herself be giving a presentation on “Social Media for Your Book” (2:05–2:25 p.m.), and will give tips on how to promote your book on social media.

The event will start with a publishing presentation by Karen Chin, the managing editor of Christian Lifestyle and publisher of CLM publishing. Her talk (10:25–10:45 a.m.) will focus primarily on what fledgling writers need to do before publishing their story and what options are available to writers locally.

The next presentation – “Get Started in Writing” – by teacher and writer Shari Wilson, will offer ideas based on her experience, including how to start writing and how to push through writer’s block.

Fiona Pimentel will take to the floor between 11:40 a.m. and noon to share her experiences of “Writing Poetry.” With two books of poems to her credit, she will also talk about what resources are available to those wanting to read or write their work.

The world of self-publishing will be laid bare from 12:35 p.m. to 1:35 p.m. in “Self Publishing 101” by author, inspirational speaker and writer/director of award-winning films, Judith Fallon Reid. She will also discuss how to design, copyright, price and prepare your own book.

Lawyer-turned-executive-performance-coach, Virginia Czarnocki, will give a presentation called “Blogging 101” on the dos and don’ts of blog writing.

This year’s guest speaker is Caymanian lawyer-turned-writer Sara Collins. Shortlisted for the U.K.’s Bath Short Story Award, her work will feature in the forthcoming anthology, and in The Caribbean Writer journal. Currently working on her first novel, Collins will speak from 2:30 to 2:40 p.m.

A panel presentation with local authors sharing their publishing experiences and a question and answer session will follow.

In a segment about “Screenwriting,” filmmaker Badir Awe and others will speak about and answer questions on their craft.

During “Author Readings/Storytellers” hour from 4 to 5 p.m., local writers will share excerpts from their stories and books and Caymanian storytellers take the stage.

Child-friendly activities include a Rotary Club Reading for Kids, and a “dress as a favorite storybook character” contest.

This year’s book fair closes with a meet author social from 5 to 7 p.m. For further details of the event program, visit the event’s Facebook page.


Karen Chin, managing editor of Christian Lifestyle.


Elke Feuer O’Donnell, creator of the Cayman Islands Book Fair.


Executive performance coach Virginia Czarnocki will give a presentation on ‘Blogging 101.’