More Than A Literary Festival

The Write Away! Young Adult Literature Project

Lisa Allen-Agostini

The Bocas Lit Fest and The Scotiabank Foundation are partnering to supply secondary schools with exciting new digital content to support virtual English classes this term. 

The Write Away! Young Adult Literature project is giving all schools access to five virtual creative writing workshops via the Ministry of Education’s School Learning Management System. Led by the award-winning author Lisa Allen-Agostini, the workshops break down the essentials of creative writing.

Produced by the Bocas Lit Fest and sponsored by The Scotiabank Foundation, the Write Away! is designed to keep students and teachers motivated and engaged in online learning this term. It also gives students access to exciting, culturally-relevant books of all genres that can foster a lifelong love of reading.

The virtual workshop covers everything from character building to planning your plot and scene setting, using engaging, short videos with illustrations from Caribbean Literature and popular Young Adult Fiction like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

Curriculum Coordinator of the Ministry of Education’s English Unit at the Curriculum Planning and Development Division Mala Morton-Gittens says, “The project is aligned to the secondary school English Language Arts curriculum and will stimulate keen interest in student writing. Certainly, the possibility of writing under the guidance of an award-winning author will energise students to produce their best writing!”

In addition to the virtual package that all schools can access, nine secondary schools in the Write Away! project receive books for their school libraries to facilitate book clubs and reading groups, and guided writing support for their students from the Bocas Lit Fest and workshop facilitator Lisa Allen-Agostini. The best writing from students in the Write Away! project will be published next year in an e-book, launching the next generation of writers-to-watch from Trinidad and Tobago.

“Our priority at this time is ensuring that no student is left behind in this new digital learning space.  We are pleased that our sponsorship of the Write Away! Young Adult Literature Project will provide secondary school students with a platform to foster a love of creative writing and reading.  The skills and mentorship they will gain through this initiative will help them not only with their studies but will benefit them in the future,” says Roxane De Freitas – Chairperson, Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Foundation.

Bocas Lit Fest founder and director Marina Salandy-Brown adds, “What makes Write Away! unique is that it covers all the bases with beautiful videos, prize-winning books with stories full of Caribbean characters, and a complete teachers’ package designed to support online teaching and learning.”

The nine secondary schools were selected from each school district with the support of the Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Planning and Development Division. They are Arima Central Secondary, Belmont Secondary, Fyzabad Secondary, Marabella North Secondary, Pleasantville Secondary, San Juan North Secondary, St. James Secondary, Tableland Secondary and Waterloo Secondary.

The Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Foundation is responsible for managing all philanthropic programmes on behalf of the local Scotiabank Group.  Focus areas for support activities range from health and sports, to education and the arts.  Find out more at

L-R: Anna Singh, Director Curriculum Planning and Development Division of the Ministry of Education; Marina Salandy-Brown, Founder and Director, Bocas Lit Fest; Roxane de Freitas, Chairperson, Scotiabank Foundation browse the award-winning YA books donated to participating schools. 



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