Category Archives: Features

Blogging for Creatives

emily benet

Blogging can be a great way to establish yourself in your field, whatever your creative pursuit. It can help you to develop your brand and can gain you an audience for your product/s.

Last Thursday, I attended ‘Blogging for Creatives’, a workshop organised by Southwark Arts Forum and led by blogger and published author, Emily Benet. Blogs have been crucial to Benet’s success as a professional writer. Her first blog was published in book form in 2009 as Shop Girl Diaries. Benet is now the author of three books. The Temp (her third book) is due out this year.

Here are some gems I gleaned from the event about how to write a successful blog:

Choose a niche subject, something that you are an ‘expert’ on and that will be of interest to other people (besides your Mum).

This does not need to be something complicated or fancy. A cooking blog with a large readership, Joy the Baker, was started out of Joy’s obsession with cookies and cakes. Benet started her first blog because she was working full-time in her mother’s chandelier shop and therefore was an ‘expert’ on what it was like to talk to people who come into an unusual shop. As a writer, Benet used her niche subject to both entertain a readership and showcase her writing skills.

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Feature Article: The Jamaican Literary Scene

[This article was originally published in The Jamaica Sunday Observer. This online version has been slightly amended from the original article.]

As the Calabash Writer’s Workshops for 2006-07 are launched, ‘Bookends’ writer Sarala Estruch investigates the scene for writers in Jamaica with some help from Colin Channer – novelist and founder of the Calabash International Literary Festival Trust.

Re-organizing my bookshelf the other day I was struck by a curious fact – the mahogany shelves were lined with row upon row of American and British authors but there were only a spattering of Jamaican authors in its midst. Right next to the bookshelf, however, stood my towering CD rack, brimming with Caribbean – and notably Jamaican – artists screaming out at me in bright colours. It dawned on me that, while only a small island, Jamaica has exerted – and continues to exert – significant influence on the global arena. For such a small country, Jamaica’s international reputation for music, dance, sports, food, and landscape is astonishing. However, on the literary stage, Jamaica’s traditionally resonant voice has been far more muted.

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Feature Article – Perry Henzell’s The Harder They Come

[This article was originally published in The Jamaica Sunday Observer. This online version has been slightly amended from the original article.]

A month after the passing away of writer and director Perry Henzell, Sarala Estruch ventures behind-the-scenes to discover the reasons behind the phenomenal success of Jamaica’s first feature film.

People, people, everywhere! Young people, old people, rich and poor; they all flocked out and flooded the Carib theatre in Crossroads at the heart of Kingston. The cinema had never witnessed such commotion. Outside the queue was so long you couldn’t see the end of it, inside was utter chaos! Ram-packed – no one was able to move an inch. Not even the Prime Minister was able to get through the hoard of bodies. And what was all this in aid of? It was 1972 and Jamaica’s first feature film was just about to be premiered on home ground: The Harder They Come.

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