Spotlight

About Anansesem




Anansesem is the first and longest-running online magazine devoted to covering Caribbean children's and young adult literature written by both new and established writers. It was founded by Summer Edward in 2010 to encourage the writing, illustration and perusal of Caribbean literature for and by young people.

We are proud to have published some of the most distinctive and distinguished voices in Caribbean literature for young people. Previous contributors to the ezine have included Alix Delinois, Floella Benjamin, Kacen Callender, Ibi Zoboi, Itah Sadu, Lynn Joseph, Margarita Engle, Nadia L. Hohn, Olive Senior, Ruth Behar, Vashanti Rahaman and Verna Wilkins.
A fantastic publication.
A welcome addition to
the field.
Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
The ezine operated on a submission-based publication model for a decade and switched to a citizen journalism model in 2020; as such, we no longer publish unsolicited work. We publish book reviews, interviews, features and opinion pieces, editorials, annotated bibliographies/book lists and illustrator spotlights.

Want to find out more? Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.



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Mission Statement

Our mission is expressed in our five goal statements:

1) To provide a publishing platform for Caribbean individuals who write and illustrate for children and young adults in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia, as well as those who share a vital interest in Caribbean children's literature.

2) To encourage the writing and illustration of quality Caribbean literature, of literary and artistic merit, for and by children.

3) To highlight and celebrate talented Caribbean writers and illustrators of children’s books, thereby supporting the creation, visibility and availability of quality Caribbean children’s literature around the world.

4) To foster a vibrant community around Caribbean children's books and broaden public, literary and artistic awareness, and critical appreciation, of Caribbean children's literature.

5) To act as a consolidated voice for writers and illustrators of Caribbean children's and young adult books worldwide.



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Praise for Anansesem

Anansesem, the Caribbean children’s and young adult literature magazine, has been a welcome addition in the field [...] a fantastic publication [...] there is not much in young adult literature criticism that is like it. Given the incredible importance of scholars with Caribbean heritage to the humanities, academic criticism of young adult literature from international perspectives would do well to preserve and extend the work of outlets like Anansesem. Until then, the rich tradition of Black Caribbean storytelling for youth and young adults, and other ethnic and national storying traditions of the Caribbean, will remain overshadowed.

—Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, associate professor in the Literacy, Culture, and International Educational Division at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and author of The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games


Summer Edward’s Anansesem website [has] brought increased visibility to Caribbean children’s literature from all areas in the Caribbean. The Anansesem website offers book reviews, publishes interviews with Caribbean writers, and facilitates engagement with Caribbean children’s and young adult fiction on a variety of topical issues relating to the processes of reading, writing, publishing and marketing Caribbean children’s and young adult fiction. By enabling more people to access both the books and the issues related to Caribbean children’s literature and young adult fiction, websites such as Anansesem generate [...] demand for this genre.

—Dr. Aisha Spencer, lecturer in Language and Literature Education in the School of Education at the University of the West Indies, Mona and editor of the Journal of Education and Development in the Caribbean (JEDIC)


In the world of children’s literature, authors, illustrators, publishers, reviewers, librarians, and even teachers are hard at work pushing for diversity, representation and accuracy. Anansesem is in this vanguard. We’re huge fans of Anansesem here at Vamos a Leer, and frequently turn to them to help contextualize and better understand the Caribbean literature that crosses our desks [...] they’re putting the power of meaningful and informed reviews back in the hands of the Caribbean community.

—Vamos a Leer: Teaching Latin America Through Literacy (a blog run by the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico)


Not since the 1983 bulletin on Puerto Rican materials by the Council on Interracial Children’s Books came out has a single, readable, and accessible issue on Puerto Rican youth literature been more timely and important. Edited by Boston-based librarian, Sujei Lugo Vásquez, Anansesem's 2019 issue brings together some of the greatest minds in Puerto Rico on youth literature in recent decades. From author, activist, and storyteller, Tere Marchial Lugo, to librarian and storyteller, Isamar Abreu, to Professor Melissa Garcia Varga, Anansesem’s special issue on Puerto Rico features content and context for teachers looking for stories for their classrooms. We learn how librarians, storytellers, authors, and scholars have been working together to create networks of solidarity to survive and thrive during the current man-made and natural disasters in Puerto Rico, including the debt and Hurricane Maria. Perhaps, more importantly, this issue centers voices and work in Puerto Rico to create bridges for how those in the diaspora and outside the Puerto Rican community might support one another. The PDF is a must-have for your classroom library and teaching circles.

—Dr. Marilisa Jimenez Garcia, assistant professor of English at Lehigh University and member of SocialJusticeBooks.org's See What We See (SWWS) coalition


I adore this publication! Summer Edward is the magazine’s creator and she’s been doing an excellent job highlighting and showcasing Caribbean children’s writers and illustrators from around the world.

—Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award for Young Adult's Literature finalist and New York Times bestselling author of Punching the Air


Anansesem offers a wonderful, culturally rich reading experience for the children and young adult readers in your life, so share it with the kids you love.

—Repeating Islands (Caribbean arts and culture website)




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Recognition

+Recognized for outstanding advocacy by Caribbean Research Empowerment Network (CREN)
+Listed as 1 of 16 recommended book review blogs and websites in Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids (Scholastic Professional, 2018) by leading children's literacy advocates, Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp
+Featured on the Independent Publisher's Guild (UK) website
+Featured in The Horn Book Magazine
+Listed by Teaching for Change as a recommended website on their website and on the Diversity in Children's Books 2018 infographic
+Included annually in the Institute for Writers' Magazine Markets for Children's Writers guide




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