Island Effect is made possible by the dedication and passion of a small group of writers and content creators – here’s a little intro to the team:
Finola Jennings Clark
Editor and Head Writer
My adventurous Irish and English parents moved my twin older sisters and I to Saint Lucia in 1970. We sailed here on the banana boat, the Geest Bay; about two weeks on the high seas of the Atlantic with a handful of other passengers. The feel of the soft damp air and the night chorus of tree frogs and crickets that greeted us at Port Castries on the evening of 4th June, is still absolutely vivid!
It marked the beginning of a life that none of us had really imagined…
Small Caribbean island life is now, was then and probably ever shall be, quite the roller-coaster of idyll and frustration! You know that “paradise” image? Yeah, not quite! But no matter the lows or real-life challenges, Saint Lucia has a way of inscribing her initials deep into your heart and here at Island Effect, I’ll be doing my best to share this Saint Lucia, the beauty, the fun, the richness, and the moments that make us sweat under the weight of “Small-Island Fever”. The real Saint Lucia. Yes, genuine “like a local” style.
My background as a creative / designer-maker, work in community development and culture and a love and respect for the natural environment all flavour my writing, as does my enjoyment and fascination with reinventing traditional recipes and ways to use local ingredients.
I’m also an unapologetic advocate for locally led, heritage and culture-rich, sustainable development. In 2017, I completed, Cum Laude, a Masters in World Heritage & Cultural Projects for Development and am now studying a Certificate in Regenerative Entrepreneurship because I wholeheartedly believe we must find a better way forward for us in Saint Lucia, and for our world as a whole.
It’d be great if you would also pop over to finolajc.com where I’ll be sharing more of my photography and creative works and other writing, including snippets of my novel(s)-in-progress, a dystopian near-future, set of course, in the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. My professional portfolios are also hosted over on finolajc.com and you can find me on facebook and instagram too! Ében…annou alé!
Kerby Allain comes to Island Effect with a solid background in media communications. He’s an alumnus of Mona Campus, University if the West Indies and The Venezuelan Institute for Science & Culture, Caracas, Venezuela.
For over 30 years, Kerby has been connected to Saint Lucia’s media landscape, starting out as a radio personality and moving on to Programmes Manager, Television News Anchor and News Editor. Kerby has always kept a foot in as he describes it, “the cold waters of Saint Lucia media”, but also worked within the public sector as Director – Information Services, and he is no stranger to the travel sector, having served as Public Relations Manager for the St. Lucia Tourist Board.
Kerby also volunteered for over 7 years as spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Organization, lending his well-known voice to help ensure the public understood how to prepare for and react during emergencies.
He has concentrated on writing in the last 5 years, being employed as a ghost writer, online content developer, and program producer. Of his writing Kerby says, “Like ripe mangoes at the market, I choose and handle my words carefully. I string them together on the line of my life to dry in the sun of my thoughts.”
When not writing for others, Kerby reads extensively and writes for himself – a book is in the birthing. He has found a niche in assisting small businesses with product packaging & labelling and social media management.
Kerby secretly likes Julie mangoes – make of that what you will.
View some of Kerby’s work here
A. L. Dawn French
A prolific writer since her pre-teen years, A. L. Dawn French’s work has been featured locally, regionally and internationally.
Some of the publications she has featured in include “Creation Fire” 1990, Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA); “Women’s Future” 2000, United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM); “Opus Spectrum” 2015, Saint Lucia Writers Forum, and the “Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography” 2016, Oxford University Press.
Her works have been presented at CARIFESTA VII (St Kitts), CARIFESTA XI (Suriname) and CARIFESTA XII (Haiti). She is the 2013 Winner of the Saint Lucia National Arts Festival (NAF) Fiction Prize for her works INVICTUS and INSIDE STORY; the 2014 NAF People’s Choice Award for fiction for “NÖEL”; 2014 NAF People’s Choice Award for non-fiction for the series “CAREERS”, and is responsible for the bestselling series “The Commonsense Collection” and the Historic Series “PROFILES of Saint Lucians” with its spin off “THE STORY OF…”.
Her latest works are about an eight-year-old heroine named Peanut who through her adventures shares morality tales with pre-teen readers.
Dawn’s works are available online at www.amazon.com/author/dawnnbooks
Nadge Frank Augustin
Nadge brings a wealth of knowledge to Island Effect, especially in the area of theatre and traditional culture. An independent filmmaker from the sprawling, centrally-located community of Bexon, he has explored many “corners” of Saint Lucia. His first video production was a documentary entitled The Folk Was In Me, exploring the traditional Creole music and dance of Saint Lucia.
As a Theatre Arts teacher and youth organizer, Nadge has inspired many young people’s interest in culture and arts. For two years, he curated the Alliance Française CineClub St Lucia film programme, and was the coordinator of the Derek Walcott Community Discussion Group.
Nadge will be using words, images and video to bring you insights into our traditions, foods and exciting places to visit.
Aside from contributing to Island Effect, he is currently working on a number of film projects, chief among which is an ambitious (or, he says, more likely, foolhardy) documentary on one Caribbean person’s sojourn through the wondrous world of Japan.
(Ps. Trivia: he likes old stuff, like Richard Wagner’s music, sacred places, and poetry.)
Rochelle began her professional writing journey with the St. Lucian Media fraternity in May 2011 with a passion for the English language, a thirst for knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.
She started off as part of a small news team at Choice Television, a MediaZone division, where she stayed for nearly three years and in May 2014, she joined The VOICE Publishing Company Limited, home of Saint Lucia’s oldest and most widely read newspaper.
Shortly after starting at The VOICE as a reporter, Rochelle became a columnist, with features in each of the three weekly publications, namely, “Sounding Off “on Tuesdays, “A Face in the Crowd” on Thursdays and “Woman of the Week” on Saturdays. She soon became well-known for her honest, insightful pieces about life and people in Saint Lucia, developing a strong fan-base.
Although Rochelle is known for her serious journalism -strong, bold and balanced – the mother of two has, to this day, remained easy-going, friendly and approachable individual, who enjoys laughing, socialising and simply spreading light and positivity.
This outfits her well for her new role on the team at Island Effect, allowing her to explore her natural curiosity and her empathetic nature to uncover great stories about the people, places and goings-on around Saint Lucia.
British-born come Saint Lucian citizen by descent, Josephine has fuly immersed herself into a Caribbean way of life and has found writing for Island Effect a great platform to “show my love for this beautiful island, through discovery and photography (of which I’m an avid novice)”
Josephine aims to share her new experiences of Saint Lucia through fresh eyes and and promises an eye for detail and honest reviews.
When not freelancing for Island Effect, she’s involved in working with youth, passionate about helping young people find their way in the world.
I grew up in the small community of Fond Manger, which lies smack in the middle of the communities of Marigot and La Croix Maingot. Being raised in the countryside, I believe I had a traditional St. Lucian childhood exploring the woods, fishing in the ravine, tree climbing and listening to folk tales about malevolent spirits such as the La Diablesse, or the more humorous stories of Compère Lapin. Also, growing up with a father who had a knack for storytelling, I was continuously encouraged to add flair to my writing to capture the imagination of my audiences.
While studying for a Degree in Business Management at the BPP University of London, I became the first President of the BPP Saint Lucia Society. Heading a team of enthusiastic St. Lucian students, we tirelessly spread St. Lucian culture throughout the University, hosting events celebrating St. Lucian art, poetry, cuisine and fashion.
I am now back in St. Lucia and as a freelance writer for Island Effect, helping to shed light on the island’s hidden gems and share some of the love I have for my home with our readers.