Arts & Entertainment, Fiction, Journalism, Non-Fiction, Non-Profit/NGO
I am the author of nine books, including the award-winning The Tree of Youth and Other Stories, the memoir Sand for Snow: A Canadian-Caribbean Chronicle, and the novel And Sometimes They Fly. My most recent story collection is Fairfield: The Last Sad Stories of G. Brandon Sisnett. I’ve also written graphic novels for NBM Publishing.
I am the editor with the poet and essayist Linda M. Deane of the groundbreaking Shouts from the Outfield: The ArtsEtc Cricket Anthology and Green Readings: Barbados, The First Five Years (2008-2012). A recipient of Barbados’ Governor General’s Award for my fiction, shortlisted for the Frank Collymore Literary Award, and winner of the Harold Hoyte Award for my editing, I have worked as a journalist, publisher, video producer with Warm Water Productions, creative writing teacher at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, and research methods teacher at Barbados Community College.
Mentoring, developmental editing, content editing, copy-editing, proofreading, manuscript evaluation & critiquing
A goal in mentoring or editing should be to clarify a writer’s intentions and ambitions: readying a manuscript for a contest is not necessarily the same as filling out a grant application or submitting to agents/editors/publishers.
The challenge in the process is to know when to be patient, when to be less so; how to be diplomatic in commentary even when the commentary is harsh; but always to tell it like it is and like it ain’t. Have you served the story? is one of the questions I often ask clients, whether they’re aspiring, emerging or have, presumably, already made it.
Literary, short stories, novels, creative non-fiction, graphic novels, memoir
In 2019, when I decided to enter the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Competition, I reached out to Robert for his help. I asked for his feedback on improving the collection of stories I planned to submit. Robert acted as an editor/mentor and gave me incredible advice on everything from the title of the manuscript to the order, or flow, of the stories in the collection.
Despite me asking him on short notice (it was less than a month away from the closing date) and even though he was set to travel to Canada, Robert willingly gave me his time and effort. His careful reading of the manuscript and feedback on how to give it shape strengthened the work significantly.
My manuscript Hollow Calabash won the Frank Collymore Literary Award. The judges said it had ‘compelling and vivid characters,’ ‘novel storytelling angles,’ and was ‘easy to read.’ One judge said ‘unputdownable.’ Robert contributed greatly to this and I cannot recommend him highly enough to writers—whether you are emerging, mid-career or established. In a word, Robert is ‘masterful’ at what he does.” (Sharma Taylor, Lawyer)
Rob is the ultimate book-whisperer—a deeply perceptive writer and editor who can see the better book glinting beneath the one you’ve written. I came to him in distress, stuck at about one-third of the way through my first novel. Gently but firmly, Rob insisted that I show him the early chapters leading up to that pain point. It was a moment of extreme vulnerability that proved transformative: by the end of his review of the first chapter, Rob was able to provide such a wealth of insights into the characters and narrative elements that I immediately became unstuck and able to flow the rest of the way. That manuscript, meticulously enhanced with Rob’s editorial guidance, has now been acquired by a major American publisher. I’m so grateful to Rob and cannot recommend his world-class writing and editing skills more highly.