CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature

CODE's Burt Award for Caribbean Literature recognizes outstanding writing for young adults by Caribbean authors

Finalists for CODE’s 2017 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature Announced


Three finalists were selected from among submissions of both published books and unpublished manuscripts:

  • Lisa Allen-Agostini (Trinidad & Tobago),Waiting for the Bus – manuscript
  • Kevin Jared Hosein (Trinidad & Tobago),The Beast of Kukuyo – manuscript
  • Viviana Prado-Nunez (Puerto Rico/USA),The Art of White Roses – self-published book

The finalists were selected by a jury made up of writing, publishing and educational professionals with expertise in young adult literature.

Up to $22,000 CAD in prize money will be awarded to a maximum of three winners, who will be announced on April 26th at the opening night celebration of the 2017 NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Click here to download the 2017 Award guidelines.


burt final_caribbean_logo_webCODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature is an annual Award for excellent literary works for young adults (aged 12 through 18) written by Caribbean authors. Established by CODE – a Canadian charitable organization that has been supporting literacy and learning for over 50 years – with the generous support of the Literary Prizes Foundation and in partnership with the Bocas Lit Fest, the Award aims to provide engaging and culturally-relevant books for young people across the Caribbean.

Up to three prizes will be awarded each year to the authors of the winning titles: a First Prize of $10,000 CAD, a Second Prize of $7,000 CAD and a Third Prize of $5,000 CAD. Publishers of winning titles will be awarded a guaranteed purchase of up to 2,000 copies (only publishers registered and operating in the Caribbean are eligible). Copies purchased by the program are donated to select libraries, schools and literacy organizations for distribution throughout the region.


The 2017 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature Judges

_0002_Barry Goldblatt headshot 8-15 by Sonya SonesBarry Goldblatt began his career in publishing in 1989, and opened his eponymous literary agency in September 2000. He represents everything from picture books to adult fantasy & science fiction.

His clients include many bestselling and award winning authors, including Libba Bray (to whom he is also happily married), Angela Johnson, Kate Milford, Christopher Barzak, Tobias Buckell, Fran Wilde and Genevieve Valentine.

_0001_Jasmin SimmonsJasmin Simmons, is senior Librarian at the Heritage Library Division, NALIS with responsibility for collections management especially within the ambit of West Indian material. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Literatures in English and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. Ms Simmons has been instrumental in the development of NALIS’ First Time Authors Appreciation programme for the last five years. She is a 2010 Salzburg Fellow and 2016 International Federation of Library Associations and Institution (IFLA) Fellow. As a member of the UNESCO Memory of the World Committee she demonstrates her passion for the preservation of documentary heritage of Trinidad and Tobago.  She is also an avid puppeteer and storyteller.

_0000_swift_nicoleNicole Swift loves kids books and YA novels more than she loves adorable cat videos and Marvel movies-which is, alot. Like, lie to your friends and tell them you’re busy just so you can stay in and watch movies and read all day, a lot. She holds a degree in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College, and worked at Books & Books for years as a bookseller and store merchandiser.

She is currently a Program Manager at Miami Book Fair, exercising her dream of creating stellar author lineups for kids, YA, comics and other special projects.