Frequently Asked Questions

When & Where is the NGC Bocas Lit Fest?

The main NGC Bocas Lit Fest is held every year during the last week of April in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

The NGC Bocas Lit Fest takes place at the National Library and the adjoining Old Fire Station in downtown Port of Spain. An entire city block in the heart of the capital is transformed into a vibrant Festival Village, including performance stages open to the street, booksellers’ stalls with hundreds of titles on sale, and space to eat, drink, and relax. There are also satellite evening events at venues around the city.

The main festival has launched two smaller annual literary festivals in Tobago and San Fernando, the dates of which are announced a few months in advance.


Is the Festival really free?

Yes! Entry to the Festival Village is free, and almost all of our events – including readings, panel discussions, film screenings, performances and children’s events – are free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come basis and everyone is welcome!

There are two notable exceptions:

1) The First Citizens National Poetry Slam semi-finals and finals are ticketed events

2) You must register in advance to reserve your spot in our writing workshops. You can register online, by phone or by email.  All workshops cost TT$100.00, and this fee can be paid in cash at the door.


I’m a writer, how can I participate in the Festival?

Our Festival programme is developed around specific annual themes and generally features recently published authors. We also showcase the writers longlisted for the two major literary awards administered by Bocas — the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature – as well as the independent panels of experts and writers who judge them. We also review nominations from publishers and our programme partners to determine the most exciting new voices to showcase each year.

We welcome submissions from authors wishing to participate in the Festival, but we have limited openings for writers who don’t fall into one of the above categories. We follow up on submissions that fit with our programme plans and themes for upcoming Festivals.

If you’re interested in participating in the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, send us an email at info@bocaslitfest.com with an author bio, book synopsis and any critical reviews/ endorsements for consideration.


 

What opportunities do you have for self-published or new writers?

We have several events during the Festival, and year round, that seek out and support promising new talent:

  • Writing workshops for all levels (pre-registration required)
  • Stand and Deliver is our main platform for new writers who want to read their work for peers and a festival audience.
  • Writers First is our series of free seminars for budding and self-published writers on key areas of the book business, led by publishing experts.
  • The New Talent Showcase shines a spotlight on promising new writers, many of whom have gone on to be published after appearing on our stage.

Who manages book sales at the Festival?

The Bocas Lit Fest does not sell or distribute books, so books by authors appearing at the festival (and many other titles) are sold by independent booksellers who set up booths in our Festival Village. Our main participating booksellers are Paper Based Bookshop, Metropolitan Book Suppliers Ltd., RIK Book Services and Nigel R Khan Bookseller. Make sure to purchase early so you’re first in line for book signing!


Can I participate as an exhibitor or bookseller at the Festival?

Because space in our Festival Village is limited, we can only accommodate a few vendors other than our booksellers. There is a small rental fee for booths, and space is assigned on a first come basis. If you’re interested, contact us at info@bocaslitfest.com for more information on renting a booth space at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.


Are Festival events recorded?

There are sound recordings of most of our Festival events. These are available to stream or download here.  If you are interested in using or sharing a recording from the festival, please contact us for permission at info@bocaslitfest.com.


Do you need volunteers?

Yes! We recruit a large team of volunteers to help at the annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest. Please click here for more information and to complete the online application form if you’re interested.


If you have questions unanswered by this FAQ page, please contact us.