The Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival

Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize

The judges have announced a longlist of ten writers for the 2015 Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize

Two emerging Jamaican writers, two from the Bahamas, one from Puerto Rico, one from the British Virgin Islands, and four from Trinidad and Tobago have been longlisted for the much-coveted Prize. They were selected by the judges from an overall 53 entries, the largest number since the Prize started in 2013.

According to the judges, “The longlist for the 2015 Hollick Arvon Prize can boast of poets who shuttle an ability to manipulate language to create poetry that is narratively fluent and thematically current and engaging.”

The winner will be announced on Saturday 2 May at the 2015 NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain.

The longlisted writers are:

  • Elliot Bastien,  Trinidad and Tobago
  • Nicolette Bethel, The Bahamas
  • Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné,  Trinidad and Tobago
  • Richard Georges,  British Virgin Islands
  • Zahra Gordon,  Trinidad and Tobago
  • Monica Minott, Jamaica
  • Xavier Navarro, Puerto Rico
  • Shivanee Ramlochan, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Lynn Sweeting, The Bahamas
  • Peta-Gaye V. Williams, Jamaica

The Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize is an annual award which allows an emerging Caribbean writer living and working in the Caribbean to devote time to advancing or finishing a literary work, with support from an established writer as mentor. It is sponsored by the Hollick Family Charitable Trust and jointly administered by the non-profit organisation the Bocas Lit Fest and the creative writing charity Arvon.

The 2015 Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize is for the genre of poetry. Download the prize guidelines and entry form here. The submission deadline was September 30, 2014 at 6:00pm.


The Prize

The Hollick Arvon Prize, with a total value of £10,000 (approx. US$15,000), consists of:

  1. a cash award of £3,000 (approx. US$4,500)
  2. a year’s mentoring by an established writer
  3. travel to the United Kingdom to attend a one-week intensive Arvon creative writing course at one of Arvon’s internationally renowned writing houses
  4. three days in London to network with editors and publishers, hosted by Arvon, in association with the Free Word Centre and the Rogers, Coleridge & White literary agency.



To be eligible for entry, a writer must:

  1. be of Caribbean birth or citizenship, living and working in the Anglophone Caribbean and writing in English
  2. be over the age of 18 by 30 September, 2014
  3. have had at least two poems published in magazines, journals, anthologies, or websites with editorial oversight. *Please note that this has been revised from four to two poems* 
  4. not have previously published a full-length collection of poems with a commercial publishing house (a previous self-published collection does not affect eligibility).

How to enter

Download the prize guidelines and entry form here.



The Hollick Arvon Prize will be judged by a panel comprising representatives of the Hollick Family Charitable Trust and Arvon, an agent from the Rogers, Coleridge & White literary agency, and two representatives of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest. The Prize will be administered by Arvon and the Bocas Lit Fest, in conjunction with the Hollick Family Charitable Trust.

For any queries about eligibility requirements or the submission process, please contact the prize administrators at


About the 2014 Prize

Diana McCaulay photoThe 2014 Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize was for the genre of literary non-fiction. Diana McCaulay of Jamaica was announced as the winner 2014 Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize on the 26 April 2014 at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest 2014.

In March 2014, the judges announced a list of eight finalists:

  • Turn Around, Judy Antoine, Grenada
  • Let It Fly, Melissa Balgobin, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Split Level, Rhoda Bharath, Trinidad and Tobago
  • 17 Rest House Road, Ira Mathur, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Loving Jamaica, Diana McCaulay, Jamaica
  • The Plight of the Humanitarian Aid Worker, Nadine McNeil, Jamaica
  • Canouan Suite, Philip Nanton, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Richard Bridgens, Judy Raymond, Trinidad and Tobago


About the 2013 Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize

20130427_bocas_586Barbara Jenkins of Trinidad and Tobago was the winner of the inaugural Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize. The announcement was made on Saturday 27 April, during the 2013 NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

In April 2013, the judging panel for the inaugural Hollick Arvon Prize announced a shortlist of six:

  • Lisa Allen-Agostini (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Angela Barry (Bermuda)
  • Vashti Bowlah (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Barbara Jenkins (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Sharon Millar (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Lelawatee Manoo-Rahming (Bahamas/Trinidad and Tobago)


A further eight writers were included on the longlist, announced in March:

  • Katherine Atkinson (St. Lucia)
  • Brenda Lee Brown (Antigua and Barbuda)
  • Lenworth Burke (Jamaica)
  • Ilsa Lopez-Valles (Puerto Rico)
  • Ira Mathur (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Amanda Choo Quan (Trinidad and Tobago/Jamaica)
  • Ann Second (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Hazel Simmonds-McDonald (St. Lucia)