The NGC Bocas Lit Fest’s big news on the night of Saturday 28 April was the announcement of the winner of the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. By now, many readers know that Trinidadian novelist Earl Lovelace took home the US$10,000 award for his novel Is Just a Movie — the news has spread far and wide in literary circles.
But there was another announcement at the award ceremony that evening, of which the festival is equally proud: the establishment of a new annual prize for emerging writers, the Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize.
Sponsored by the Hollick Family Charitable Trust and the Arvon Foundation, in association with the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize will allow a Caribbean writer living in the Anglphone region and writing in English, and who has not yet published a full-length book, to devote time to advancing a work in progress, initially for a 3-year period. The announcement was made by Lady Sue Hollick of the Hollick Family Charitable Trust.
The prize will be awarded through competition, and will be open to writers in three literary genres over consecutive years: in year one, fiction; year two, non-fiction; and in year three, poetry. Writers meeting the entry criteria will have their work assessed by a panel comprising Hollick and Arvon representatives, plus an agent from the Rogers, Coleridge & White literary agency, and three representatives of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.
The total value of the Prize is £10,000, or TT$100,000. It includes a year’s mentoring by an established author, and the winning writer will also travel to the United Kingdom to attend a one-week intensive Arvon creative writing course of their choice. The winning writer will also have three days in London to network with literary professionals, hosted by Arvon, in association with Free Word Centre and agents Rogers, Coleridge & White.
Full details of the competition will appear on the NGC Bocas Lit Fest website shortly. The closing date for applications will be September 30, 2012, with the announcement of the first winner in March 2013, and the presentation of the prize in April 2013.
The NGC Bocas Lit Fest recognises there are many talented emerging writers in the Caribbean who need tangible support and encouragement, and we are pleased the Arvon Foundation and the Hollick Family Charitable Trust have partnered with us to establish this new prize. The Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize complements the festival’s other programmes to support new writers, and we look forward to discovering much amazing new writing in each year’s competition.