Fourteen writers from seven countries have been named as finalists for the inaugural Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize.
Announced by the judges on 10 March, 2013, the finalists include emerging writers from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. The winner of the Prize will be announced on 27 April, during the third annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain.
The finalists are:
Lisa Allen-Agostini (Trinidad and Tobago)
Katherine Atkinson (St. Lucia)
Angela Barry (Bermuda)
Vashti Bowlah (Trinidad and Tobago)
Brenda Lee Brown (Antigua and Barbuda)
Lenworth Burke (Jamaica)
Barbara Jenkins (Trinidad and Tobago)
Ilsa Lopez-Valles (Puerto Rico)
Ira Mathur (Trinidad and Tobago)
Sharon Millar (Trinidad and Tobago)
Amanda Choo Quan (Trinidad and Tobago)
Lelawatee Manoo-Rahming (Bahamas/Trinidad and Tobago)
Ann Second (Trinidad and Tobago)
Hazel Simmonds-McDonald (St. Lucia)
The Prize, worth US$15,000, will offer the winning Caribbean-based writer time to advance a work in progress. It includes a year’s mentoring by an established author, and travel to the United Kingdom to attend a one-week intensive Arvon Foundation creative writing course of their choice. The winning writer will also have three days in London to network with literary professionals, hosted by Arvon, the UK’s leading creative writing organisation, in association with Free Word Centre and literary agents Rogers, Coleridge & White. The winner will also receive a cash award of £3,000 (US$4,500).
“We were very pleased with the quality of entries and the range of new writers coming up in the region,” says Funso Aiyejina, chair of the judging panel, who also remarked on the fact that only one of the finalists is male. A total of 65 writers writing in English, from thirteen Caribbean countries, submitted entries for the Prize.
Marina Salandy-Brown, co-founder of the Prize and Director of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, says the Prize is guaranteed for three years, thanks to the Hollick Family Charitable Trust in London. “This is a rare and valuable opportunity for our writers, who largely lack access to those who can help advance their work. One person will take home the Prize, but nobody loses by putting their work out there. You never know what might happen as a result.”
Further information on the Hollick Arvon Prize here.