Bocas News

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Crime pays for Barbara Jenkins

The Long Arm of the Lawless, a short story by Barbara Jenkins, has won much praise and a trip to Scotland for its author.

The theme of crime writing was introduced during the 2014 NGC Bocas Lit Fest in partnership with Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, and the British Council.

Participants in a one-day workshop, led by two prize-winning Scottish crime writers, were encouraged to enter a mini Bloody Scotland short story competition with the winner being offered an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bloody Scotland Festival as part of an ongoing international exchange between the two events.

Dom Hastings, Festival director, says, “We were delighted to be able to attend the NGC Bocas Lit Fest earlier this year, both to showcase Scottish writing and experience a fantastic festival and burgeoning literary scene. I’m incredibly excited to be able to bring a small piece of this back to Scotland and invite a Trinidadian writer as talented at Barbara to our Festival in 2015.”

As a guest of Bloody Scotland, Barbara Jenkins will attend a crime writing masterclass with the University of Stirling and be introduced to the Scottish literature scene. The author says, “I am thrilled. This is my first crime story but I do plan to continue to mine real life in Trinidad for inspiration. Denise Mina and Allan Guthrie led an inspiring workshop. They even got us started writing at the workshop. From then, there was no way I could just let their gift lie unused. I must thank the NGC Bocas Lit Fest for creating this opportunity.”

Since starting a writing career after retirement from teaching, Barbara Jenkins has emerged as one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most recognized new talents. She has won several international awards, attended many festivals internationally, published a debut book of short stories and is at work on her first novel.



Commonwealth Short Story Competition

2009 – Highly Commended No News is Good News

2010 – Winner Caribbean Region Something from Nothing

2011 – Winner Caribbean Region Head not Make for Hat Alone

2013 – Shortlisted Caribbean Region A Good Friday


Wasafiri New Writing Prize

2009 – Shortlisted Life Writing Sic Transit Wagon

2010 – Winner Life Writing It’s Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White


The Caribbean Writer

2010 – The Canute Brodhurst Prize for short fiction – Gold Bracelets


Small Axe

2011 – Winner short fiction competition – Ghost Story


My African Diaspora Short Story Contest

2010 – Winner Romance Category – That Old Black Magic


Hollick Arvon Prize, NGC Bocas Lit Fest

2013 – De Rightest Place


NGC Bocas Lit Fest & Bloody Scotland Festival

2014 – Winner Bocas Crime-Writing Workshop Group – The Long Arm of the Lawless



Find out more about Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s international crime writing festival here: