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Finalists for the 2015 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature Announced

Thousands of copies of the winning titles to be distributed to Caribbean youth to ignite love of reading

CODE and the Bocas Lit Fest are proud to announce the finalists for the 2015 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.

The shortlisted titles are (listed in alphabetical order by author):

Children of the Spider by Imam Baksh, Guyana (manuscript to be published)

Putting Up a Resistance by Michael Cozier, Trinidad and Tobago (self-published book)

Dancing in the Rain by Lynn Joseph, Trinidad and Tobago (manuscript to be published)

Prayer to the Motivator by Kamau Mahakoe, Jamaica (manuscript to be published)

The Dolphin Catchers by Diana McCaulay, Jamaica (manuscript to be published)

The finalists were selected by a jury administered by The Bocas Lit Fest and made up of writers, educators, and literacy experts.

Up to $22,000 CAD in prize money will be awarded to up to three winners, who will be announced at a Gala on the 1st May during the 2015 NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (29 April – 3 May).

As part of the prize, CODE will ensure winning manuscripts will be published by a Caribbean publisher.

In addition, through the Award’s book purchase and distribution program, up to 7,500 copies of the winning titles will be donated to schools, libraries and community organizations across the Caribbean.

“CODE is very proud and excited to be adding these great books to the Burt Award family,” said CODE Executive Director Scott Walter. “Beyond simply recognizing excellent writing in the Caribbean, this Award aims to ignite in young people a lifelong love of reading by putting in their hands books that feature stories, situations and characters they can relate to. We can’t wait for them to discover this year’s winning titles.”

This is the second edition of CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature. 7,500 copies of the first three winning titles (All Over Again by Ad-Ziko Simba Gegele, Musical Youth by Joanne C. Hillhouse and Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis) were distributed to schools, libraries and community organizations in 12 Caribbean countries. Some of the winning authors also had the opportunity to meet with young readers and aspiring writers for young people in Montserrat, Antigua, and Barbados as part of an author tour.

“This is more than a prize,” said Marina Salandy-Brown, founder of The Bocas Lit Fest, CODE’s local partner in implementing the Award. “The CODE-sponsored regional writing workshops and the publishing of new manuscripts contribute to the creation of even more wonderful young adult literature and a much needed literary infrastructure in the region.”

The Burt Award for Caribbean Literature was established by CODE – a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning for 55 years – in collaboration with the Literary Prizes Foundation.

CODE’s Burt Award is a global readership initiative and is also currently established in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Canada.

For further details on the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, go to


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With 55 years of evolving success, CODE is Canada’s leading international development agency uniquely focused on advancing literacy and education in some of the world’s regions in greatest need. By acting to establish and ignite engaging learning environments through the development and publishing of locally authored and designed children books, training teachers and teacher-librarians, resourcing libraries as well as distributing significant numbers of high quality reading materials, CODE focuses on inspiring young minds to improve their literacy and comprehension with the hope that they become critical thinkers and life-long learners, all in working towards nurturing a literate civil society.


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