The 2017 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the latest round of the region’s most prestigious literary award, is now open for entries. Sponsored by One Caribbean Media, the prize, now in its seventh year, includes a cash award of US$10,000 for the overall winner and US$3,000 each for two genre category winners.
With past winners including both eminent established authors and talented newcomers, the OCM Bocas Prize is coveted by Caribbean writers all over the world, who qualify by being of Caribbean birth or citizenship.
The cross-genre prize is judged in three categories: poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction. The 2017 Prize is open to books published in the calendar year 2016. The overall winner is selected from the three category winners.
Chairing the distinguished panel of Caribbean and international judges is the celebrated Jamaican literary scholar and poet Professor Edward Baugh, who is joined by ten other internationally based writers, academics, and publishing professionals.
There are two deadlines for submissions: 10 November, 2016, and 11 January, 2017, depending on the publication date of an eligible title.
In the 2016 round, the short fiction collection The Pain Tree by Olive Senior was the overall winner of the OCM Bocas Prize. Other winners in past years have included St. Lucian Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and Trinidadian novelist Earl Lovelace.
“This cross-genre prize lines up the best talents, old and new, allowing them to rub shoulders as no other prize does. We are pleased that each year we can signal to the reading public the very finest of what’s on offer from Caribbean writers and help in promoting the work of our wordsmiths, wherever they may live,” says Marina Salandy-Brown, founder and director of the Bocas Lit Fest, the NGO behind the Prize and three annual literary festivals in Trinidad and Tobago.
The 2017 NGC Bocas Lit Fest runs from 26 to 30 April, 2017, at the National Library and the adjacent Old Fire Station, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Title sponsor is the National Gas Company, lead sponsor is First Citizens, OCM is a main sponsor.