The Bocas Lit Fest has announced the 2019 shortlist for the Caribbean’s only prize for emerging writers.
From a longlist of nine writers, previously named in January, the judges have selected three to contend for the 2019 Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize. They are:
Heather Barker (Barbados)
Subraj Singh (Guyana)
Sharma Taylor (Jamaica)
“The top submissions,” write the judges, “display compelling narrative voices, measured pacing, arresting characterisation, and bold linguistic experiments. The judges are convinced that the shortlisted writers will, sooner than later, make us sit up and take notice of their literary talent.”
The Prize, dedicated to the advancement of emerging Caribbean voices, is sponsored by Dr Kongshiek Achong Low, medical practitioner and Chairman of Medcorp Limited, in memory of his parents, and is administered by The Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and Tobago and Arvon in the UK.
The 2019 Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize gives the winning Caribbean-based writer time to progress a work of fiction. In 2020 and 2021, the Prize will be open to writers of non-fiction and poetry, respectively.
In addition to a cash award of US$3,000 and travel to the United Kingdom to attend a one-week intensive Arvon creative writing course at one of Arvon’s internationally renowned writing houses, each winning writer spends three days in London to network with editors and publishers, hosted by Arvon and in association with the Free Word Centre. The winner is also mentored by an established writer in the genre and gets the chance to be agented by a literary agency in the UK.
The 2019 winner will be announced at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, T&T’s annual literary festival, which runs from 1 to 5 May in Port of Spain at the National Library.