Do you have a great novel, creative non-fiction, or graphic novel for youth ages 12 to 18?
Now in its sixth year, this literary award and readership initiative recognizes excellence in Caribbean-authored literature for young adults, ages 12 through 18. Founded by the Canadian literacy organisation CODE, the Bocas Lit Fest oversees the submission and adjudication process of the Caribbean award. The jury is composed of writers, educators, and literature specialists, and this year a new addition – a young adult reader. With the generous support of the Literary Prizes Foundation based in Canada, the winning title is awarded $10,000 CAD, and two finalists are awarded $2,000 CAD each. Publishers of winning titles are awarded a guaranteed purchase of up to 2,500 copies, which will be donated to schools, libraries, and literacy organizations throughout the region. To date, over 37,000 copies of award-winning YA novels have been distributed throughout the Caribbean to young readers.
For the 2019 edition of the award, eligible manuscripts and books published between November 1, 2017 and October 31, 2018 were submitted to the Bocas Lit Fest by October 31, 2018.
The 2019 Burt Award Judges
IAN RANDLE, O.D., B.A. (Hons); MSc, LL.D. (Hon) is Chairman of Ian Randle Publishers Limited, the 26-year old company which he founded in 1990, now recognized regionally and internationally as one of the leading publishers of books on and about the Caribbean. Ian Randle has over 45 years experience as a local, regional and international publisher across all genres and at all levels. Active in publishing development, Ian Randle was one of the founders and the first President of the Caribbean Publishers Network (CAPNET) and is the recipient of several awards and accolades for his services to publishing and literature.
I am a novelist and short story writer and sometime poet. I teach creative writing at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine where I am the coordinator of the MFA Creative Writing. I gained a PhD at Lancaster University in creative writing and also taught in the department for over seven years. I moved on to Kurdistan, Northern Iraq and taught at Soran University for four years, developing the curriculum and heading the English department. In addition to university teaching, I have ten years experience working in the community with writing projects. I was co-editor of The Suitcase Book of Love Poems and the anthology Migration Stories. Recent publications include a short story, Streamlining, in Closure Anthology, Peepal Tree, 2016. My debut novel, A House With No Angels will be published by Crocus Press.
Ayesha Gibson-Gill B.A (Theatre Studies), M.A (Arts Management) has been the Cultural Officer for Literary Arts at the National Cultural Foundation Barbados since 2012 where she coordinates and produces literary workshops, competitions, festivals and events. She conceptualised and artistically produced Word for Word- Night of the Literary Masters, a signal event at CARIFESTA XIII in Barbados along with other literary engagements. She is an arts administrator, artistic director and producer, writer, actor, former radio announcer, sometime vocalist and mother.
Saajid Hosein is a 21 year old MPhil student of Gender Studies at the University of the West Indies. His passion for books and reading has prompted him to create and run the YouTube channel, Books are my Social Life.
The Art of White Roses by Viviana Prado-Núñez (Puerto Rico/USA) — Self-published.
“In 1957 Cuba, in strong, evocative and emotional prose, Prado-Núñez tells the story of a girl discovering truths about her family, and her country, that force her to grow in unexpected ways.” — Burt Award Judges
The Beast of Kukuyo by Kevin Jared Hosein (Trinidad & Tobago) – Manuscript
“Hosein’s vivid imagery and descriptive language bring you right into the narrative from the very first. You’re standing alongside Tiki and running next to Rune at the same time, looking for clues in the forest and admiring the beautiful Trinidadian landscape as you move through this adventurous tale.” — Burt Award Judges
Waiting for the Bus by Lisa Allen-Agostini (Trinidad & Tobago) – Manuscript.
“This story of a young woman’s journey to “home, home” is a poignant tale for anyone who has ever felt displaced by family, illness or migration, and goes beyond the obvious issues of depression to examine carefully the concepts of home and family.” — Burt Award Judges
If you can read and write, you can learn to do, and be anything. That’s the idea behind CODE. A Canadian NGO with 59 years of experience, CODE advances literacy and learning in Canada and around the world. CODE’s international programs encourage development through education with support to libraries, professional development for teachers, as well as national and local book publishing in over 20 languages. code.ngo