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The 2020 Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize Longlist

The Bocas Lit Fest has announced the 2020 longlist for the region’s only prize for emerging writers, the Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize (JAAWP).


Amanda Choo Quan (T&T)

Melissa Doughty (T&T)

Ruel Johnson (Guyana)

Otancia Noel (T&T)

Kim Robinson-Walcott (Jamaica)

Amílcar Sanatan (T&T)

Of the total 20 submissions received from 6 Caribbean countries – Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua & Barbuda, Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia and Guyana – 13 were received from women, 7 from men.

The Prize is sponsored by Dr 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 winner in the fiction category, and inaugural winner of the JAAWP was Jamaican-born, Barbados-resident writer Sharma Taylor. The 2021 Prize will be awarded for poetry.

In addition to a cash award of $3,000US 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 the Rogers, Coleridge & White literary agency in the UK.

This Prize replaces the Hollick Arvon Prize, which ran between 2013 and 2015. The inaugural winner of the Hollick Arvon Prize in 2013 was Barbara Jenkins of Trinidad and Tobago (fiction), followed by Diana McCaulay of Jamaica (non-fiction) in 2014, and Trinidadian Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné (poetry) in 2015.

The 2020 winner will be announced on Thursday 30 April at the opening of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.