Bocas Lit Fest

Dragonzilla’s Short Story Writing Challenge, in partnership with NALIS, is for youngsters across Trinidad and Tobago aged 5-8 and 9-12 and allows them to create original stories based on the theme My Covid experience in T&T.

After nine years of taking the NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest Storytelling Caravan to communities across Trinidad and Tobago, in 2020 the Children’s Festival moved its programme online and onto national television for the first time — because, well, the pandemic! Through the generous support of our longstanding media partner TV6, Dragonzilla’s Storytime became a weekly feature of the station’s morning show. This video series features leading local storytellers reading from the nine published collections of stories created by children participating in the annual Storytelling Caravan.

In the absence of the 2020 edition of the Storytelling Caravan, and the invaluable interaction associated with children’s group activities, we’re launching the first ever Dragonzilla’s Short Story Writing Challenge this month, in collaboration with our partner NALIS, for children across Trinidad and Tobago. This initiative will provide an opportunity for children to create original tales so they discover the joy of writing, and gain confidence in their literary skills, especially while they remain apart from their schoolmates and friends. And what an honour it is to involve the charming four year-old Coryn Clarke, author of The Chronicles of Coryn, as the face of the Challenge. For us, Coryn embodies the ideals of this Challenge, which aims to:

  • Instill the importance of reading and writing among children, while exploring the country’s culture, history, environment, community responsibility, and national pride, all against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Inform children of the structure of a story and the writing process.
  • Reward children for writing their own stories.
  • Give children the opportunity to read their own stories.

Competition details and the entry form are posted here.

The deadline for the submission of stories 300-400 words long is 19 October.   The authors of the top twenty stories will then have to submit videos of themselves reading their stories. The best videos will then be chosen and those authors will receive tablets and laptops, courtesy the NGC Children’s  Bocas Lit Fest and NALIS.

Also premiering soon is our motion comics series, based on the stories of the Children’s Storytelling Caravan Colouring Book series, created by the Forward Ever Foundation, with voiceovers from our beloved storytellers. Look out for new releases on our social media channels!

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