The Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize

The 2020 non-fiction winner is Amanda Choo Quan

The 2020 Johnson & Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize Announcement

The 2020 Shortlist

Three emerging TT writers are now vying for the non-fiction category prize in the second year of the Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize.

They are, in alphabetical order:

Amanda Choo Quan for It Starts with a Shatter (extract from An Emotional History of the West Indies);

Melissa Doughty for The Road I’ve Walked: The Story of Joan Jackson

Amilcar Sanatan for Disappearing Boys (extract from For Small Men and Big Boys)

The winner will be announced in May 2020.

The 2020 Non-fiction Longlist

  • Amanda Choo Quan (T&T)
  • Melissa Doughty (T&T)
  • Ruel Johnson (Guyana)
  • Otancia Noel (T&T)
  • Kim Robinson-Walcott (Jamaica)
  • Amílcar Sanatan (T&T)

Now in its second year, The Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize will be awarded for a literary non-fiction work in progress.

About the Prize

The Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize is an annual award which allows an emerging Caribbean writer living and working in the Anglophone Caribbean to devote time to advancing or finishing a literary work, with support from an established writer as mentor. The Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize is sponsored by philanthropist Dr. Kongshiek Achong Low and administered by The Bocas Lit Fest and the literary charitable trust, Arvon. The first year was dedicated to fiction and was won by Jamaican writer Sharma Taylor.

In its second year, 2020, The Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize will be awarded for a literary non-fiction work in progress. The prize was open to submissions from 15 July to 30 September 2019. The winner will be announced at the 2020 NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

To be eligible for entry, a writer must:

    1. Be of Caribbean birth or citizenship, living and working in the Anglophone Caribbean and writing in English;
    2. Be over the age of 18 by 30 September, 2019
    3. Not have previously published a book-length work in the genre in which they are making a submission (non-fiction).

The Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize consists of:

  1. A cash award of $20,000TT (or the equivalent in US dollars);
  2. A year’s mentoring by an established writer;
  3. Travel to the United Kingdom to attend a one-week intensive Arvon creative writing course at one of Arvon’s internationally renowned writing houses;
  4. A three-day stay in London during which Arvon, in association with the Free Word Centre, will host an event that features the winner of the Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize;
  5. Aitken Alexander Associates, the London literary agency, has the option to agent the winning writer if they choose to do so. The writer is free to pursue other agents if this agency does not exercise the option.

Download and review the 2020 Guidelines and Entry Form.

The prize is named after Johnson and Amoy Achong and commemorates their lives as loyal and hardworking citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
Dr. Kongshiek Achong Low, sponsor of the Johnson and Amoy Achong Prize, and Sharma Taylor, winner of the 2019 Prize for Fiction