The region’s most coveted literary award, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, is now open for entries.
Sponsored by One Caribbean Media in Trinidad and Tobago, the prize has been awarded annually since 2011. It includes a cash award of US$10,000 for the overall winner, and US$3,000 each for two genre category winners.
The OCM Bocas Prize recognises the best books published each year by writers of Caribbean birth or citizenship. Past winners have ranged from canonical authors like Nobel laureate Derek Walcott and beloved novelist Earl Lovelace to debut authors like the 2022 winner, fiction writer Celeste Mohammed.
The cross-genre prize is judged in three categories: poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction. The 2023 Prize is open to books published in the calendar year 2022. The overall winner is selected from the three genre category winners and is featured at the annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the Anglophone Caribbean’s biggest literary festival.
Chairing the 2023 panel of Caribbean and international judges is the celebrated writer Bernardine Evaristo, a past winner of the Man Booker Prize. She is joined by nine other regionally and internationally based writers, academics, and publishing professionals.
“After twelve years, the OCM Bocas Prize is recognised as the most prestigious award for Caribbean writers that is administered and sponsored from the Caribbean, with a majority Caribbean jury,” says Nicholas Laughlin, festival and programme director of the Bocas Lit Fest. “It doesn’t just reward the winning writers and their publishers — it also generates international publicity for all the longlisted and shortlisted books. The Prize results reflect an extraordinary surge in the quality and quantity of new Caribbean writing in recent years.”
For full information about the 2023 OCM Bocas Prize, including deadline dates and eligibility and submission guidelines, visit www.bocaslitfest.com/awards/ocm.