Four young writers have been shortlisted from thirty nominations for the 2022 NGC Bocas Youth Writer Award. The inter-genre literary accolade, which was launched in 2021, targets young writers of local birth or citizenship, age 25 and under.

Last year, blogger Harmony Farrell copped the inaugural prize. This year, the four writers in the line-up for the top spot are Kervisha Cordice, with her poem “Sunrise on the Quadrangle”; fiction writers Rashad Hosein with “Saga” and Ronaldo Katwaroo with “Making Conversation” and “Soucouyant Shore”; and Shimiah Lewis with a selection of spoken word poems, including her First Citizens National Poetry Slam Finals piece, “Hush Yuh Mouth”.

Eligible nominees needed to have published or publicly released one or more works of literary art with notable impact (national or international) between 1 August, 2021, and 31 July, 2022. The 2022 winner will be announced on 7 January, 2023, receiving a cash prize of TT$5,000 and the opportunity to be featured in the 2023 NGC Bocas Youth Fest later in the year.

The judging panel is headed by award-winning author Lisa Allen-Agostini, and includes performer Gerelle Forbes, media professional and influencer Danielle “DJ Dani” Parkinson, spoken word poet Derron Sandy, and novelist Kevin Jared Hosein. Together, they will assess the shortlistees’ originality of thought and style, mastery of language and form, overall creativity, and ability to influence readers, when deciding the winner of the literary award.

“In recent years, there’s been an outpouring of literary talent from Trinidad and Tobago, evident in the books our writers are publishing and the international acclaim they’re winning,” says festival director Nicholas Laughlin. “The quality of writing coming from these young authors tells us the pool of talent is in no danger of drying up. These are writers to reckon with now and in the future, and it’s an exciting privilege for us at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest to encounter and share their work.”

For more information about the Award, visit https://www.bocaslitfest.com/youth/writeraward/

The NGC Bocas Youth Writer Award was created by the Bocas Lit Fest and is sponsored by the National Gas Company to identify and celebrate young writers across a broad spectrum of literary genres, including poetry, playwriting, fiction, creative non-fiction, journalism, scriptwriting, spoken word, blog writing, and song lyrics.  

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