The latest round of 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 and administered by the Bocas Lit Fest, the prize is now in its 14th year. It comes with a cash award of US$10,000 for the overall winner and US$3,000 each for two other genre category winners.
The OCM Bocas Prize recognises the best books published each year by writers of Caribbean birth or citizenship. Past winners have included luminaries such as Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, Jamaican Poet Laureate Olive Senior, and beloved novelist Earl Lovelace, as well as debut authors such as the 2023 winner, novelist Ayanna Lloyd Banwo.
The cross-genre prize is judged in the categories of poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction. The 2024 Prize is open to books published in the calendar year 2023. The overall winner will be selected from the three genre category winners and announced and featured at the 2024 NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the Anglophone Caribbean’s biggest annual literary festival.
Chairing the 2024 panel of Caribbean and international judges is the celebrated Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat, herself the winner of numerous awards, including the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Non-Fiction and the 2020 OCM Bocas Prize for Fiction. She is joined by nine other regionally and internationally based writers, academics, and publishing professionals.
“The announcement of the OCM Bocas Prize is a true highlight of the Caribbean’s cultural calendar,” says Nicholas Laughlin, festival and programme director of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest. “It is an exciting moment for readers across the region, and especially meaningful because, among the host of international awards that recognise the talent of Caribbean writers, this one is sponsored, administered, and awarded here at home. We are grateful, and I know Caribbean writers and readers are also grateful, for the continued and very tangible commitment of One Caribbean Media in supporting our contemporary literature.”
For full information about the 2024 OCM Bocas Prize, including deadline dates and eligibility and submission guidelines, visit www.bocaslitfest.com/awards/ocm.