Five writers hailing from Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago have been selected for the new Bocas Breakthrough Fellowships.
They are Heather Barker of Barbados, Stephanie Koathes and Rhea Manley of Jamaica, and June Aming and Amílcar Sanatan of Trinidad and Tobago. They write across a range of genres and themes, and all have substantial works in progress.
The fellowships programme, which runs from January to June 2024, will support the writers in completing a book manuscript, and developing their professional skills and networks in the regional and international literary world.
The Bocas Breakthrough Fellowships are funded by Creative Caribbean, a joint project implemented by UNESCO, the CARICOM Secretariat, and The University of the West Indies (UWI), with funding from the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, under the ACP-EU 11th EDF Culture Programme. Creative Caribbean brings the region’s creative community together to achieve shared goals and initiatives for the advancement of the Caribbean as a cultural and creative space and economic player.
Over 100 writers based in the Caribbean region applied for the fellowship programme. Several rounds of assessment included the deliberation of a jury consisting of authors Imam Baksh, Breanne Mc Ivor, Rajiv Mohabir, and Sharma Taylor, leading to the final selection.
Each fellowship will include participation in a series of virtual seminars with international literary professionals, six months’ mentorship from an established author, publication of a chapbook with an excerpt from the writer’s work in progress, and a stipend of US$300. Fellows will also participate in the 2024 NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain in April.