More Than A Literary Festival

Bocas Children’s Book Prize 2023

The 2023 Bocas Children’s Book Prize winner is Garnet Lawrence’s Anansi and the Fire Ants. The announcement was made on Sunday 10 December, 2023. Lawrence, a T&T playwright, poet, and screenwriter based in Barbados, will receive a US$1,000 cash prize courtesy the Wainwright Family, along with the coveted title.


About the Prize

The annual Bocas Lit Fest’s Children’s Book Prize is a prize given to one English-language book for children, written by a Caribbean* author. The prize is administered by the Bocas Lit Fest, and sponsored by The Wainwright Family. It is awarded annually for the most outstanding contribution to Caribbean literature for young independent readers, ages 7 to 12. 

The prize is open for entries from 17 July to 18 September 2023. The winner will be announced in December 2023, and will receive a US $1,000 cash prize. 

*See Appendix 1 for a list of territories which constitute the Caribbean for the purposes of this prize.

2023 Judges

The prize is judged by an independent panel of children’s literature experts. The panel includes a chief judge, two other judges, and a young reader who will join the adjudication process at the second stage and contribute to selecting the winner.

Chief Judge
Kevin Jared Hosein
Kevin Jared Hosein
Trinidad & Tobago
Author

Prize Judges

Desryn T. A. Collins
Desryn T. A. Collins
Guyana, Antigua & Barbuda
Children's Author
Kellie June 2023
Kellie Magnus
Jamaica
Author

Young Reader

Josh Hansraj
Josh Hansraj
Trinidad & Tobago
Children's Author
Eligibility and Entry Guidelines

Works of fiction (including short story collections and books in verse), literary nonfiction, and graphic novels written for children are eligible. Works of drama, multiple-author anthologies, illustrated picture books, textbooks, or instructional manuals are not eligible. 

To be eligible for entry for the 2023 Prize, a book must: 

  • Be a new, original work written for children aged 7 to 12 published for the first time in book form between 1 September, 2022, and 31 August, 2023. Self-published books are eligible, and there is no requirement for the publisher or author to be based in the Caribbean; 
  • Have been written by a single author, or co-authored by up 3 persons who either hold Caribbean citizenship or were born in the Caribbean (this must be verified by the publisher), regardless of current place of residence;
  • Have been written by an author or co-authors who are living on 31 August, 2023;
  • Have been written and first published in English (i.e. translations are not eligible);
  • Have an ISBN and be available for purchase in print (not e-book edition only);
  • Tell the story primarily through prose rather than pictures or illustration. The book can include illustrations but should have a minimum word count of approximately 1,500 and should not rely entirely on visual storytelling.

Appendix 1

Definition of the Caribbean

For the purposes of the Bocas Children’s Prize, the Caribbean is defined as including the following countries and territories:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cuba
  • Curaçao
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • French Guiana
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Montserrat
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saba
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Martin/Sint Maarten
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos
  • US Virgin Islands

NB: books entered must be originally written and published in English.

How to Enter

 Complete the online entry form at  https://www.bocaslitfest.com/awards/childrens-book-prize/ 

  • Upload the final book file as a PDF that retains all book formatting. The book cover file can be submitted as a separate PDF. 
  • Books may be entered by their publisher OR author. The contact person identified on the entry form should be the person responsible for supplying copies of the book, should print copies be called in for judging or publicity. 
  • Authors and/or publishers of shortlisted titles must agree to provide three physical copies of the book to the Bocas Lit Fest. 
  • Each entry should be accompanied by a short biographical note on the author and a current headshot for publicity purposes. 
  • Books will be accepted for entry at the discretion of the chair of the judging panel, who will determine questions of eligibility when necessary. Judges’ decisions on eligibility are final. Non-eligible books and their entry fees will not be returned.
  • There is a US$20 entry fee that must accompany each submission.
Entry Fee
The entry fee of US$20/TT$140 per title can be paid by:
  • Credit card payments via the online WiPay or PayPal platform 
  • US dollar bank drafts in amount of US$20 (routed through a US-based bank) made payable to The Bocas Lit Fest and mailed via reliable courier service;
  • Trinidad and Tobago online bank transfers in the amount of TT$140.00. (Note: International wire transfers can only be accepted if the sender agrees to include the US$13.25 bank fee).
Please select your preferred payment method when completing the online entry, and an invoice with details will be issued for payment. Payment must be received by the submission deadline in order for the book to be eligible. 
Deadline

The publisher or author must submit the online form and pay the entry fee by 5:00PM (AST) on 18 September, 2023. The winner will be announced in December 2023. 

Queries

For any queries about eligibility requirements or the submission process, please contact the prize administrators at: awards@bocaslitfest.com

2023 Children's Book Prize Entry Form

Past Winners

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