Bocas Lit Fest

Bocas Lit Fest Children's Book Prize sponsored by the Wainwright family.


Bocas Lit Fest Children's Book Prize - Winner 2022


Bocas Lit Fest Children's Book Prize - Shortlist

  • Aarti Gosine, The Land Below (JAV Publishing, 2022) – Trinidad and Tobago
  • Nadine Johnson, I Write Rhymes (123 Mango Tree LLC, 2021) – Jamaica
  • Danielle Mc Clean, The Whisperer’s Warning: Secrets of Oscuros (Caribbean Reads
    Publishing, 2021) – Trinidad and Tobago
  • Alake Pilgrim, Zo and the Forest of Secrets. (Knights Of Ltd, 2022) – Trinidad and Tobago


Bocas Lit Fest Children's Book Prize - Longlist

  • Aarti Gosine, The Land Below (JAV Publishing, 2022) – Trinidad and Tobago
  • Nadine Johnson, I Write Rhymes (123 Mango Tree LLC, 2021) – Jamaica
  • Danielle Mc Clean, The Whisperer’s Warning: Secrets of Oscuros (Caribbean Reads
    Publishing, 2021) – Trinidad and Tobago
  • Alake Pilgrim, Zo and the Forest of Secrets. (Knights Of Ltd, 2022) – Trinidad and Tobago
  • Phillip Simon, Petra and the Panman’s Daughter (Phillip Simon, 2022) – Trinidad and Tobago
  • Pearl Entou Springer, Children of the Sun (Frontline Distribution Int’l, 2022) – Trinidad and Tobago


About the Prize

The annual BLF Children’s Book Prize is a prize that is given to one outstanding English-language children’s book for young independent readers, written by a Caribbean* author. This Prize seeks to recognise and celebrate excellent writing and intriguing storytelling that can capture young imaginations and help establish a lifelong love and habit of reading in our young Caribbean demographic.

The Prize consists of a cash award of US$1,000, and Caribbean-born authors, resident anywhere in the world, of English-language books which have been published between 1 August 2021 and 31 August 2022 are eligible. The prize is open for entries from 20 June 2022 to 31 August 2022, and the winner will be announced in November 2022. 

The 2022 prize is administered by the Bocas Lit Fest, and is sponsored by the Wainwright family.

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

2022 Judges

The prize is judged by an independent panel of children’s literature experts. The panel is joined by a young reader at the second stage of judging. who will contribute to selecting the winner.

Chief Judge
Joan Osborne
Trinidad & Tobago
Bocas Children's Book Prize Judge

Prize Judges

Janet Smyth
UK
Judge
Imam Baksh
Guyana
Children's Author

Young Reader

Josse Franco
Trinidad & Tobago
Children's Author

Works of fiction (including short story collections and books in verse), literary non-fiction and graphic novels written for independent readers ages 7 – 12 are eligible. Works of drama, multiple-author anthologies, picture books, textbooks or instructional manuals are not eligible. 

To be eligible for entry for the 2022 Prize, a book must:

  • Be a new, original work written for children between the ages 7 and 12 published for the first time in book form between 1 August 2021 and 31 August 2022. 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 who either holds Caribbean citizenship or was born in the Caribbean (this must be verified by the publisher), regardless of current place of residence;
  • Have been written by an author who is living on 31 August 2022;
  • 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. The book can include illustration, but should not rely primarily on visual storytelling and should have at least 1,500 words.

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.

The BLF Children’s Book Prize is a new prize that will be given to one outstanding English-language children’s book for young independent readers, written by a Caribbean author. This Prize seeks to recognise and celebrate excellent writing and intriguing storytelling that can capture young imaginations and help establish a lifelong love and habit of reading in our young Caribbean demographic.

In the first year, the Prize consists of a cash award of US$1,000, and Caribbean-born authors, resident anywhere in the world, of English-language books which have been published between January 2020 and July 2021 were eligible. The prize was open for entries from 1 May to 30 July 2021, and the first winner was announced in November 2021. 

The prize is administered by the Bocas Lit Fest, and supported by Unit Trust Corporation in Trinidad and Tobago

2021 Winner

When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten (Pushkin Children’s Books) 

2021 Shortlist

When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten (Pushkin Children’s Books) (JAMAICA)

Chaos in Castries by Carol Mitchell (Caribbean Reads Publishing) (ST KITTS & NEVIS)

A Different Me A Better You by Janet Morrison (Blue Banyan Books) (JAMAICA)

2021 Longlist

The Year I Flew Away by Marie Arnold (HarperCollins) (HAITI)

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender (Scholastic Press) (U.S VIRGIN ISLANDS)

Lost in the Cockpit Country by Billy Elm (Blue Banyan Books) (JAMAICA)

When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten (Pushkin Children’s Books) (JAMAICA)

Chaos in Castries by Carol Mitchell (Caribbean Reads Publishing) (ST KITTS & NEVIS)

A Different Me A Better You by Janet Morrison (Blue Banyan Books) (JAMAICA)

2021 Judges

The prize is judged by an independent panel of children’s literature experts. The panel is joined by a young reader contributed to selecting the shortlist and winner from the size longlisted books.  

Chief Judge
Judges
  • Olive Senior, Author (Jamaica / Canada)
  • Johnny Temple, Publisher (USA)
  • Clarisse Kem Ellen Lee-Sing, Young Reader, age 14 (Trinidad & Tobago)
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