THE 2021 longlist for the region’s only prize for emerging writers, the Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize (JAAWP), has been announced by the Bocas Lit Fest.
Of the ten writers longlisted for the third and last edition of the prize, eight are from Trinidad and Tobago.
This unique award is dedicated to advancing the work of an emerging Caribbean voice in the poetry genre; the 2019 and 2020 prizes were for fiction and non-fiction respectively, said a media release.
A total of 35 submissions were received from eight Caribbean countries – TT, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Guyana.
As in previous years, the prize’s judging process was blind, s the names and nationalities of the entrants were only revealed once they had made the cut.
The prize has been sponsored for three editions by philanthropist Dr Achong Low in memory of his parents, and is administered by the Bocas Lit Fest in TT and the literary charitable trust Arvon in the UK.
This is the last year of the JAAWP, which consists of a cash award of US$3,000 and attendance at an intense, creative-writing course at one of Arvon’s internationally-renowned writing houses, plus a three-day stay in London to network with editors and publishers, hosted by Arvon and in association with the Free Word Centre. The winner is also mentored by an established writer in the genre and gets the chance to be agented by Aitken Alexander Associates literary agency in the UK, the release said.
In order to adhere to travel restrictions imposed by the covid19 pandemic, the mentorship and course may be administered virtually, as was done for the 2020 winner, Trinidadian Amanda Choo Quan, the release said.
The 2021 winner will be announced during the upcoming virtual NGC Bocas Lit Fest, TT’s annual literary festival, which takes place from April 23-25.
The 2021 JAAWP longlist (poetry) are:
Akim Alexis, Kamille Andrews, Wendy Brewster, Jannine T Horsford, Jay T John, Kirese Narinesingh, Derron Sandy and Desiree Seebaran from TT
Linda Deane – Barbados
Scott Leon Ting-A-Kee – Guyana.
For more info: www.bocaslitfest.com.