Johnson and Amoy Achong

Johnson and Amoy Achong

Three emerging TT writers are now vying for the non-fiction category prize in the second year of the Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize.

They are, in alphabetical order: Amanda Choo Quan for It Starts with a Shatter (extract from An Emotional History of the West Indies); Melissa Doughty with The Road I’ve Walked: The Story of Joan Jackson; and Amilcar Sanatan whose Disappearing Boys (extract from For Small Men and Big Boys) also made the shortlist.

The three shortlisted writers for the 2020 non-fiction edition of the Johnson and Amoy Achong Prize (JAAWP) were chosen from six finalists, who topped a total of 20 entries from six Caribbean countries—Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. Thirteen were received from women, 7 from men.

The judging panel of the 2020 Prize offered the following comments: “There was a wide range of subject matters and angles of treatment in the submissions from across the Caribbean. This made our job as judges both challenging and exciting. We chose the top three submissions on the bases of the depth of treatment of their central issues as well as their narrative sophistication. The three finalists, though individually unique, share the following in common: they recognise the power of personal narratives; they are neither overtly didactic nor self-consciously academic, and their messages shine through their carefully curated stories.”

Dedicated to the advancement of emerging Caribbean voices, the Prize is sponsored by Dr Kongshiek Achong Low, medical practitioner and chairman of Medcorp Limited, in memory of his parents, and is administered by The Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and Arvon in the UK. The Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize gives the winning Caribbean-based writer time to progress a work of fiction. In 2019 the Prize was open to fiction writers, and was won by Jamaican Sharma Taylor. In 2021, the Prize will be open to writers of poetry.

In addition to a cash award equivalent to US$3,000 and travel to the United Kingdom to attend a one-week intensive Arvon creative writing course at one of Arvon’s internationally renowned writing houses, each winning writer spends three days in London, 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 a literary agency in the UK.

The 2020 JAAWP winner will be announced in May 2020.

To learn more about the Prize, visit


Two purple gallinules paused in their strut across the grasses, the stark white feathers under their tails twitching characteristically, eyes alert for any untoward movement. I raised my camera and immediately they bolted for the nearest stand of fringing vegetation and climbed to safer heights.

A tearful, grief-stricken Crazy (Edwin Ayoung) began making phone calls just after 6 a.m. yesterday to let everyone know that his friend, archetypical songwriter Winsford “Joker” Devine, had died. Devine had written songs for and co-written songs with Crazy throughout his career and the two had developed a close friendship over the years.

In keeping with the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services’ vision of being a dynamic service-driven organisation that delivers premium social services towards the achievement of sustainable human and social development, the Information Communication Technology Division in partnership with the Corporate Communications and Education Unit developed an intranet platform, #mysocial.

EVEN though the majority of people who contract Covid-19 (around 85 per cent) do recover, that does not take away from the fact that it remains a highly infectious and deadly virus.

Experts have warned that mild Covid symptoms can deteriorate rather quickly and become life threatening. That explains why Covid-19 symptoms should be monitored closely and taken very seriously.

The power of M is strong in the Montano family.

Winston Montano, the patriarch of the clan is fondly called Mr Monty. His sons Marcus and Machel combine to create an M squared of their own. And of course, the most famous of the lot Machel goes by the names Double M and Monk.

“We were moving into Siparia and while passing in the van I see this boy fighting in the road. I say ‘yo, go down the hill by that house you will meet two boys; play with them’. That was around 1982. From that day onwards Farmer and my boys were inseparable.”