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


IN Ras Shorty I’s iconic song, “Watch Out My Children”, he gave the ominous war­ning of a man with a bag of white powder. Cocaine, or “white powder”, has brought shame and disgrace to the human race since the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s.

Delivering beautiful smiles is Dr Cornelia Blackman’s life work. Blackman is the founder of CB Dental Studio, a family and cosmetic dental practice where on a typical day she goes beyond examining teeth, gums and other dental issues. Whether Blackman is engaging her patients and followers on Instagram or physically at her practice, one thing is sure—her passion for changing lives, one smile at a time.

What are you doing?

That’s the million-dollar question music creators and fans across the region are asking after seeing Sea Lots native Yung Bredda go from appearing on social media feeds to the top of international dancehall charts in under a year.

Nineties-style costuming, original live big brass and affordable prices.

That’s what veteran masman Peter Samuel is promising from his Kinetic Mas Carnival 2023 presentation Exhale and Cyber Nation.

Samuel launched the two-tier, one-band experience, on Tuesday, at Kinetic’s Alberto Street, Woodbrook, mas camp. The band allows masqueraders to choose to play mas on Monday only with Exhale ($850) or to pay for the full experience and join his Cyber Nation ($3,200 to $4,300).