Johnson and Amoy Achong

Johnson and Amoy Achong, in whose name the prize is sponsored by philanthropist Dr. Achong Low.

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 Johnson and Amoy Achong 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.

A total of 35 submissions were received from 8 Caribbean countries - Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Guyana.

As in previous years, the prize’s judging process was blind, so that 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 and medical practitioner Dr Achong Low, in memory of his parents and is administered by the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and Tobago 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.

In order to adhere to travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the mentorship and course may be administered virtually, as was done for the 2020 winner, Trinidadian Amanda Choo Quan.

The 2021 winner will be announced during the upcoming virtual NGC Bocas Lit Fest, T&T’s annual literary festival, which takes place from April 23-25, 2021.

NGC is the title sponsor of the festival. Other sponsors include First Citizens, One Caribbean Media, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts and the National Lotteries Control Board. For more information, visit www.bocaslitfest.com.

2021 JAAWP Longlist (Poetry):

  • Akim Alexis - TT
  • Kamille Andrews - TT
  • Wendy Brewster - TT
  • Linda Deane - Barbados
  • Jannine T. Horsford - TT
  • Jay T. John - TT
  • Kirese Narinesingh TT
  • Derron Sandy - TT
  • Desiree Seebaran - TT
  • Scott Leon Ting-A-Kee - Guyana

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

AFTER sustaining widespread criticism for her perceived silence on mounting violent crimes against women, Trinidad and Tobago’s first female President, Paula-Mae Weekes, has broken her silence.

NINETEEN activist groups have invited the nation to stage a “walkout” from workplaces in observation today of International Women’s Day (IWD) and to honour the activism that followed the murders of several young women, including Andrea Bharatt.

WITH each minute that passes, it is becoming less and less likely that missing hiker Qadir Shah will be found alive.

Even some of his friends and family members have apparently accepted that Shah is no longer alive and have instead mobilised searches to locate his body.

HE has suffered the horrific loss of his only daughter to violence but Randolph Bharatt remains optimistic on this International Women’s Day.

Prior to him participating in a vigil in Port of Spain organised by the Candlelight Movement last Friday where he signed a petition in support of legislation for women’s safety, Bharatt was asked his thoughts on the strides women have made: “I think they have started. Something good might happen.”

On two occasions in the past week, freight container trucks passing through an uneven stretch of road in Craignish Village, Princes Town nearly toppled over into oncoming traffic, and could go neither forward nor back.