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Bocas 2013 Shines Light on Emerging Writers

Bocas Lit Fest

The 2013 staging of the Bocas Literary Festival, Port of Spain, Trinidad will shine much of its literary light on emerging writers. Chief among these will be the announcement of the inaugural Hollick-Arvon Prize (HAP) for Emerging Writers. However the festival also includes workshops and other events targeted at the emerging writer.

 A shortlist of 14 writers from 6 Caribbean countries have been announced for the HAP 2013, who are vying for US$15,000 worth of prizes toward completing a work. Interestingly, the 2013 Bocas Literary Festival will also feature the launch of the first collection of short stories, Sic Transit Wagon by one of the finalists, Barbara Jenkins.

This year’s festival also continues its New Talent Showcase which will feature two alumni of the Cropper Foundation Residential Workshop poet Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné and writer and book critic Shivanee Ramlochan. Interestingly, Jenkins is also Cropper Alumnus. The New Talent Showcase focuses on writers who are close to completing their first book.

Bocas is doing more than returning with the tried and true in targeting emerging voices, however. This year the literary festival is also introducing its Writer’s Salon where emerging writers can share their work with peers. The festival will also feature workshops targeted at emerging voices.

The 2013 Bocas will also feature several established voices and this year teams up with the Edingburgh World Writers’ Conference. Writers participating in the conference include Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting and Skagboys), Vahni Capildeo (Dark and Unaccustomed Words), Hannah Lowe (Chick), Marina Warner (Stranger Fiction: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights), Earl Lovelace (The Wine of Astonishment, It’s Just a Movie, Salt), and Ifeona Fulani (Ten Days in Jamaica). Marlon James (John Crow’s Devil and Book of Night Women) and Olive Senior (Dancing Lessons, Summer Lightning, Over the Roofs of the World) will be the Keynote Speakers of the event.

The 2013 event will also feature the announcement of the OCM Bocas Prize, the return of the KFC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest as well as The Big Idea lecture this year titled the Winner Effect: How Power Affects Your Brain. The NGC Bocas Lecture 2013 will be delivered by Professor Ian Robertson. The Bocas Literary Festival takes place in Port of Spain, Trinidad, April 25 - 28, 2013.