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Five Writers Make 2015 Burt Award Shortlist
Five manuscripts and one previously self-published novel have been selected as the finalists for the 2015 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature. The finalists who will be vying for up to CA$22,000 in prizes hail from Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
The shortlisted titles comprise Children of the Spider by Imam Baksh (Guyana), Michael Cozier’s Putting Up Resistance (Trinidad and Tobago), Lynn Joseph’s Dancing in the Rain (Trinidad and Tobago) Kamau Mahakoe’s Prayer to the Motivator (Jamaica) and Diana McCaulay’s The Dolphin Catchers (Jamaica). Of the five, Cozier’s Putting Up Resistance was the only previously published work.
The Burt Award for Caribbean Literature awards a first prize of CA$10,000, a second prize of CA$7,000 and a third place prize of CA$5,000. Additionally, up to 7,500 copies of the winning titles are bought and distributed to schools, libraries and literacy organizations.
The 2015 edition of the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature is the second iteration. The inaugural prize was won by A-dZiko Simba Gegele whose debut novel All Over Again (Blouse and Skirt Books) claimed first prize. Joanne Hillhouse earned the second prize with manuscript Musical Youth, which was subsequently published by Caribbean Reads. Colleen Smith-Dennis earned third place with Inner City Girl (LMH Publishing).
The Prize is organized by CODE a Canadian charitable organization in collaboration with the Bocas Lit Fest. The Burt Awards are also established in Canada, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. The winners of the Caribbean prize will be announced on May 1, 2015 during the Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.