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Lignum Vitae Awards Shortlist Announced

Tanya Batson-Savage and Kim Robinson-Walcott announce 2017 Lignum Vitae Awards

Six writers, two of whom are making their return the list, have been shortlisted for the 2017 Lignum Vitae Writing Awards, a trio of biennial prizes presented by the Jamaica Writers Society (JaWS) and the Jamaica Copyright Licensing Agency (JAMCOPY). The shortlists were announced on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at Bookophilia.

The six shortlisted manuscripts have been split between the Una Marson Award for Adult Literature - which boasts four, and the Jean D’Costa Award for Children’s Literature, which features two shortlisted manuscripts. No manuscripts were shortlisted for the Vic Reid Award for Young Adult Literature.

Two novels, a memoir and a collection of short stories will be vying for the J$500,000 Una Marson prize. Garfield Ellis returns to the shortlist with the manuscript for his novel Land We Love. Robert McCarthy’s The Long Way Back Home is the second novel in contention for the award. It goes up against Sharon Leach’s short story collection Girls in Trouble and Diana Macaulay’s memoir Loving Jamaica. Macaulay won the 2015 Vic Reid prize for her most recent novel Gone to Drift.

Carol Newman of JAMCOPY addresses the audience

The 2017 awards were adjudicated by three panels of judges. Academic Dr. Michael Bucknor chaired the Una Marson panel which also comprised novelist Stephanie Saulter and publisher Ian Randle. The Vic Reid Award panel featured writer and editor Dr. Kim Robinson-Walcott (chair) and writers Lynn Joseph and Diane Browne. The Jean D’Costa award was adjudicated by poet and novelist Jean Goulbourne and academic Aisha Spencer (chair).

The winners will be announced at an award ceremony on Friday, November 24, 2017, at 6:00 pm at the National Gallery of Jamaica.

The Shortlists:

The Jean D’Costa Award for Children’s Literature 

Marvin Matthews and the Magical Abeng by Nicardo McLean

Lost in the Cockpit Country by Helen Williams

The Vic Reid Award for Young Adult Literature

High Commendation – Seventeen Lashes by Dionne Brown (collection of stories)

The Una Marson Award for Adult Literature

Land We Love by Garfield Ellis

Loving Jamaica: An Exploration of Place by Diana Macaulay

The Long Way Back Home by Robert McCarthy

Girls in Trouble: Stories by Sharon Leach