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Top Three Manuscripts Selected for Burt Award 2015

Top Three Manuscripts for CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Literature 2015

The top three manuscripts for the 2015 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Literature have been selected. Culled from the five shortlisted entrants, the three writers hail from Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. 

Imam Baksh’s Children of the Spider (Guyana) Diana McCaulay’s The Dolphin Catcher (Jamaica) and Lynn Joseph’s Dancing in the Rain (Trinidad and Tobago) are the three winning entries. Though all three novels are previously unpublished, McCaulay’s The Dolphin Catcher is based on her short story which snagged the 2012 Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize. 

The three writers are vying for a two tiered prize. First is the cash prize of CD$10,000 for first place, CD$7,500 for second place and CD$5,000 for third. In addition to the cash, as they are previously unpublished, each writer will also get a publishing deal with a Caribbean publisher. CODE provides a guaranteed purchase of 7,500 copies of the three books which will be distributed across the region. 

The 2015 panel of judges comprised teacher, librarian and journalist Debbie Jacob, publisher Verna Wilkins, and writers Joanne C. Hillhouse and Richard Scrimger. 

In the release put forward by the Bocas Lit Fest (which manages the award in collaboration with CODE), the panelist described the three manuscripts as “beautifully written, exciting, worldly, young adult and unmistakably Caribbean.”

The winning writers will receive their prizes at a special ceremony on Friday, May 1, at the 5th NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain. The Bocas Lit Fest will also feature a reading by all three authors at the Best of CODE Burt Award Showcase on Saturday, May 2, 2015. The festival closes on Sunday, May 3, 2015. 

The inaugural CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Literature (2014) was won by All Over Again by Ad-Ziko Simba Gegele (Blouse and Skirt Books), Musical Youth by Joanne C. Hillhouse (Caribbean Reads Publishing) and Inner City Girl  by Colleen Smith-Dennis (LMH Publishing).