Code and the Bocas Lit Fest have named five finalists for the 2015 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.
They were selected by an international jury administered by The Bocas Lit Fest and made up of writers, educators, and literacy experts, led by the T&T Guardian's Debbie Jacob.
Up to CAD$22,000 in prize money will be awarded to up to three winners, who will be announced at a Gala during the 2015 NGC Bocas Lit Fest which takes place in Port-of-Spain from April 29 to May 3.
In addition, as part of the Award's book purchase and distribution programme, up to 7,500 copies of the winning titles will be donated to schools, libraries and community organisations across the Caribbean.
The shortlisted titles are:
Children of the Spider by Imam Baksh, Guyana (manuscript to be published)
Putting Up a Resistance by Michael Cozier, T&T (self-published book)
Dancing in the Rain by Lynn Joseph, T&T (manuscript to be published)
Prayer to the Motivator by Kamau Mahakoe, Jamaica (manuscript to be published) The Dolphin Catchers by Diana McCaulay, Jamaica (manuscript to be published) A release said this is the second edition of the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature. In 2014, 7,500 copies of the first three winning titles (All Over Again by Ad-Ziko Simba Gegele, Musical Youth by Joanne C Hillhouse and Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis) were distributed to schools, libraries and community organisations in 12 Caribbean countries. Some of the winning authors also had the opportunity to meet with young readers and aspiring writers for young people in Montserrat, Antigua, and Barbados as part of an author tour.
Marina Salandy-Brown, founder of The Bocas Lit Fest, Code's local partner in implementing the Award, said in the release, "This is more than a prize.
The Code-sponsored regional writing workshops and the publishing of new manuscripts contribute to the creation of a body of good, young adult literature and a much needed literary infrastructure in the region."
The Burt Award for Caribbean Literature was established by Code–a Canadian charitable organisation that has been advancing literacy and learning for 55 years–in collaboration with the Literary Prizes Foundation.
Code's Burt Award is a global readership initiative and is also currently established in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Canada.
"Code is very proud and excited to be adding these great books to the Burt Award family," said Code executive director Scott Walter.
"Beyond simply recognising excellent writing in the Caribbean, this Award aims to ignite in young people a lifelong love of reading by putting in their hands books that feature stories, situations and characters they can relate to. We can't wait for them to discover this year's winning titles."
�2 For further details on the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, see: www.codecan.org/burt-award-caribbean, contact: in[email protected]caslitfest.com or call 222-7099.