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Senior lecturer makes call for National Literary Prize
“I have made several calls for a National Literary Prize. Many countries including Cuba and Guyana have these prizes and in Trinidad and Tobago we do not have any. Based on this competition, I think the Writers Union of Trinidad and Tobago should take on the task of creating a National Literary Prize for our country,” challenged author and senior lecturer Merle Hodge as he addressed the membership at the Writers Union of Trinidad and Tobago’s (WUTT) Awards for its President’s Cup Fiction Contest on June 25, at the National Library Building, Port-of-Spain. Hodge was one of three judges on the panel which included fellow author Earl Lovelace and long serving WUTT President Van Stewart. The President’s Cup Fiction Contest was open to all registered members of WUTT and ran over four weeks. Entrants were asked to submit a fiction piece no longer than 2,000 words on the theme Blackness. The judging panel evaluated a total of nine stories that explored Racism, Life and Death and Local Folklore.
In the end the three winners were:
1st Place – Paradise Pub—Jason Jarvis
2nd Place – Our Wonders to Perform—Kasi Senghor
3rd Place – Black Hair—Hazel Mc Shine
Hodge commended the winner Jason Jarvis for his, “ability to draw on a rich vocabulary pool—a command of “le mot juste.” “The point of view and voice of character were very well sustained throughout the story. (Jarvis) knows each of his characters and put himself into the characters, sees through their eyes and draws the reader in.” Interested people are also invited to join the group on Facebook—Writers Union of Trinidad and Tobago.
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