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Writers From Six Caribbean Countries Named Finalists in 2013 Hollick-Arvon Prize

Sue Hollick announcing the Hollick-Arvon Prize at Bocas 2012

The fourteen finalists in the inaugural Hollick-Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize have been announced. The emerging writers, who are vying for prize valued at US$15,000, hail from seven countries across the region, but the finalists have been dominated by Trinidad and Tobago which accounts for seven of the shortlisted writers.

The shortlist was announced earlier in March and also comprises writers from Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Bahamas, Bermuda and Antigua and Barbuda. The Hollick-Arvon prize includes a cash award of ₤3,000 (US$4,500) but is a multi-faceted award aimed at allowing the writer to develop a work. The prize therefore includes a year of mentorship, as well as opportunities to attend an Arvon Foundation staged workshop and networking sessions with literary professionals.

Chair of the judging panel, Funso Aiyejina, expressed pleasure at the calibre of writing displayed by the finalists. “We were very pleased with the quality of entries and the range of new writers coming up in the region,” Aiyejina said, via a release available on the Bocas Lit Fest website.

“This is a rare and valuable opportunity for our writers, who largely lack access to those who can help advance their work,” said Marina Salandy-Brown, Co-founder of the Prize and Director of Bocas. She underscored that the prize is guaranteed for three years courtesy of the Hollick Family Charitable Trust in London. she was cited as saying in the release. “One person will take home the Prize, but nobody loses by putting their work out there.”
The 2013 Hollick-Arvon prize received submissions from 65 writers from 13 countries. Interestingly, of the finalists, there is only one male.

The winner of the prize will be announced during the third annual NGC Bocas Literary Festival, which is slated to take place April 25 - 28, in Port of Spain.

Lisa Allen-Agostini (Trinidad and Tobago)

Katherine Atkinson (St. Lucia)

Angela Barry (Bermuda)

Vashti Bowlah (Trinidad and Tobago)

Brenda Lee Brown (Antigua and Barbuda)

Lenworth Burke (Jamaica)

Barbara Jenkins (Trinidad and Tobago)

Ilsa Lopez-Valles (Puerto Rico)

Ira Mathur (Trinidad and Tobago)

Sharon Millar (Trinidad and Tobago)

Amanda Choo Quan (Trinidad and Tobago)

Lelawatee Manoo-Rahming (Bahamas/Trinidad and Tobago)

Ann Second (Trinidad and Tobago)

Hazel Simmonds-McDonald (St. Lucia)