June 2019

The CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature program will not be accepting submissions for 2020. 

The 2019 Award winning titles were awarded during the 2019 NGC Bocas Lit Festival In May 2019. They included:

2019 Winner: The Unmarked Girl by Janelle Frontin (Trinidad and Tobago) 
2019 Finalist: he Accidental Prize by Tamika Gibson (Trinidad and Tobago)
2019 Finalist: Daylight Come by Diana McCaulay  (Jamaica)

Action, adventure, fantasy, myth, romance and the pain of forbidden love are just some of the themes that feature in the six shortlisted titles for the 2019 Burt Award for Young Adult Literature. Pared down from an original long list of ten, the judges were effusive in their praise for the quality of the writing, the credibility of the characters and the effectiveness of the plots. Watch for the publication of these three wonderful titles in 2020.  

The 2018 winning titles are currently being distriubted to schools, libraries and local literacy organizations throughout the Caribbean. Watch for The Dark of the Sea, My Fishy StepMom and The Dark Iris in your school, library or local bookstore.

For the past 7 years, the generosity of the Literary Prizes Foundation and Mr. Bill Burt provided an extraordinary opportunity to make a significant and long-last impact on the quality and quantity of young adult fiction available to readers and educators across the region. We know from all the feedback we have received that writers have been inspired to create fantastic stories, publishers have been supported to build young adult literature into their lists, teachers and librarians have been given fantastic resources, and readers now have access to more books than ever before. 

We want to sincerely thank all those who contributed their time and efforts to ensuring the success of this unique award and readership program, in particular, the work and dedication of everyone at Bocas Lit Fest.

We encourage everyone to continue on with their efforts. Writers – keep writing, publishers – keep publishing, and educators – keep looking for those locally published, relevant books for your students.

Bocas Lit Fest:

About Bocas Lit Fest
Bocas Lit Fest logoWe are a year-round writing and literary arts development organization, with numerous initiatives forging links and opportunities between writers, readers, publishers and others. We run the annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival (named as one of the world’s best literary festivals) and administer major regional writing prizes which provide crucial support for Caribbean writers, including the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and The CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature. The NGC Bocas Lit Fest is Trinidad and Tobago’s premier annual literary festival: a lively celebration of books, writers, writing, and ideas, with a Caribbean focus and international scope.

About CODE
CODE logoIf you can read and write, you can learn to do, and be anything. That’s the idea behind CODE. A Canadian NGO with 59 years of experience, CODE advances literacy and learning in Canada and around the world. CODE’s international programs encourage development through education with support to libraries, professional development for teachers, as well as national and local book publishing in over 20 languages.

About the Award

For seven years, the CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature recognized up to three English-language literary works for young adults (aged 12 through 18) written by Caribbean authors. The authors of the awarded titles were each given a cash prize, and publishers of winning titles were awarded a guaranteed purchase of up to 2,500 copies, which were donated to schools, libraries, and literacy organizations throughout the region. To date, more than 45,000 copies of winning books have made their way into the hands of Caribbean youth.

In 2019, the winning title was awarded $10,000 CAD, and two finalists were awarded $2,000 CAD each. The 2018 titles were distributed to schools and libraries in May/June 2019.

For further details, contact:

NGC Bocas Lit Fest logo

Bocas Lit Fest
Phone: (868) 222-7099


Burt Authors

Latest News

View All News

CODE Burt Literary Award

CALLING ALL EDITORS for the 2018 Remote Editing Mentorship Program

Aug 22, 2018

Are you passionate about the creative process of young adult literature? Are you looking for an opportunity to work alongside African and Caribbean book creators and mentor their creative process? If you answered yes, then this opportunity is for you! CODE is seeking volunteer editors to mentor African and Caribbean authors, editors, and publishers whose manuscripts are eligible to compete in the...

Magical things happen here

Apr 25, 2018

NGC Bocas Lit Fest is one of the Caribbean’s largest and most well-respected literary festivals and it recently wrapped up its eighth successful year in Trinidad and Tobago’s capital, Port of Spain.

The 2018 Winning Titles

Imam Baksh wins the 2018 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Literature – once again!

Apr 25, 2018

The Bocas Lit Fest and CODE announced the winners of its fifth annual Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature, which recognizes outstanding writing for young adults by Caribbean authors, during the opening night of the 2018 NGC Bocas Lit Festival in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.