Burt Award for Caribbean Lit seal


CODE and NGC Bocas Lit Fest are thrilled to announce the finalists for the 5th Annual CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature. This year’s finalists were selected from over 30 submissions of both published books and unpublished manuscripts from around the Caribbean. In alphabetical order by title, the 2018 finalists are:

  • A Dark Iris by Elizabeth J. Jones (Bermuda)
    Jury summary: “A sophisticated ‘speculative fiction’ story that reveals the realities of adolescence; crushes, family problems, and school. The main character is real and relatable.”
  • My Fishy Stepmom by Shakirah Bourne (Barbados)
    Jury summary: “A delightful story that is charmingly funny. With a folktale antagonist, the shenanigans that result as the main character fights to preserve her bonds of family and friendship are heartwarming.”
  • The Dark of the Sea by Imam Baksh (Guyana)
    Jury summary: “A compelling page turner, this fantastical adventure story follows the journey of a young man who is rebellious, unimpressed by education and religion, cynical about the future, and obsessed with girls. The humour is dark, the morality complicated, …and the victories bittersweet.”

The winner and two finalists will be announced on April 25, 2018 at the opening night celebration of the 2018 NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Celebrating YA literature will continue throughout the NGC Bocas Lit Fest–see the full festival schedule for details. (bocaslitfest.com). We hope to see you at the award ceremony and the festival!

Since 2014 a dedicated network of local partners has distributed more than 37,000 award-winning books in eleven Caribbean countries. We look forward to seeing this year’s winning books published and distributed to youth throughout the Caribbean.

About the Award

Now in its fifth year, CODE’s annual Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature recognizes up to three English-language literary works for young adults (aged 12 through 18) written by Caribbean authors.

This year, the winning title will be awarded $10,000 CAD, and two finalists will be awarded $2,000 CAD each.

Publishers of winning titles will be awarded a guaranteed purchase of up to 2,500 copies, which will be donated to schools, libraries, and literacy organizations throughout the region. To date, more than 15,000 copies of winning books have made their way into the hands of Caribbean youth.

For further details, contact:

NGC Bocas Lit Fest logo

Bocas Lit Fest
Email: burtaward@bocaslitfest.com
Phone: (868) 222-7099
Web: bocaslitfest.com


Burt Authors

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CODE and NGC Bocas Lit Fest are proud to announce the finalists for the 5 th Annual CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature. Finalists to be published and distributed to hundreds of schools, libraries, and community organizations across the Caribbean.

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