(Port of Spain, 22 March 2017) — CODE is proud to announce the finalists for its fourth annual Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, which recognizes outstanding writing for young adults by Caribbean authors.
Three finalists were selected from among submissions of both published books and unpublished manuscripts. The 2017 shortlisted titles are:
The finalists were selected by a jury administered by the Bocas Lit Fest and made up of writing, publishing and educational professionals with expertise in young adult literature.
Up to $22,000 CAD in prize money will be awarded to a maximum of three winners, who will be announced on April 26that the opening night celebration of the 2017 NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
To support the development of high quality, culturally relevant books, CODE will facilitate the publication of the winning titles by Caribbean publishers. CODE will also purchase and distribute up to 2500 copies of each winning title, which will be donated to schools, libraries, and community organizations across the region through CODE’s network of local partners.
“One of the unique features of the Burt Award is that CODE ensures young readers have access to the winning titles,” said CODE Executive Director Scott Walter. “We are thrilled not only to celebrate our three nominated authors but also by the prospect of bringing their stories into the world and connecting them with Caribbean youth.”
With the forthcoming distribution of the 2016 winners, CODE will have distributed more than 22,000 award-winning books to readers in eleven Caribbean countries. CODE offers further support for the writing, publishing, promotion, and teaching of young adult literature by sponsoring professional training and public events where Burt Award-winning authors can meet and inspire young readers and writers.
“Bocas is delighted to be a part of this initiative that not only rewards our best writers of young adult literature, but also helps to build the publishing sector in the Caribbean. The guaranteed distribution of the winning books may be the most important aspect of the award, as it supports small independent publishers in our region,” said Marina Salandy-Brown, founder and director of the Bocas Lit Fest.
The Burt Award for Caribbean Literature is a global readership initiative established by CODE with the generous support of Canadian philanthropist William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation. Established in Tanzania in 2008, the award is now offered in the Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Canada, and the Caribbean.