The Bocas Lit Fest: The Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival

The Bocas Lit Fest, based in Trinidad and Tobago, is an annual celebration of books, writing, and writers. The festival takes place April 28 to May 1, 2011. The centerpiece of the festival will be the award ceremony for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.

The judges for 2011 are Sir Hilary Beckles, Bridget Brereton, Margaret Busby, David Chariandy, Merle Collins, Lorna Goodison, Jane King, Mark McWatt, Arnold Rampersad, Marjorie Thorpe, and Charlotte Williams. Here are the details:

The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature is a major new award for literary books by Caribbean writers. It will be awarded for the first time in April 2011. Books may be entered in three categories: poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction. The prize includes an award of US$10,000, sponsored by One Caribbean Media.

The Caribbean’s rich literary heritage—in multiple languages—has made a contribution to world culture well out of proportion to the region’s small size. We have produced winners of many literary awards, including three Nobel laureates—Saint-John Perse (1960), Derek Walcott (1992), and V.S. Naipaul (2001). But until now there has been no indigenous Caribbean literary award, organised and judged by Caribbean people, of genuinely international scope.

The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature has two stages. First, panels of distinguished judges will select the best book in each of the three genre categories. Next, the chairs of the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction panels, joined by the overall chair and vice-chair of the prize, will form a final prize jury to select the overall winner from the three genre winners. The winner of the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature will be announced on 30 April, 2011, at the first annual Bocas Lit Fest.

To be eligible for the 2011 prize, a book must have been published in the calendar year 2010, and written by an author born in the Caribbean or holding Caribbean citizenship. Books must also have been originally written in English. Publishers may submit a total of five books in each genre category (poetry, fiction, non-fiction). The judging panels may call in additional books as they see fit. The submission period for the 2011 prize opened on Monday 8 November, 2010.

For further information about the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, contact

Information, submission guidelines, and the official entry form are available through

Also see the Bocas Lit Fest blog at

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