The 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature


The 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature—a major award for literary books by Caribbean writers—is now open for submissions. Books are judged in three categories: poetry, fiction and literary non-fiction. [Overall prize: $10,000 USD; Category winners: $3,000 USD.] The deadline for books (published by October 31) is November 10, 2017.

Books are judged in three categories: poetry; fiction — both novels and collections of short stories; and literary non-fiction — including books of essays, biography and autobiography, history, current affairs, travel, and other genres, which demonstrate literary qualities and use literary techniques, regardless of subject matter. (Note: textbooks, technical books, coffee-table books, specialist publications and reference works are not eligible.)

There will be a panel of three judges for each category, who will determine category shortlists and winners. The three category winners will then be judged by a panel of four judges — consisting of the chairs of the category panels and the prize chair — who will determine the overall winner.

The judges for the 2018 Prize are: Lorna Goodison (author, Jamaica; based in Canada) as chief judge; Poetry: Vahni Capildeo, Chair (author, Trinidad and Tobago; based in United Kingdom), Loretta Collins Klobah (author and scholar, Puerto Rico), Danielle Legros Georges (author, Haiti; based in United States); Fiction: Evelyn O’Callaghan, Chair (scholar, Jamaica; based in Barbados), Maya Jaggi (author and critic, United Kingdom), Kei Miller (author, Jamaica; based in United Kingdom); Non-fiction: Judy Raymond, Chair (author and editor, Trinidad and Tobago), Robert Edison Sandiford (author and editor, Barbados), and Jeremy Taylor (author and editor, United Kingdom; based in Trinidad and Tobago).

To be eligible for entry for the 2018 prize, a book must:

  1. Have been first published in the calendar year 2017 (1 January to 31 December);
  2. Have been written by a single author who either holds Caribbean citizenship or was born in the Caribbean (this must be verified by the publisher), regardless of current place of residence;
  3. Have been written by an author who is living on 31 December, 2017;
  4. Have been written and first published in English originally (i.e. translations are not eligible);
  5. Be a new work, previously unpublished in book form (though collections including poems, stories, essays, or other short pieces that have individually appeared in print in periodicals or anthologies are eligible).

Submissions must be accompanied by a completed entry form and entry fee. Click to download the OCM Bocas Prize 2018 guidelines and entry form.

For more information, see

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