Bocas’ Best: the 2018 Longlist (And Now a Shortlist)

And now there is a short list: “Books by writers from Jamaica and T&T have been named to the shortlist of the 2018 OCM Bocas Prize, the Caribbean’s top literary award, sponsored by One Caribbean Media, parent company of the Express and TV6 and radio network.

For the first time in the eight-year history of the prize, the shortlist consists of just two books: poetry winner Madwoman, by Shara McCallum, and fiction winner Curfew Chronicles, by Jennifer Rahim. There is no non-fiction winner for 2018, as the judges did not believe any of the eligible books “could be held to represent the best of regional writing.”

The two shortlisted titles will now enter the final round of judging, and vie for the overall award of US$10,000, to be presented on 28 April during the 2018 NGC Bocas Lit Fest (25–29 April) in Port of Spain.”

Details here.

Wadadli Pen

These two books received special commendation but did not make the longlist.

“Six books by writers from five Caribbean countries have been announced on the longlist for the 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, sponsored by One Caribbean Media.

Considered the leading literary award for Caribbean writers, the Prize recognises books in three genre categories — poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction — published by Caribbean authors in the preceding year. The writers on the 2018 longlist range from internationally celebrated prizewinners to debut authors.”

But there’s a twist:

‘The 2018 OCM Bocas Prize non-fiction judges have made an unprecedented decision to name no titles to the longlist. “While a few books stood head and shoulders above the rest,” write the judges, “even those had obvious shortcomings, and we believe that this prize ought to be awarded for achievement, not for effort.” None of the eligible books, the judges continue…

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April 3, 2018 · 5:27 pm

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