Bocas Lit Fest seeks entries for Caribbean Children’s Book Prize

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When Life Give You Mangoes by Jamaican Kereen Getten, first winner of the Bocas Lit Fest Children’s Book Prize in 2021. –

How to develop the readers of the future? The Bocas Lit Fest believes children should have books that interest them and the NGO has announced the return of the Children’s Book Prize for 2022.

This is the second annual Bocas Children’s Book Award and is open to Caribbean-born English-language book authors, including self-published authors, who live anywhere in the world and carry a cash prize of 1 US$000. It opens on June 20 and ends on August 31. The winner will be announced in November 2022.

The annual award was launched in 2021 to address the shortage of books for children aged 7-12, which is a critical time as children transition from reading to independent reading. Encouraging more writing aimed at this age group through the Bocas Children’s Book Prize is just one of the incentives to increase the number of high-quality, relevant books for Caribbean children.

The award aims to build capacity in the field of Caribbean children’s publishing by encouraging publishers, illustrators and writers to continue to create to high standards, providing children with culturally relevant reading material at a critical stage of their reading development. By raising awareness of the best books available for children, the award also aims to guide educators and parents.

The former director of the Heritage Library, part of Nalis, and well-known storyteller Joan Osborne will again chair an independent jury, which will be joined by a young reader in the second stage of judging. Works of fiction, including short story collections and books in verse, literary non-fiction and graphic novels written for children, are all eligible and must be led by prose rather than illustration, as the visual storytelling is more appropriate for young readers.

In 2021, the inaugural year of the competition, entries were received from across the Caribbean and the Diaspora. Kereen Getten, born in Jamaica and residing in the UK, won the prize with her incredibly imaginative book, When Life Gives you Mangoes.

The 2022 award is sponsored by the Wainwright family.

Prize entry guidelines and more information can be found at: www.bocaslitfest.com/awards/childrens-book-prize/


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