Bocas Children’s Book Prize open for submissions

Danielle Y.C. McClean

Registration is open for entries for The 2023 Bocas Lit Fest Children’s Book Prize. Now in its third consecutive year, The Bocas Children’s Book Prize is open to Caribbean-born authors of English-language books, including self-published writers, living anywhere in the world. Eagerly anticipated, the prestigious prize beckons aspiring writers to captivate the imagination of children aged 7-12 with enchanting tales that resonate with their cultural roots.

Creating a platform for children’s book authors to bring magic to the world of storytelling, the competition kicked off on July 17, closing to submissions until September 18. The winner will be announced in December 2023 and will receive a generous cash prize of US$1,000. Judged by a panel of three and led by head judge, Kevin Jared Hosein, 2023 NGC Bocas Lit Fest participant and author of the internationally acclaimed novel Hungry Ghosts, the prize will include input from a young reader, Josh Hansraj, at the second stage of judging. The other judges are Desryn T.A. Collins and Kellie Magnus.

Launched in 2021, the Children’s Book Prize has already made a significant impact, encouraging the creation of culturally relevant literature tailored to the critical reading development phase of young minds. By recognising and promoting outstanding works, the prize serves as a guiding light for educators and parents, steering them towards the finest literary gems that will shape the hearts and minds of future Caribbean leaders.

2022 Children’s Book Prize winner, Trinidadian Danielle Y. C. McClean, captivated readers with her publication, The Whisperer’s Warning: Secrets of Oscuros. Her achievement saw her being featured in the 2023 NGC Bocas Lit Fest’s Writers First event, in which she dispensed invaluable advice to aspiring children’s authors. Jamaican Kereen Getten’s When Life Gives You Mangoes won the inaugural prize in 2021.

Sponsored by the Wainwright Family, the 2023 Bocas Children’s Book Prize entries are expected to attract wordsmiths who continue to push the boundaries of creativity and imagination, and foster a new generation of avid readers who will cherish and uphold the rich cultural legacy of the Caribbean.

For detailed submission guidelines and further information, visit:

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