Eight writers will receive awards from the seventh annual Frank Collymore Literary Competition in an Awards Ceremony on Saturday, January 8, 2005 in the Inner Courtyard of the Tom Adams Financial Centre. These awards are funded by the Central Bank of Barbados, who established the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment in 1998 to assist in the promotion of the literary arts in Barbados.
The best three writers from a list of nearly thirty entrants to the competition sponsored by the Central Bank of Barbados, will share BDS$20,000 in prizes. Two of the prizes will go to first-time winners. The panel of judges also found four other entries worthy of honourable mention.
For the third consecutive year, a writer will receive the Prime Minister’s Award. Initiated by the Right Honourable Owen Arthur, this award is presented to an entry that strongly deserves recognition and encouragement for quality of writing; and that reflects on Barbadian culture and identity in an original and provocative way.
Endowment Chairman, Andy Taitt, said that the judges were especially challenged this year by a number of writers willing to experiment both with form and content. “Several times we had to stop and revise our first impressions,” the Chairman said, “to ask ourselves if a writer was trying to do more than we had at first noticed. And even where the work did not eventually reach the standard we hoped for, it is refreshing to see writers with the courage to take chances and go beyond the usual. Especially where the stakes are so high.”
The judges noted that the Frank Collymore Literary Competition, named for one of the most important figures in West Indian literature, continues to attract a wide range of talented writers, and to serve an important function in identifying the strengths and needs of writers in Barbados.
Dr. Peter Laurie, a writer and retired Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will deliver the feature address at the awards ceremony. The winners will read excerpts from their works.