Christine Barrow was the top entrant in the 26th Frank Collymore Literary Endowment competition for her prose fiction work, “Rainbow Window.” She was awarded the $7,500 second prize, however, as the judges declined to award a first place.
Third prize went to poet Elizabeth Best, who took home $5,000 for “Shak-Shak (A Woman's Tongue Percussion).” No one received the Prime Minister’s Award and there were no honourable mentions.
Meanwhile, in the inaugural spoken word competition, which was judged based on the finalists’ performances during the awards ceremony, Akeem Chandler Prescod emerged as the winner with his “In the Summer.” The night’s other finalist was Lashawna Griffith, who performed “Colourism 101.”
In his welcome remarks at the ceremony, Elson Gaskin, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, which has sponsored the FCLE since its inception, praised the programme for its commitment to excellence, saying, “Over the past 26 years, the competition has become a bellwether of quality writing, and publishers, critics, and the public-at-large see winning this competition as an endorsement. I commend the judges for remaining faithful to these ideals and never compromising in their assessments of entries.”
The FCLE also paid tribute to Sonia Williams, a former finalist in the competition, who passed away earlier this year. The ceremony began with a moment of silence followed by a reading from Williams’ anthology, “On Livity,” which took third place in the 21st edition of the competition.