CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature

CODE's Burt Award for Caribbean Literature recognizes outstanding writing for young adults by Caribbean authors

About the Burt Award

CODE’sburt final_caribbean_logo_web Burt Award for Caribbean Literature is an annual Award for excellent literary works for young adults (aged 12 through 18) written by Caribbean authors. Established by CODE – a Canadian charitable organization that has been supporting literacy and learning for over 50 years – with the generous support of the Literary Prizes Foundation and in partnership with the Bocas Lit Fest, the Award aims to provide engaging and culturally-relevant books for young people across the Caribbean.

Up to three prizes will be awarded each year to the authors of the winning titles: a First Prize of $10,000 CAD, a Second Prize of $7,000 CAD and a Third Prize of $5,000 CAD. Publishers of winning titles will be awarded a guaranteed purchase of up to 2,000 copies (only publishers registered and operating in the Caribbean are eligible). Copies purchased by the program are donated to select libraries, schools and literacy organizations for distribution throughout the region.

Award guidelines and entry forms for the next round of award submissions will be available from 5 July 2017. Entries will be accepted until 31 Oct 2017. 

The winners of CODE’s 4th annual Burt Award for Caribbean Literature were announced at an award ceremony on 26 April 2017 during the NGC Bocas Lit Fest. The winners are:

Viviana Prado-Núñez (Puerto Rico/USA) — first prize of $10,000 CAD for her self-published novel, The Art of White Roses.

Kevin Jared Hosein (Trinidad & Tobago) — second prize of $7000 CAD for his unpublished novel The Beast of Kukuyo

Lisa Allen-Agostini (Trinidad & Tobago) — third prize of $5000 CAD for her unpublished novel Waiting for the Bus.

CODE will facilitate the publication of the winning titles by Caribbean publishers and purchase up to 2500 copies of each. These books will be donated to schools, libraries, and community organizations across the region through CODE’s network of local partners. To date, CODE has distributed more than 22,000 award-winning books to readers in eleven Caribbean countries.


The 2017 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature Winners


The Art of White Roses by Viviana Prado-Núñez (Puerto Rico/USA) — Self-published.

“In 1957 Cuba, in strong, evocative and emotional prose, Prado-Núñez tells the story of a girl discovering truths about her family, and her country, that force her to grow in unexpected ways.” — Burt Award Judges


2nd Place

The Beast of Kukuyo by Kevin Jared Hosein (Trinidad & Tobago) – Manuscript

“Hosein’s vivid imagery and descriptive language bring you right into the narrative from the very first. You’re standing alongside Tiki and running next to Rune at the same time, looking for clues in the forest and admiring the beautiful Trinidadian landscape as you move through this adventurous tale.” — Burt Award Judges

3rd Place

Waiting for the Bus by Lisa Allen-Agostini (Trinidad & Tobago) – Manuscript.

“This story of a young woman’s journey to “home, home” is a poignant tale for anyone who has ever felt displaced by family, illness or migration, and goes beyond the obvious issues of depression to examine carefully the concepts of home and family.” —  Burt Award Judges


The 2017 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature Judges

_0002_Barry Goldblatt headshot 8-15 by Sonya SonesBarry Goldblatt began his career in publishing in 1989, and opened his eponymous literary agency in September 2000. He represents everything from picture books to adult fantasy & science fiction.

His clients include many bestselling and award winning authors, including Libba Bray (to whom he is also happily married), Angela Johnson, Kate Milford, Christopher Barzak, Tobias Buckell, Fran Wilde and Genevieve Valentine.

_0001_Jasmin SimmonsJasmin Simmons, is senior Librarian at the Heritage Library Division, NALIS with responsibility for collections management especially within the ambit of West Indian material. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Literatures in English and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. Ms Simmons has been instrumental in the development of NALIS’ First Time Authors Appreciation programme for the last five years. She is a 2010 Salzburg Fellow and 2016 International Federation of Library Associations and Institution (IFLA) Fellow. As a member of the UNESCO Memory of the World Committee she demonstrates her passion for the preservation of documentary heritage of Trinidad and Tobago.  She is also an avid puppeteer and storyteller.

_0000_swift_nicoleNicole Swift loves kids books and YA novels more than she loves adorable cat videos and Marvel movies-which is, alot. Like, lie to your friends and tell them you’re busy just so you can stay in and watch movies and read all day, a lot. She holds a degree in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College, and worked at Books & Books for years as a bookseller and store merchandiser.

She is currently a Program Manager at Miami Book Fair, exercising her dream of creating stellar author lineups for kids, YA, comics and other special projects.