The CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature

The CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature will not be accepting submissions for 2020.

The 2019 winning titles were awarded during the NGC Bocas Lit Fest in May 2019. They included:

2019 Winner: The Unmarked Girl by Jeanelle Frontin (Trinidad and Tobago), published by Mark Made Group Ltd. 

2019 Finalist: The Accidental Prize by Tamika Gibson (Trinidad and Tobago), manuscript

2019 Finalist: Daylight Come by Diana McCaulay  (Jamaica), manuscript

Action, adventure, fantasy, myth, romance and the pain of forbidden love are just some of the themes that feature in the shortlisted titles for the 2019  Burt Award for Young Adult Literature. Pared down from an original long list of ten, the judges were effusive in their praise for the quality of the writing, the credibility of the characters and the effectiveness of the plots.

The 2018 winning titles are currently being distributed to schools, libraries and local literacy organisations throughout the Caribbean. Watch for The Dark of the Sea, My Fishy Stepmom and A Dark Iris in your school, library or local bookstore.

For the past 7 years, the generosity of the Literary Prizes Foundation and Mr. Bill Burt provided an extraordinary opportunity to make a significant and long-lasting impact on the quality and quantity of young adult fiction available to readers and educators across the region. This unique literary award programme has inspired Caribbean writers to create fantastic stories; publishers have been supported to build young adult literature into their lists; teachers and librarians have been given fantastic resources; and young readers now have access to more books than ever before.

We want to sincerely thank all those who contributed their time and efforts to ensuring the success of this programme, especially our dedicated partner CODE, a Canadian NGO whose international programmes encourage development through education around the world.

We encourage everyone to continue on with their efforts. Writers – keep writing, publishers – keep publishing, and educators – keep looking for those locally published, relevant books for your students. And we at the Bocas Lit Fest will continue to seek new sponsorship for Caribbean Young Adult literary programmes.

For a listing of all past Burt Award winning books, click here.

Visit to find out more about The Unmarked Girl by Jeanelle Frontin