Frequently Asked Questions

When & Where is the NGC Bocas Lit Fest?

The NGC Bocas Lit Fest is held every year during the last week of April/ first week of May in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, but the 2020 Festival has been postponed to 18 – 20 September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The NGC Bocas Lit Fest usually takes place at the National Library and the adjoining Old Fire Station in downtown Port of Spain, but the 2020 NGC Bocas Lit Fest will be entirely virtual with a diverse programme of readings, author conversations, panel discussions, and performance offered online for free. 

Is the Festival really free?

Yes! Entry to the Festival Village is free, and almost all of our events – including readings, panel discussions, film screenings, performances and children’s events – are free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come basis and everyone is welcome.

There are two notable exceptions:

1) The First Citizens National Poetry Slam semi-finals and finals are ticketed events

2) You must register in advance to reserve your spot in our writing workshops. You can register online, by phone or by email.  Most workshops cost TT$100.00, and this fee can be paid in cash at the door.

I’m a writer, how can I participate in the Festival?

Our Festival programme is developed around specific annual themes and generally features recently published Caribbean authors. We showcase the writers longlisted and shortlisted for the major literary awards administered by Bocas, as well as the independent panels of experts and writers who judge them. We also review nominations from publishers and our programme partners to determine the most exciting new voices to showcase each year.

We welcome submissions from authors wishing to participate in the Festival, but we have limited openings for writers who don’t fall into one of the above categories. We follow up on submissions/ queries from authors that fit with our programme plans and themes for upcoming Festivals.

If you’re interested in participating in the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, send us an email at with an author bio, book synopsis and any critical reviews/ endorsements for consideration.

What opportunities do you have for self-published or new writers?

We have several events during the Festival, and year round, that seek out and support promising new talent:

  • Writing workshops for all levels (advance registration required)
  • Stand and Deliver is our main platform for new writers who want to read their work for peers and a festival audience. This is an open-mic event for writers of all genres. 
  • Writers First is our series of free seminars for budding and self-published writers on key areas of the book business, led by publishing experts.
  • The New Talent Showcase shines a spotlight on promising new writers, many of whom have gone on to be published after appearing on our stage.

Who manages book sales at the Festival?

The Bocas Lit Fest does not sell or distribute books, so books by authors appearing at the Festival (and many other titles) are sold by independent booksellers who set up booths in our Festival Village. Make sure to purchase early so you’re first in line for book signing!

Can I participate as an exhibitor or bookseller at the Festival?

Beyond books, the Festival Village has an array of exciting local products, crafts and services from specialist vendors — everything from artisan chocolate to handmade clothing, jewellery and crafts. If you’re interested in having your own booth at the Festival, contact us at for a copy of our vendor registration form and to get more information on renting a booth space at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest. 

Are Festival events recorded?

Since 2017 we’ve been livestreaming the events at the Old Fire Station, and those videos are available on our YouTube channel here. We have audio recordings of Festival events from before 2017, and those are available via Soundcloud here.  If you are interested in using or sharing a recording from the festival, please contact us for permission at

Do you need volunteers?

Yes! We recruit a large team of volunteers to help at the annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest. Please click here for more information and to complete the online application form if you’re interested.

If you have questions unanswered by this FAQ page, please contact us.