The Bocas YA Critics Competition

A writing competition for secondary school students in Trinidad and Tobago

Calling all book lovers between 11 and 18 years old!

Submit a book review on one of the nine excellent books that have won CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature for the chance to win fabulous prizes, kick-start your writing career, and get published!


  • Write a review (max 500 words) of one of CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature winning books (see list of books below)
  • Complete the online entry form below (scroll down on this page) and attach your review to submit to us by 02 February 2018. 
  • Entrants must be between the ages 11 and 18 and currently attending secondary school in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Download and read the competition Terms and Conditions for more details

The winners will be published in the Trinidad and Tobago daily Express newspaper, and one talented young critic will be chosen as the Bocas Lit Fest’s new YA book critic with a regular slot for reviewing books on our website.

Need help getting started on your review? Check out these five tips on writing a book review by Shivanee Ramlochan.  


Reviews can be submitted on any of the following titles:

  • All Over Again by A-dZiko Simba Gegele
  • Musical Youth by Joanne Hillhouse
  • Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis
  • Children of the Spider by Imam Baksh
  • Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay
  • Dancing in the Rain by Lynn Joseph
  • Dreams Beyond the Shore by Tamika Gibson
  • Girlcott by Florenz Webbe Maxwell
  • The Protector’s Pledge by Danielle Y.C. McClean




The judges will select the best reviews of each book to publish on the Bocas Lit Fest website, and will also select one junior winner (aged 11 to 15) and one senior winner (aged 16 to 18). The junior and senior winners will receive the following prize package:

  • online publication and promotion of your review by the Bocas Lit Fest, the region’s premier literary arts organisation
  • publication of your review in the Trinidad and Tobago Daily Express newspaper
  • career development and hands on experience in arts criticism and review writing as part of our team of Bocas youth bloggers
  • A $200 gift certificate from one of the participating booksellers of your choice – Paper Based Bookshop, Metropolitan Book Suppliers Ltd., Nigel R Khan Bookseller, RIK Book Services Ltd.
  • a meeting with one of CODE’s Burt Award winning authors (in-person or online)
  • VIP access to the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, T&T’s annual literary festival, including free entry to writing workshops, invitations to special events and back stage access to the writers (25 to 29 April 2018)

In collaboration with the Daily Express and NALIS



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