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The Caribbean Writer Announces Volume 28 Prize Winners

The Caribbean Writer book cover

The Caribbean Writer – the University of the Virgin Islands’ international, refereed, literary journal with a Caribbean focus – announced its annual prize winners for Volume 28, which highlights time, place and memories. Topping the list of prizes is The Marvin E. Williams Literary Prize of $500 for new or emerging writers. This annual prize is donated by Marvin’s widow, Dasil Williams, in honor of her late husband who served as the editor of The Caribbean Writer from 2003-2008. This prize was awarded to Charlene Spencer, an up-and-coming poet publishing in The Caribbean Writer for the first time. Spencer currently resides on St. Croix.

The First Lady Cecile de Jongh Literary Prize of $500 was awarded to Dariel Suarez, a Cuban-born writer now living in Boston. This prize is awarded to an author whose work best expresses the spirit of the Caribbean. It is donated by former Gov. John P. de Jongh, Jr. in honor of former First Lady Cecile de Jongh’s abiding commitment to literacy in the territory especially among the young people of the Virgin Islands.

The David Hough Literary Prize was awarded to Anya Martinez, a writer who currently lives in Trinidad where she is actively pursuing a writing career. This $500 prize is awarded to an author who is a resident of the Caribbean. It is donated by Sonja Hough in memory of her late husband. Hough is a handmade jewelry designer living in Christiansted, St. Croix. She is the owner of Sonja’s Designs.

The Daily News Prize for poetry, of $300, was awarded to Colin Robinson, an established poet from Diego Martin, Trinidad. 

The Canute A. Brodhurst Prize of $400 for short fiction was awarded to Jacqueline Bishop, who teaches full-time in the Liberal Studies Program at New York University.

The Charlotte and Isidor Paiewonsky Prize for first-time publication in The Caribbean Writer went to Mary Rykov, a music therapist, educator, writer and editor who currently resides in Toronto, Canada. She was awarded $250.

 The Marguerite Cobb-McKay Prize, which is awarded to a Virgin Islands author, went to Semaj Johnson, an emerging Virgin Islands writer who currently works as a civil litigator. She was awarded $200.

“We would like to thank all of our supporters and sponsors for making these prizes possible,” said Alscess Lewis-Brown, Caribbean Writer editor. “We are looking forward to another set of exciting submissions in Volume 29.”  The upcoming volume highlights ambiguities and contradictions in the Caribbean space and is scheduled to be published in 2015.

Beginning this year, The Daily News Literary Prize will be retitled The Virgin Islands Daily News Prize, and the prize winnings will increase from $300 to $500 annually. Also, this prize will be awarded to a U.S. Virgin Islands or British Virgin Islands resident for fiction or a non-fiction essay.

For more information on The Caribbean Writer, please visit www.thecaribbeanwriter.org.