“The Plundering” by Heather Barker, was adjudged the best entry at this year’s Frank Collymore Literary Endowment (FCLE) Awards. The FCLE, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, was created to support and develop the literary arts in Barbados.
Despite being considered the best writer, however, Barker, an entrepreneur and former journalist, only received second prize at the event. This was because for only the third time in the competition’s history, the judges opted not to award the top prize.
Explaining the committee’s decision, Chairman of the FCLE, Antonio “Boo” Rudder said that while there were some quality entries, none of them were of sufficiently high calibre to receive the top award.
Sonia Williams took third place for her poetic work, “Her Bald Head Luminous”.
The full list of FCLE Awardees:
1st Prize Not Awarded
2nd Prize Heather Barker – The Plundering (Fiction) $7,500.00
3rd Prize Sonia Williams – Her Bald Head Luminous (Poetry) $5,000.00
Prime Minister’s Award Shakira Bourne – Getting Back to Jack (Fiction)
Honourable Mention Amanda Haynes – Ups & Downs of Dessa Darling (Novella)
In his remarks at the ceremony, Central Bank of Barbados Governor Cleviston Haynes observed that “the evolution of local literature is intrinsic to our national development” and reaffirmed his organisation’s commitment to endowment.
Haynes also took the opportunity to thank four longstanding members of the committee who will be retiring. Rudder, Professor Jane Bryce, Christine Rocheford, and Professor Mark McWatt, all of whom have served on the committee for two decades announced that the recently concluded competition will be their last.
In a departure from the event’s traditional format, the awards forewent a featured speaker and instead used the occasion to highlight several of the endowment’s previous winners in a video tribute.
The Central Bank created the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment in memory of late Barbadian actor, artist and writer, Frank Appleton Collymore.