Hazel Simmons’ collection of short stories was adjudged the competition’s best work at the 21st Frank Collymore Literary Endowment (FCLE) Awards. Despite this, she was awarded the $7,500 second prize, as for the second year in a row, the judges opted not to award a first prize.
The night’s other awardee, Sonia Williams, took third prize for her piece, “On Livity,” equalling her success in last year’s competition.
In his remarks at the event, Central Bank of Barbados Governor Cleviston Haynes said that Barbados’ current economic challenges and the ongoing recovery efforts offer thematic opportunities for writers and encouraged them to take full advantage:
“These circumstances offer the potential for enlightening and informative poetry, prose, plays and films because they embody the vagaries of life: change, challenges, hurt, conflict, highs and lows, intrigue, sacrifices and people…. These themes are the elements of good literature.”
Haynes also used his remarks to highlight the importance of supporting the literary arts financially before revealing that the Central Bank had established a one million dollar endowment that will be invested to provide additional funding for the programme. He also pledged the Bank’s support for the FCLE committee’s plans to offer creative writing scholarships at the University of the West Indies and to sponsor a literary award for school-aged writers at NIFCA.
The ceremony also featured excerpts from the winning entries and a feature address by Professor Emeritus Funso Aiyejina of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, who spoke on the topic “Writing for Prizes, or Prizes for Writing?”
The Frank Collymore Literary Endowment was started in 1988 to support and develop the literary arts in Barbados and is sponsored by the Central Bank of Barbados.
2nd prize interview: click to view
3rd prize interview: click to view