Nine writers have been selected for the Lignum Vitae Writing Awards 2015 shortlist. The shortlist features writers from different stages in their careers, from award winners to debut novelists.
Staged by the Jamaican Writers Society in collaboration with the Jamaican Copyright Licensing Agency, the inaugural Lignum Vitae Awards received a total of 43 entries from writers in Jamaica as well as the Diaspora. The Una Marson Award for adult literature received the largest number of entries, attracting an impressive twenty-four (24) novels and short story collections. The Vic Reid Award for young adult literature attracted the second highest number of entries, twelve (12), while the Jean D’Costa Award for children’s literature received seven (7) entries.
The winner of the Una Marson Award will receive $500,000.00 while winners for the Vic Reid and Jean D’Costa prizes each receive $250,000.00. The combined purse is the largest prize for literature in Jamaica.
An impressive team of writers, critics and academics comprised the adjudication panels that selected the shortlist and will ultimately determine the winners. Novelist and academic Dr. Erna Brodber (chair), academic Dr. Kezia Page and National Librarian Winsome Hudson comprise the three-member panel for the Una Marson Award.
Novelists A-dZiko Simba Gegele, Cherrell Shelley Robinson and academic Carolyn Allen are the adjudicators for the Vic Reid Award. Jean D’Costa the iconic writer for whom the award is named, chairs the final panel, which is completed by writers Rebecca Tortello and Hazel Campbell.
The winners will be announced at a reception at the National Gallery of Jamaican, Sunday, November 8, 2015.
The Lignum Vitae Awards are sponsored by JAMCOPY, the HEART Trust/NTA, Nucleus Creative and Scarlette Beharie. The Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica has also sponsored the Jean D’Costa Award.
The 2015 Shortlist is:
The Una Marson Award
The Cherry Picker – Patrick Brown
The Angel’s Share – Garfield Ellis
The Road to Timnath – Sylvia Gilfillian
Tea By the Sea – Donna Hemans
Augustown – Kei Miller
The Vic Reid Award
The Titchfield Turnabout – Paula Lennon
Gone to Drift – Diana Macaulay
The Jean D’Costa Award
A Different Me: A Better You – Janet Morrison
Duppy in the Wardrobe – Helen Williams