My story Musical Youth has made the inaugural short list of the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature. I was ridiculously giddy when I received this news. Ridiculously giddy; and I’m not even embarrassed about that. Musical Youth happened during a marathon binge writing session just as this particular window of opportunity prepared to close. And proved to be one of the more exhilarating literary sprints of my writing life. Months of nothing then all of a sudden I had no time…but I had an idea and I had to write…literally chasing this story down, just trying to keep up. I…probably shouldn’t admit this considering how much I advise against it but… I cut it so close, I didn’t even have time to get it edited…though I did seek the feedback of an actual teen before sending it off. So, thanks, Djeri for your plain spoken critique (no sugar coating LOL) and thanks Djeri’s mom for the pep talk (and other assistance) when I desperately needed it. There’s one other person who doesn’t even know she had anything to do with this but who saved me invaluable research time by enthusiastically answering what must have seemed an odd question (no context, just I need some information on X). So, thanks, Aisha.
The Burt Award was designed to dig up and disseminate Caribbean literature for teens and young adults. So the winning stories should be on your book shelves or in your hands sooner rather than later if they aren’t already (some are existing books; some, like mine, are brand new manuscripts).
Hats off to my fellow finalists – Diane Browne, A-dZiko Gegele, and Colleen Smith Dennis of Jamaica; Trinidad and Tobago’s Glynis Guevara; Joanne Skerett of Dominica; and me, repping always for Ottos, Antigua. However this shakes out, I think we can count making this list as a win. Here’s the official announcement: http://www.bocaslitfest.com/2014/finalists-for-the-2014-burt-award-announced/