The Bocas Breakthrough Fellowships, running from December 2023 to May 2024, will support five early-career Caribbean writers based at home in the region in advancing or completing a book manuscript or other body of work, and developing their professional skills and networks in the regional and international literary world.

Each of the five fellowships will consist of:

  • Participation in a series of monthly virtual seminars with international literary professionals
  • Six months’ mentorship from an established author
  • Participation in the 2024 NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain in April 2024 (travel and accommodation costs will be covered for fellows based outside Trinidad)
  • Guidance in preparing a “pitch package” suitable for approaching publishers and literary agents
  • Publication of a chapbook with an excerpt from the writer’s work in progress
  • A stipend of US$300

Eligibility and entry guidelines

To be eligible for entry, a writer must:

  • Be of Caribbean birth or citizenship, living and working in the Anglophone Caribbean and writing in English
  • Be over the age of 18 by 31 October, 2023
  • Not have previously published a book-length work in any literary genre
  • Not be a recipient of another past or current award or fellowship administered by the Bocas Lit Fest (specifically, the Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize, Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize, or 2022 Bocas Emerging Writers Fellowships)

Please note: the Bocas Breakthrough Fellowships are specifically aimed at writers living in the Caribbean region who have not previously benefitted from international opportunities for career development. Writers enrolled in an international programme of study during the academic year 2023–24 and/or whose primary place of residence during the fellowship term is outside the Caribbean are not eligible.

Fellows must be willing to fully participate in the programme of online seminars and able to participate in person in the 2024 NGC Bocas Lit Fest. Selected fellows will be required to sign a contract to that effect.

Each application must include a completed online form, available on this page below.

For each application, please also upload a PDF — NOT a MS Word file or any other format — via the online form, containing the following:

  • A statement of no more than 300 words about your current work in progress and how it could be supported and advanced by this fellowship.
  • A recent sample of work in progress, published or unpublished, to a maximum of 2,500 words of prose or up to six pages of poetry (doublespaced).
  • A CV of no more than two pages, including a short biographical note and a list of literary works previously published in magazines, journals, or anthologies, where applicable (please give the place and date of publication, and provide URLs for pieces published online); as well as any previous writing awards or fellowships.

NB: application materials must be in English.

The Bocas Breakthrough Fellowships open for applications on 11 October, 2023. The application deadline is 31 October, 2023, at midnight TT time. No late entries will be accepted.

For any queries about eligibility requirements or the application process, please contact the fellowship administrators at: [email protected]

Funded by Creative Caribbean, a collaborative initiative of UNESCO, CARICOM, and The University of the West Indies, with the financial contribution of the European Union and the support of the Organisation of ACP States.
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