From 2013 to 2019, the generosity of the Literary Prizes Foundation and Mr. Bill Burt provided an extraordinary opportunity to make a significant and long-lasting impact on the quality and quantity of young adult books available to readers and educators across the Caribbean. This unique literary award programme inspired Caribbean writers to create fantastic stories; supported publishers to build young adult literature into their lists; gave fantastic resources to teachers and librarians; and young readers now have access to more books than ever before.

We want to sincerely thank all those who contributed their time and efforts to ensuring the success of this programme, especially our dedicated partner CODE, a Canadian NGO whose international programmes encourage development through education around the world.

About the Award 

The CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature, established by CODE in partnership with the Bocas Lit Fest, recognised excellent, engaging and culturally-relevant literature for an underserved readership (12 to 18 years old) in the Caribbean. It was awarded annually to three English language literary works for young adults written by Caribbean authors.

The winning book or manuscript received a cash prize of $10,000 CAD, and there were two prizes of $2,000.00 CAD for each finalist. Most significantly, the Bocas Lit Fest facilitated publishing deals with eligible regional publishers for winning manuscripts, and the award sponsor CODE guaranteed purchase of up to 2,500 copies of each book. Copies purchased by CODE were donated to select libraries, schools and literacy organisations for distribution throughout the region. Since 2014, more than 40,000 copies of the winning books have been distributed across eleven Caribbean countries as part of the Burt Award programme.
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About CODE

If you can read and write, you can learn to do, and be anything. That’s the idea behind CODE. A Canadian NGO with over 60 years of experience, CODE advances literacy and learning in Canada and around the world. CODE’s international programs encourage development through education with support to libraries, professional development for teachers, as well as national and local book publishing in over 20 languages. Find out more at