The 2023 NGC Bocas Lit Fest: 28–30 April

Our annual literary festival is carded for Friday 28–Sunday 30 April! We’re returning to a fully in-person format, with our festival village based at the National Library in downtown Port of Spain and satellite events at other venues. We’ll also be livestreaming selected festival events via our website, YouTube and Facebook pages!

Our programme is packed with readings, discussions, book launches, commissioned new writing, our Stand and Deliver open mic, workshops, children’s events, music, drama, our prize ceremony, and even more. 

You can access selected digital events from past festivals on our YouTube page, as well as our rich content library of events from past years,in our Friends of Bocas Lit Fest community platform. We invite you to join Friends of Bocas today!

Frequently Asked Questions

The NGC Bocas Lit Fest is held every year during the last week of April/ first week of May in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (with the exception of the 2020 Festival which was postponed to 18–20 September due to the COVID-19 pandemic). 

 The NGC Bocas Lit Fest takes place at the National Library and the adjoining Old Fire Station in downtown Port of Spain. 

Yes! Entrance to the Festival Village at the National Library is free, and almost all of our events – including readings, panel discussions, film screenings, performances and children’s events – are free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come basis and everyone is welcome. 

There are two notable exceptions:

1) The First Citizens National Poetry Slam semi-finals and finals are ticketed events. We recommend purchasing tickets early to avoid disappointment!

2) You must register in advance to reserve your spot in our writing workshops. You can register online from the event webpage for each workshop. 

Premium subscribers to our Friends of the Bocas Lit Fest community are entitled to discounts on ticketed/ paid events, as well as reserved seating/ priority access to select events. 

Our Festival programme is developed around specific annual themes and generally features recently published Caribbean authors. We showcase the writers longlisted and shortlisted for the major literary awards administered by Bocas Lit Fest, as well as the independent panels of experts and writers who judge them. We also review nominations from publishers and our programme partners to determine the most exciting new voices to showcase each year.

We welcome submissions from authors wishing to participate in the Festival, but we have limited openings for writers who don’t fall into one of the above categories. We follow up on submissions/ queries from authors that fit with our programme plans and themes for upcoming Festivals.

If you’re interested in participating in the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, send us an email at [email protected] with an author bio, book synopsis and any critical reviews/ endorsements for consideration. All writers are welcome to participate in our Stand & Deliver series.

We have several events during the Festival, and year round, that seek out and support promising new talent:

  • Writing workshops for all levels (advance registration required)
  • Stand and Deliver is our main Festival platform for new writers who want to read their work for peers and a festival audience. This is an open-mic event for writers of all genres.
  • Writers First is our series of free seminars for budding and self-published writers on key areas of the book business, led by publishing experts. You can access the recordings full of advice from industry professional in the content library of Friends of Bocas
  • Our New Talent Showcase and New Writing events shine a spotlight on promising new writers, many of whom have gone on to be published after appearing on our stage. 

The Bocas Lit Fest does not sell or distribute books, so books by authors appearing at the Festival (and many other titles) are sold by independent booksellers who set up booths in our Festival Village. Make sure to purchase early so you’re first in line for book signing!

Beyond books, the Festival Village has an array of exciting local products, crafts and services from specialist vendors — everything from artisan chocolate to handmade clothing, jewellery and crafts. All the booths for our 2023 Festival are currently assigned, but if you’re interested in having your own booth in a future year, contact us at [email protected] to get more information. 


Since 2017 we’ve been livestreaming the events at the Old Fire Station, and those videos are available on our YouTube channel here. We have audio recordings of Festival events from before 2017, and those are available via Soundcloud here.  If you are interested in using or sharing a recording from the festival, please contact us for permission at [email protected].

From 2021, Festival recordings will remain publicly available for a limited time before being archived for exclusive use by Friends of Bocas Lit Fest subscribers. 

Yes! We recruit a large team of volunteers to help at the annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest. When we can safely resume in-person events in Trinidad and Tobago, we will open recruitment. 

In April 2021, we launched an online community platform called Friends of Bocas. Historically, we have relied on corporate sponsorship. Now, you have the opportunity to support our work and increase our impact through an annual donation that gives you access to this online community.  By joining our Friends community, you support our work and gain access to so much more than a literary festival. It is your gateway to exclusive workshops and content, intimate sessions with our community of writers, and a network of like-minded Friends from across the industry! We invite you to become a Friend of the Bocas Lit Fest and help us advance this Caribbean literary movement in every island, country and diaspora to ensure our sustainability for generations to come. Find out more here

Books 

We miss browsing the titles and chatting over the books stalls at the National Library during the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, but you can still order books for home delivery or collection from local booksellers!

You can reserve & order copies of any of the books on our programme (and others!) from:

Paper Based Bookshop, Trinidad and Tobago’s Caribbean-speciality independent bookseller.

Metropolitan Book Suppliers, a general retail bookstore specialising in West Indian and local publications.

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