Spoken word poet Alexandra C. Stewart has been named the 2023 winner of the NGC Bocas Youth Writer Award, adding to her list of accolades.

The 25-year-old was announced as the winner of the award, which recognises talented young writers from Trinidad and Tobago, at the closing event of the 2023 NGC Bocas Youth Fest, on Saturday 21 October.

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Representing a diverse range of voices and styles, this year’s three shortlisted writers promised a captivating glimpse into the region’s vibrant literary future. Kela Roberts, an aspiring editor and dedicated writer, embodied the spirit of emerging literary talent with her passion and dedication. Alongside her is Scyllina Samuel, a perceptive blogger and journalism student, whose insightful writings vividly captured the essence of the Caribbean’s cultural diversity. The third shortlisted writer was Alexandra Stewart, a trailblazing poet and teaching artist, whose triumphant three-time consecutive championship titles in the First Citizens National Poetry Slam have solidified her status as a poetic powerhouse.

Literature is always evolving, and young writers are at the forefront of the evolution.

With the full landscape of literature in view, in 2021 the NGC Bocas Lit Fest introduced a pioneering inter-genre NGC Bocas Youth Writer Award for young people based in Trinidad and Tobago.

With the help of a diverse panel of judges, we are determined to find and celebrate young writers of talent in any corner of literature, including poetry, playwriting, fiction, creative nonfiction, journalism, scriptwriting, spoken word, blog writing, and song lyrics.
The NGC Bocas Youth Writer for 2023 will receive a cash prize of TT$5,000, and have their writing showcased as part of the 2023 NGC Bocas Youth Fest. The winner will be the young person in the literary arts whom the judges deem as demonstrating the most impact with their work in the last year. The judges will explore two key questions:

How has this literary work made an impact? 
Indicators such as creative influence, critical acclaim, and online views, shares, and reach will be considered.
Is the literary work of high quality? 
Does it show originality of thought and style, a command of language and form, general creativity, and the ability to influence readers?

About the NGC Bocas Youth Writer Award

Past winners of the NGC Bocas Youth Writer Award


Rawiya Hosein

“Unanimously, we found Rawiya Hosein’s writing on par with the work of writers of much greater age. Her accomplished résumé is a testament to both her talent and her tenacity…. I guarantee this is not the last time you will hear her name calling in a forum like this.”

– Lisa Allen-Agostini, head judge, 2022


Harmony Farrell


We enjoyed her writing and appreciated her commentary on topical issues which demonstrates a critical approach that is much needed in the mainstream. We believe Harmony’s work will have widespread reach and great impact. We strongly feel she has the potential to become a voice for her generation.” — Franka Philip, Head Judge, 2021 NGC Bocas Youth Writer Award