Since 1997, the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award has been the leading literary award in Barbados. Every year, new writers get to test their skills by submitting their work to rigorous reading by a panel of seasoned judges, and every year, new discoveries are made. New writing rubs shoulders with work by established authors whose names may have graced the competition several times. Your poetry manuscript may be in competition with one by Kamau Brathwaite, your play with one by Winston Farrell, your novel with one by Karen Lord – neither you nor the judges will know till judging is completed as all readings are anonymous and treated exactly the same. Publishers love prize-winners and as the Award is widely recognized as a badge of excellence, many of the prize-winning entries have since been published. The Award is managed by the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment

Aims of the endowment

The Frank Collymore Literary Endowment has been established to assist in promoting the literary arts in Barbados.

A Committee exists to identify what contribution the Endowment can most usefully make to the literary life of the island, to administer the annual Frank Collymore Literary Award and to read and judge the entries. The Committee consists of individuals in fields ranging from education to entertainment to journalism, and includes practising writers and literary critics. They have been selected not only on the basis of their commitment to the ideals set by Collymore, but also for their ability to look forward and to respond to a changing social climate. The Committee recognises that writing is one of the most important ways in which a people represents itself, to itself and to the world at large. In time, the writing being produced now may come to be seen as significant as that of the pre-Independence era. The Committee sees assisting in the emergence of a new generation of writers for the 21st century as an essential aspect of its role.

To accomplish this aim, the Committee's first duty is to set high standards in the judging process, while recognising that unpublished work will not have had the benefit of feedback from many readers. Part of the Committee's task, therefore, is to recognise and encourage potential, while evaluating and rewarding work which could hold its own in any literary arena. It is hoped that by entering for the award, writers, even if they do not win prizes immediately, will be encouraged to persevere, to acquire new skills, to learn and to try again. It is in this spirit of constructive competition that writers are invited to submit their work in one or more of the categories. Winners receive cash prizes and are expected to put their work forward for publication.