KINGSTON — More than 60 writers, who took top places in the 2011 Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) creative writing competition, were presented with awards at a ceremony held on November 2 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
Executive Director at the JCDC, Delroy Gordon, congratulated all the writers, who continue to participate in the competition by virtue of submitting entries.
"To the awardees, I say heartiest congratulations. To those persons, who might not have made it to the point where you receive an award, we encourage you to continue writing,” he stated.
Mr. Gordon also expressed “profound appreciation to those persons, who go through the tedious task of reading all of those scripts and to ascribe marks. We really want to register our appreciation to you. We cannot pay you and so we really value your contribution."
The Executive Director informed that the JCDC is in the process of revamping the competition so that the writers can be better recognised and rewarded for their work.
He said the creative writing contest is one of the important areas of development by the JCDC, but noted that unfortunately, it does not attract the kind of support and sponsorship as the performing arts.
The writers competed in the categories of short stories, novels, poetry and plays.
The category winners were:Calvin Carty – Best Intermediate Play Writer; Cleveland McLeish-Best Adult Play Writer; Helen Williams – Best Intermediate Novelist; Claudette Brady Beckford – Best Adult Novelist; Lisa Shaw – Best Junior Story Writer; Stephanie Lloyd – Best Intermediate Short Story Writer; Claudine Bailey – Best Adult Short Story Writer; Kellee Drummonds – Best Junior Poet; Seon Lewis – Best Intermediate Poet; and Seon Lewis-Best Adult Poet.
Lisa Shaw was also named the Choice Writer; Kellee Drummonds -Special Writer; Stephanie Lloyd – Outstanding Writer; and Seon Lewis got the award for Best Writer.
The awardees were presented with cellular phones from Claro, gift baskets from Excelsior Biscuit Company Limited, and trophies provided by the JCDC.
The winning works will be showcased at parish libraries across the island as part of the 2011 National Creative Writing exhibition, which gets underway on November 8 at the National Library in Kingston.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter