Tuesday, November 12, 2013

JCDC Creative Writing Contest Awards Ceremony 2013

"Gold Anthology" Writers
 This year the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission celebrated 50 years of the Creative Writing Contest. To commemorate this milestone, they have published a “Gold Anthology” containing Gold-Medal-Winning short stories from 1999-2006.  The writers are Rudolph Wallace, Verone Johnston, Michael Reckford, Claudette Beckford-Brady, A-Dziko Simba, Nadine Tomlinson, Charmaine Morris, Rhonda Harrison, Carroll Edwards and Dionne Jackson-Miller.
The Gold Anthology was unveiled at the JCDC Creative Writing Contest Awards Ceremony 2013, held in the Grand Caribbean Suite at the Knutsford Court Hotel, on Tuesday, November 5. There to witness the unveiling were this year’s awardees and their families and friends, who were entertained by a programme of exceptional quality. Mr. Roy Rayon took us back through the years with his Suite of Festival Songs and had us singing along. 
Dr. Erna Brodber
Dr. Erna Brodber, the guest speaker, explained to us how she, as a sociologist, worked to collect the oral histories and the stories of elders in rural communities of Jamaica. She sensed that the way she had to present her findings failed to capture the stories she heard. The novel, she realized, was a better medium.  Hence her four novels: Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home (1980), Myal (1988), Louisiana (1994) and The Rainmaker's Mistake (2007). She won the Caribbean and Canadian regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1989 for Myal. In 1999 she received the Jamaican Musgrave Gold Award for Literature and Orature. She encouraged us to continue to tell Jamaicans’ stories.

Then followed the presentation of over 50 awards - Certificates of Merit, Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals, Class and Category awards and Overall Awards,  interspersed with poetry readings by Chadwick Foster, Mrs. Gloria Malcolm-Foster and Ms. Ambrozene Simpson, and a attention-grabbing dramatization of a scene from Omaall Wright’s silver-medal-winning play “Belly Woman”.
I was happy to be among the awardees, with a silver medal and Best Intermediate Novelist for “The Last of the Marogs”, sequel to “Delroy and the Marog Princess” (bronze medal, 2011) and Delroy in the Marog Kingdom (published by MacmillanCaribbean 2009).  

The overall winners were:
1st place - Best Overall Writer - Gloria Malcolm-Foster, (Trelawny), for 3 poems (1 gold, 1 silver and 1 merit) and her play “GSAT!!” (Certificate of Merit)
2nd place - Outstanding Writer - Ava-Gay Bennett, Best Intermediate Poet, for her poems “Di Blackberry” (gold) and “Georgie Porgie” (silver). Ava-Gay hails from St. James, so I’m looking forward to meeting her at JCDC events staged in our parish.
3rd place - Special Writer - Ambrozene Simpson, (Kingston & St. Andrew) Best Adult Poet, for her poem “Constant Companion” (gold).
4th place - Choice Writer - Nattalie Gordon, (St. Catherine), Best Junior Poet, for her poem “New Shoes Blues”, (gold).
Nattalie Gordon delighted with her award

5th place - Noteworthy writer - was shared between Chadwick Foster (Trelawny) for his poem “Monster Maid”, (gold)  and Malachi Smith (Kingston & St. Andrew) for his poem “Cotton Piece”.

The work of all awardees is on display in the Jamaica Creative Writing Exhibition Tour 2013, currently at The National Library of Jamaica until November 22. Between then and July 15, the Exhibition will move from parish library to parish library in a clockwise journey starting in Kingston and St. Andrew. I urge anyone who writes to enter the 2014 contest (final date for entries - last Friday in June), and to read work exhibited to get an idea of the standard of the award-winning entries. 

Here are some links to other articles about the Awards Ceremony:

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