Thursday, 18 May 2017

CULTURE VULTURE: JCDC extends Creative Writing deadline + GATFFEST pulls record number of submissions + Prize money goes up for Journalism Awards

PRESSING MATTERS: “In this fast-paced world, media houses are always breaking news. This is one of the staples of journalism. We want to recognize the work that goes into breaking news as accurately and informatively as possible, with important follow-up that expands on the story in a way that informs and enlightens the public. We’re very excited about this new award and look forward to the entries that will come in.” This coming from President of the Press Association, Dionne Jackson-Miller, who just announced the addition of an award for “Best Breaking News Coverage” to the National Journalism Awards roster. Honours for Best Radio Feature has also been added. As the PAJ head further noted, the prize money for the highly coveted Journalism of the Year has been ratcheted up from $100,000 to $250,000. Sectional awards usually valued at $50,000 have been pumped up to $100,000 and from $25,000 to $40,000. “This is our premier award to recognize excellence,” Jackson-Miller says. “We therefore feel it is important to ensure that the prize money reflects the importance of the award.” Media practitioners (print and electronic) have until August 31 to submit their entries for consideration. National Journalism Week will be observed in November.

THE WRITE STUFF: Local writers who have not yet submitted their entries for this year’s National Creative Writing Competition have until the end of this week, as the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) has extended the April deadline to May 19. The competition is open to Jamaicans of all ages to compete for top honours (trophies, gold, silver, bronze medals, certificates, among other prizes) in the categories of novels, plays, short stories, essays and poetry. A trophy for Best Overall Writer is traditionally presented to the year’s most outstanding entrant. Visit for more info or call 926-5726-9.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Filmmakers taking part in this year’s Greater August Town Film Festival (GATFFEST) will have a chance to win some 14 awards during the awards ceremony slated for June 24. In addition to prizes for Best Local Film, Best International Original Film and Best Directing, trophies will be presented for Original Screenplay, Animation and a Best of GATFFEST award to be named in honour of UWI Mona Principal Prof. Archibald McDonald. Put on annually by the UWI Mona Community Film Project, the film fest (June 15-24) attracted a record 1600 submissions for 2017. With dozens of features, shorts, animated flicks and documentaries jostling for the attractive prizes, festivalgoers are in for a real treat. Among the most anticipated screening nights: Local and International Film Night (June 17), Japanese Film Night (June 21), Caribbean and Latin American Film Night (June 22) and Jamaican Film Night (June 23). Visit for details, including venues, the full schedule and other key information.

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