AHEAD OF THE PACK: Facey collects his Best Overall Writer Prize from JCDC Commissioner Kenneth Shaw at the ceremony.
BEFORE a sizeable audience at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel’s Talk of the Town perch one recent Monday evening, St. Elizabeth-based poet and playwright Rohan Facey secured a hefty prize haul as the curtains came down on the 2019 Jamaica Creative Writing Competition.
In addition to gold and silver medals for poetry, and a couple of merit awards for his plays, he received class awards for having the most outstanding submissions in Junior Poetry and Intermediate Poetry, plus the most coveted award of the evening: the trophy for Best Overall Writer, which comes with a cash prize.
Short-story writer Nordia Grant of Kingston & St. Andrew took second place (Outstanding Writer), Collette D. Robinson, also from Kingston, was awarded Special Writer (or third place), with Kenneth Gant (Choice Writer) and fellow St. Catherine native Britney Smith (Noteworthy Writer) finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Each year, the Jamaica Creative Writing Competition, organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), presents gold, silver, bronze and merit awards to the most impressive participants (in the categories of poetry, short stories, novels and essays at junior, intermediate and adult levels), with the crème de la crème earning trophies, gift baskets and cash incentives.
This year, nearly 630 entries were submitted for the five categories, with participants sending in work from all 14 parishes.