Loop Awards: Author of the Year Nominees Loop Barbados

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

The Annual Loop Awards 2022 will look at Author of the Year as its seventh category to spotlight some of the best literature coming out of the Caribbean.

The authors selected for this category have all demonstrated their love of words. Additionally, their work is helping to redevelop the culture of reading amongst people of all ages and backgrounds while helping to show the world how multitalented we, as Caribbean nationals, really are.

Here are the seven brilliant nominees for the Author of the Year category:

Nominee 1: Cecil Browne (Saint Vincent & the Grenadines)

Though there were more than 6,700 entries from 52 Commonwealth countries for the 2022 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, Browne copped the number one spot to become this year’s regional winner for the UK, Canada and Europe.

His short story, ‘A Hat for Lemer’, features emancipation, decision-making and morals versus monetary gains. A riveting and original piece that had the judges wooing Browne with compliments on the quality of his story, from the plot to the description and background of the characters.

Nominee 2: Yolanda T Marshall (Guyana)

The adoration that Marshall has for Caribbean culture propelled her to draft a children’s book, sharing with the world the heritage that she loves so much. However, this is not her first novel. In fact, Marshall has been writing since the age of eight, when she started with poetry.

Since then, she has written five more children’s books, all based on Caribbean culture- ‘Keman’s First Carnival’, ‘A Piece of Black Cake for Santa’, ‘Sweet Sorrel Stand’, C for Carnival and ‘Miles Away in the Caribbean’.

Her work speaks for itself as they give Caribbean children books with characters that closely represent their surroundings and culture. They are also especially helpful to those of Caribbean and African heritage growing up overseas.

Nominee 3: Monique Roffey (Trinidad & Tobago)

In 2020, Roffey received the Costa Book of the Year Award for her original novel, ‘The Mermaid of Black Conch’- a book featuring Caribbean folklore, which details the story of a fisherman and a mermaid.

Roffey has made her mark on the industry with her award-winning book, giving the rest of the world a taste of Caribbean lore and magic. ‘The Mermaid of Black Conch’ was described as “completely compelling” and “utterly original”- a classic tale for all to read.

Nominee 4: Ayanna Lloyd Banwo (Trinidad & Tobago)

‘When We Were Birds’, a story set in Trinidad & Tobago, is the first book for creative writing student Ayanna Lloyd Banwo. Her book details yet another beautiful aspect of Caribbean life, linked to our African history coupled with elements such as pain, romance, death and more.

Banwo’s book has been featured on the international scene by Essence Magazine and BuzzFeed and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize.

Nominee 5: Lisa Allen Agostini (Trinidad & Tobago)

Mental health does not receive enough attention in the Caribbean as it should, but with Agostini’s novel, a bit more focus is being placed on depression in a creative way, bringing more awareness to the condition.

As a seasoned author, Agostini uses fiction to detail the life of a depressed Trinidadian teenager who travels to Canada to overcome her depression. ‘Home Home’ also won third place at the 2017 CODE Burt Award.

She has written several other books, such as ‘The Bread the Devil Knead’, ‘The Chalice Project’, the second edition of ‘Home Home’ and ‘Swallowing the Sky’. In June 2022, ‘The Bread the Devil Knead’ was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and an excerpt was read by British actress Naomie Harris.

Nominee 6: Cherie Jones (Barbados)

Jones has a natural talent for writing, and it became evident when her debut novel started to gain massive success. ‘How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House’ follows the story of abuse, grief, class and death and it’s set in Barbados. It provides a different perspective for readers who are not familiar with more than the sunshine and beautiful beaches of the island. It lends a voice to women who are victims of domestic violence.

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House’ has racked up over four thousand Amazon reviews, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in the UK, was chosen as the February 2021 Good Morning America (GMA) Book Club pick, gained Jones a feature in Essence Magazine and more.

Nominee 7: Markenzy Orcel (Haiti)

‘A Human Sum’ written by Orcel is nothing short of brilliant, from its storyline, covering a range of writing tools, to its character descriptions. ‘A Human Sum’ is simply that- a summation of life itself with details of the numerous aspects of life.

This novel takes its readers on a beautiful journey that many of us can relate to, and with this masterpiece, Orcel has proven that immeasurable talent lies within the Caribbean. This is his second selection for the Prix Goncourt list, as he was previously selected for his other book, Milwaukee Blues.

Remember, your vote, you decide.

Vote for your favourite author, check out some of these books and share them with family and friends.