The Belize Literary Prize is an initiative of the Belize Book Industry Association which provides a framework for teachers, authors and aspiring writers to express themselves through their writing skills. Back in December of 2013, the association launched the first Literary Prize 2014 that invited entries from Belizeans locally and within the Diaspora on the theme “Belize From Now Until the End of the Century.” A total of eleven entries were submitted and scrutinized by a panel of judges and today, the first and second place winners were acknowledged at a short ceremony held at the House of Culture in Belize City. As part of the prize, Cubola Productions has published the winning short stories.
Ruth Galvez, BBIA Membership Chair
“This an idea, the brainchild of the Belize Book Industry Association and we wanted to show support and pay tribute to our Belizean writers and by doing this, we would hope that more writers will come out of the woodwork and not only the Belizean writers that live in country but also the Diaspora. That they submit their writing and have it scrutinized by an expert panel of judges and if they win, there is a possibility of it being published.”
“Tell us about the prizes, I think there is also a creative writing workshop for those who submitted entries as well.”
“Well we have two prizes and possibly a third. The two prizes are cash prizes. We give a thousand dollars for the first prize and five hundred dollars for the second prize. Now the winners get published and that is why we are launching today the book with the winning entries of the 2014. And then everybody that submit, all the writers that submit their entries, they get a creative writing workshop free of cost.”
“Now the theme under which the 2014 was held and tell us about the new theme for 2015.”
“The theme for 2014 was Belize from now until the end of the century. And this year for 2015, we are leaving the theme opened because we have come to realized over this first experience that many writers already have manuscripts, they have some works in the pipeline and they want to submit it. So if we stick to themes, we would not be able to get all that creativity and be able to help them, to support them and help them to develop their story line.”