In the Book Prize arena, Jamaican debut author Ezekel Alan may have had an advantage, considering he was the only Caribbean writer to make the shortlist. Don't dismiss him, though. His self-published book, Disposable People, is powerful stuff. To be fair, I have not read the works of his competition, but if they hope to win the prize, they better have brought their "A" Game. Whether he was a shoo in for the regional prize, or not, the announcement of the regional winners puts Alan one step closer to the overall prize. Mock me later if I'm wrong, but I predict that Disposable People will cinch the win for Alan. It's that kind of book.
Over on the Short Story Prize side of the house, the shortlist contained the names of four Caribbean writers. Left standing is Trinidad's Sharon Millar, receiving the nod for her short story The Whale House. The competition was surely significant, considering that among those vying for the prize was fellow Trini Barbara Jenkins. Jenkins is fresh from taking top honors in the short story category at the recently held Bocas Lit Fest. Millar also edged out two Bahamian writers, A. L. Majors and Janice Lynn, to secure her spot as regional winner.
An overall winner will be selected in both the Book and Short Story Prize categories from among the regional winners. The five regions are: Africa, Asia, Canada & Europe, Caribbean and Pacific.