NOT ENOUGH BAJAN SCIENCE FICTION AND DETECTIVE NOVELS

It is time for this country to have more storytelling contests and one award winning writer feels not enough is done to explore speculative fiction and he’d like to be a part of that change…

Dr Ronald Williams earned a closely fought 2nd place for ‘The Memoir,’ which was entered in the 2014 edition of the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Awards. Now, he is of the view that perhaps a different kind of contest should come forward, where fantasy and similar genres can have their own arena to compete.

He believes when one uses the unusual as a lens to portray an event it allows the writer to explore other avenues previously ignored, the writer also stated his interest in making such a competition a reality, such as a Bajan version of the Hugo or Nebula awards. Dr Williams sees speculative fiction as opening channels of communication better between readers and authors and creating more accountable interaction.

Hinting at how the United States and Britain have their own contests for fantasy, Dr Williams also believes that detective fiction is another avenue which can be explored, he cited Grenville Lovell’s Blade Overstreet series as an avenue where Caribbean perspectives are portrayed in a noir style.

The author suspects the reason some people may not compete in the Frank Collymore Literary Endowments is they find the contest itself too rigid in its structure.

While Dr Williams acknowledges and respects other popular and far more successful writers not just in Barbados but the Caribbean, he thinks if there is an avenue where those now starting to write can be recognised for the styles they prefer and to have imposed.

Perhaps what the Endowment Awards need is a change in assessment?
What if previous winners were made judges? There are enough 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from over 15 years to play with… A mix of previous victors with the rest of CARICOM?

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