Goddard Enterprises Limited (GEL) NIFCA Literary Arts is one of the few if not the only competition in which every single entrant, winner or not, has a chance to sit down with the judges and to find out how they can do better and where they went wrong, a fact envied by many others, so said Chief Judge, Peter ‘Adonijah‘ Alleyne.
This is Adonijah’s third year as chief judge and he says that he has seen a marked improvement with the work of the writers who attend the Meet The Judges sessions. He noted that he was particularly happy with the level of work in general, but he remarked on the sterling work of Shakirah Bourne this year and likened it to the level of Timothy Callender.
Bourne, who was asked to speak as one of the Goddard Literary Arts celebrated artists, gave a testimonial of how she would not have been a writer or at least not as quickly as she has developed without the platform of NIFCA. She added that she did not win a medal the first time, but she chose not to give up. It was actually 10 years ago this year that she won her first NIFCA medal and since then she has become a published author with a book of short stories and a children’s book among other things.
Bourne still enters NIFCA every year and still in shock she said, “Hearing Ado tell me that my story lived up to Timothy Callender’s standards made me feel like if I have finally accomplished what I set out to do.”
The woman who gets to wrangle this all together is the Cultural Officer for Literary Arts, Mrs. Ayesha Gibson-Gill, herself a participant of NIFCA in another genre before coming to the Foundation, so being the coordinator and going through this process for the last 7 years is something close to her heart. According to Mrs. Gibson-Gill, one of the proudest things about NIFCA is being able to watch that process of development or the stories of the repeat artists and their growth from children to adulthood. We ask a question on the entry form how many years have you been entering NIFCA and the response is usually that they have had multiple entries, Gibson-Gill continued.
Again this year, the usual opening of the Visual Arts & Photography Exhibition will be twinned with the Literary Arts Gala in a spectacular Evening of the Arts celebration scheduled for Thursday, November 15th at LESC. There will be fantastic art interpretations of dance, music and spoken word.
Following the rave reviews for last year’s event, the 2018 Goddard Literary Arts Gala will take a similar format with another Winning Words Talk. Gibson-Gill said, “What we found was the elements that struck a chord with audience was not only the ability to hear the work, but they were also very interested in who wrote it, why they wrote it and what inspired them. Patrons will hear at least 20 of the pieces ranging from speculative fiction to heart stopping poetry from our writers. Nailah Imoja will be back as the host and chatting with the authors.”
Shakirah Bourne will be reading a portion of her 2018 work to give the audience a flavour of why the judges thought it was a fantastic story.
Group Human Resources Manager, Glenda Gilkes expressed GEL’s pleasure to continue the title sponsorship of the NIFCA Literary Arts Competition which has been the stepping stone for a number of literary artists over the years.
This year 62 participants entered with 157 entries in poetry, prose, short stories and scripts. The junior entrants all medalled, they were repeat participants who would have attended the meet the judges’ workshops, gotten feedback and have shown a considerable improvement in their writing skills. Forty of the adult entries won medals. In total, 6 gold, 22 silvers and 37 bronze medals were awarded.