The Irving Burgie Awards have been a beacon of achievement in the creative arts for over 30 years. The programme, which returned to a Literary Arts competition format in late 2011, is open to secondary and tertiary students across the island. The award is an achievement which speaks to the excellence of the awardees, and many of them go on to make their mark in the artistic community both in Barbados and internationally.
Judges Robert Sandiford, Nailah Imojah and Andre Harewood met on July 31st 2014 and delivered their scores and commentaries for the portfolios entered in the 2014 Irving Burgie Awards for Literary Excellence.
Emerging as the winner in the competition’s Senior category is U.W.I. English Literature student Ashley Benjamin. The 20 year-old entered the competition to gain experience and to gauge her writing skills against the high standards of the competition. Her nomination by Professor Jane Bryce was the first time she was ever entered into any Literary competition. She comes away with a prize of $3,500, plus a bust of Mr. Irving Burgie. In addition, the U.W.I. Cavehill Campus will receive the Senior Challenge Trophy for 2014. Second place in the Senior Category was awarded to Harrison College graduate, now U.W.I. student, S. Matthew Kodilinye, who receives a prize of $1,500.
In the Junior category Combermere student T’afari Steede gained first place, winning $3,500 and a bust of Mr. Irving Burgie, while her school receives the Junior Challenge Trophy for 2014. The runner up in this Category, winning $1,500 is Maxamillion Hurdle from Princess Margaret Secondary.
In early August, all entrants in the competition were invited to participate in a workshop with the judges. They went through some general creative writing exercises, received feedback on their work and were given pointers, tips and advice for improving their writing in the future.
The winners will be awarded their prizes later this year at the NIFCA Awards Ceremony.