Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Charles Ramson announced on Friday that the Guyana Prize for Literature will officially return after being scrapped under the previous administration.
This announcement was made at the Cultural and Creative Industries Grant Awards Ceremony at the National Cultural Centre on Friday.
Several awardees from across Guyana were given cash grants to commercialise their original cultural and creative projects. Persons received grants of up to one million dollars to kick start initiatives in areas such as music, art, fashion, literature, photography and animation.
Applicants were required to submit a detailed proposal to the Ministry by December 26, 2021, as advertised on the Ministry’s Facebook page.
Minister Ramson, in an invited comment to the News Room, shared that his thinking behind resurrecting the prize was part of an overall framework to provide a cocoon so that local talent could blossom and turn into something special.
Citing that Guyana’s identity as a people is vital to development, providing an increase in national pride and reputation, the Minister believes that Guyana has a unique culture to show the world.
He further stated that “it was unjustifiable” for the previous administration to discontinue the prize because “you want writers to be able to explore their art form.”
Technical Officer on Culture at the Ministry, Ruel Johnson shared that the Prize represented young and emerging writers “and was a critical first step in accessing a wider literary world and recognition in the world.”
Johnson further shared that the Prize will be rebooted and enhanced to “make it inline and more diverse with the rest of festivals like Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and Calabash in Jamaica.”