Writing Competition









The Nature Island Literary Festival (NILF) announces its inaugural Writing Competition. The competition hopes to engage Dominican nationals with interest and experience in creative writing and the arts. The goals of the writing competition are to enhance the literary community in Dominica; to serve as a foundation for larger teaching and mentorship programs to nurture writers in their craft and with publishing options; and to increase the number of published writers and poets from the island.

The hope is that the competition will generate new cohorts of writers and poets, who will later contribute to the development of Caribbean literature, and further place Dominica on the international literary map.

Call for Submissions

NILF invites Dominican residents and nationals, ages 16 and over, to make submissions in the following categories. Candidates can submit entries in NO MORE THAN TWO (2) categories.

  • Poetry:
    • Poets should submit a portfolio of 3 poems, each poem should be no more than 1,000 words
  • Short Fiction
    • Writers should submit a short story of 3,000-5,000 words
  • Children or Young Adult Short Fiction
    • Writers should submit a short story of 1,500-3,500 words written for an audience of children or young adults
  • Short Screenplay:
    • Writers should submit a short screenplay for a short film between 5 and 15 minutes in length
  • Photo storytelling
    • Photographers and writers should submit a 5-10 photo essay or narrative with appropriate caption.

All submissions must present conflict, plot, characters or themes related to symbols of nature and marine life, use of natural resources, preserving the environment, etc.

A focus on literature and the environment would include literary and cultural topics, including but not limited to:

  • Metaphors of the sea and land in Caribbean writing
  • “Repeating islands” or shared culture history among Caribbean islands
  • Literary tourism and heritage tours
  • Relationship of agriculture and farming to Caribbean identity
  • Folklore and the role of nature in oral storytelling
  • Environment preservation, climate change, global warming, wildlife conservation
  • Photojournalism/ image storytelling/ digital storytelling on nature and the environment

Submissions should be original, unpublished work (including online or self-publishing platforms).


Submissions should be made in the appropriate formats (.doc, .docx, .rtf, .jpg, .pdf, or .zip) to nilitfest@gmail.com no later than 11:59 p.m. (Dominica – AST – time) on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Email subject line should read: NILF Writing Competition Submission. The email should include full name, age and current contact information, including address and telephone number. Authors should not include any identifying information on actual submission documents attached to the email.

Prizes and awards

Judges for the competition will be notable authors, poets, playwrights and others working in literary fields. Winners will be announced during the festival’s calendar of events from August 6-9, 2015.

The awards given to winners will be as follows (in local currency):

  • Poetry: $500
  • Short Fiction: $500
  • Children/Young Adult Fiction: $500
  • Short Screenplay: $500
  • Photo Storytelling: $500

Honourable mention will be given to second and third place candidates during prize announcements.

The awards for first place winners are made possible with the generous contributions of GEF Small Grants, Papillote Press, Energy Management Services (EMS) Ltd. and Pond Case Press. 


In addition to the prizes and awards, finalists and winners will work with NILF-appointed writing mentors to revise and edit their submissions toward a special issue NILF Commemorative Magazine publication in print and e-book (sale for NILF fundraising) which would include this creative writing section, keynote address from the festival, and lectures from panelists and speakers.

Background Information

Nature Island Literary Festival and Book Fair began in 2008 and is a registered non-profit organisation. Its purpose is not only to showcase recognised talent in Caribbean literature and culture, but also to encourage new talent and publicise the work of Dominica’s writers and poets. The festival also aims to promote reading, to increase interest in literature and to demonstrate that the literary arts and publishing are valid, rewarding and viable career choices for people of Dominica and the Caribbean.