Unpublished Manuscripts Competition (Poetry/Prose)



  1. The name of the competition shall be the NIFCA Competition for Unpublished Manuscripts and is organized and administered by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF).




  1. Persons wishing to enter the Competition must be:


  • A citizen of Barbados OR
  • Legally resident in Barbados
  • Pursuing legal residence (evidence must be provided)



  1. Entrants in the competition must be at least 18 years old by November 1st 2022





  1. Participants must enter directly with the NCF by properly completing the NCF approved Entry Form online at NCF.BB and submitting the collection of literary work in PDF format via the same form.


  1. Online entry forms should be submitted on or before Monday, October 31st 2022, no later than 4:00 p.m.


  1. Entrants who fail to register by the deadline indicated at 3 b) above shall not be eligible for participation in the Competition. The NCF shall dispatch a notice by letter or email to the participant within seven (7) working days of receipt of his/her request for entry advising him/her whether the request for entry has been approved or refused.


  1. The work may explore any theme, but should reflect contact/ dialogue with the Barbadian or Caribbean environment or character origin.


  1. Entries for the Literary Arts must be delivered in Standard Caribbean English, OR Barbadian OR other Caribbean English variety. Original material of high quality and innovation is encouraged.


  1. All entries to the competition must be original work. Where there is a complaint that an entry does not conform to this requirement, the complainant should produce evidence to support the complaint. The competitor must also be prepared to present evidence of originality, where necessary.


  1. The penalty for submitting unoriginal work shall be disqualification of the work from the Competition. Participants found to have entered plagiarised work will be disqualified in full from the Competition. In addition, the participant may be barred from entering the NIFCA Literary Arts Competition for the next two (2) consecutive years.


  1. The NCF reserves the right to use any means deemed necessary and suitable to determine that the work submitted is in fact the work of the entrant, without significant help/instruction from others. This includes but is not limited to requesting samples of other works by the entrants, interviews with the entrant, etc.


  1. Any participants who have entered plagiarized work will be immediately disqualified and banned from taking part in the competition for a period of (2) two years.


  1. In the event that work has been rewarded and is subsequently found to have been plagiarised, the reward will be rescinded and any monetary awards must be refunded by the participant. 


  1. The National Cultural Foundation retains the first local publication rights to edit recommended entries. Any person who makes a submission or participates in this competition thereby agrees to grant The National Cultural Foundation first local publication rights to publish and edit recommended entries.”





  1. Prior to the deadline for submission of Entry Forms, the NCF shall appoint an Arbiter to decide and adjudicate on any appeals, complaints and matters in dispute or requiring clarification arising from these Rules.


  1. All complaints related to the Competition should be submitted, in writing, to the Arbiter, in a sealed envelope addressed as follows:


The Arbiter

National Cultural Foundation

West Terrace

St. James


  1. All decisions made by the Arbiter shall be final and binding on the competitors and the NCF.




  1. A panel of Judges shall be selected for the adjudication of the Competition.


  1. The NCF shall determine the composition of the panel of judges and shall appoint a member of the panel to be Chief Judge.


  1. The names of the Judges shall be publicly announced at the commencement of the Competition.


  1. The National Cultural Foundation reserves the right not to award any prizes.


  1. All queries regarding the Competition’s adjudication process and/or outcome should be directed to the Arbiter as outlined in 4 b) above.




  1. Each entry must be original and unpublished.


  1. The participant’s name should appear only on the entry form. It should not appear on the work itself. Work with the authors name printed on it will be disqualified.



  1. All entries should be neatly presented and clearly typed with a font size of a minimum of 10 in Arial Font or 12 in Times New Roman.


  1. No computer graphics or any designs are to appear on the entered pieces.


  1. Pages for prose entries should be numbered with a word from the title and the page number. For example, page 7 of a work entitled Leaving Bridgetown might be marked “Bridgetown – 7”.


  1. Judges will read all qualifying entries.


  1. The National Cultural Foundation reserves the right not to award any prize. 




The participant agrees that the NCF shall be entitled to use his/her entry in whole or in part, and/or his/her image or likeness in the promotion of the competition and other related NIFCA events.



Entries in this competition shall be judged in the following areas: 


I. POETRY: – Originality, interpretation of subject, rendering of ideas creative use of language, Use of poetic devices, attention to form (100%)


II. PROSE FICTION:- Plot -sequential development of storyline, setting, mood; Command of Language- spelling and punctuation, use of figurative language, etc.; Characterisation- use of dialogue, character development, defined characters etc.; Impact- originality, overall textual structure, theme etc. (100 %)


        9. CATEGORIES




  1. Novel/Novella/Collection of Short Stories– Submit a synopsis of no more than 250 words and the first three chapters/stories. Lines should be double-spaced. Pages should be numbered according to instructions in section 6 e) above. For a children’s book, manuscripts may be submitted either with or without illustrations.


  1. Poetry – Include a brief (max 250 words) overview of themes and links. Manuscripts entered in this category should be a minimum of 4 poems, with a maximum of 30 pages. Lines should be single spaced. 



The winning manuscript will be professionally edited and published digitally by NCF on the Amazon platform.




General queries should be directed to CO- Literary Arts at the National   Cultural Foundation at telephone number 417-6625, or email



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*Please note that the NCF will not share this information without your permission

Upload Your Submissions (a maximum of 2 are allowed)

(If submitting a Novel/Novella:- Submit a synopsis of no more than 250 words and the first three chapters. Lines should be double-spaced. Chapters should be stapled securely. For a children’s book, manuscripts may be submitted either with or without illustrations.)

(If submitting Poetry: – Include a brief (max 250 words) overview of themes and links. Manuscripts entered in this category should be a minimum of 4 poems, with a maximum of 30 pages. Lines should be single spaced.)

I confirm that I have read and accept the Rules governing the NIFCA Literary Arts - Unpublished Manuscripts Competition and that the presentation I/we am/are offering to be judged in the Competition has/have never been judged in any previous NCF competition in Barbados.
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Contact us

The National Cultural Foundation
West Terrace,
St. James, Barbados