Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2011 Bessie Head Literature Awards

2011 Bessie Head Literature Awards
(Sponsored by Pentagon Publishers)
Novel, Short Story, Poetry

The Bessie Head Heritage Trust and Pentagon Publishers are proud to announce prizes in
literature for 2011: three prizes to be awarded each for novel, short story, and poetry.
Residents and citizens of Botswana are invited to submit manuscripts on any theme in one of
the above categories. Categories, prizes, and permitted lengths are as follows:

Novel (more than 40,000 words) :
1st prize: P2500 2nd Prize: P1500 3rd Prize: P1200

Short story (up to 10,000 words / 10 pages) :
1st Prize: P1200 2nd Prize: P900 3rd Prize: P800

Poetry (a set of one to three poems):
1st Prize: P800 2nd Prize: P600 3rd Prize: P500

Your submission must adhere to the following criteria:
1. Your work must be original, unpublished and not submitted to any publisher.
2. Your manuscript must be in English and be thoroughly revised and proofread.
3. Your manuscript must be typed or printed. Handwritten entries are not accepted.
4. You must submit four copies of your work by post. Photocopies are fine.
5. Do not send more than one manuscript (novel, short story, or poetry). You may
submit exactly one entry per year of the contest.
6. Do not submit a school assignment; school projects are not accepted.
7. Your submission must include a cover page with the following information: (a) your
real name (no pen names are accepted), (b) your postal or email address, (c) one or
two phone numbers for contacting you, (d) a title for your work, and (e) a clear
statement of the category of the work (“novel”, “short story”, or “poetry”).
The first page of the manuscript itself – not the cover page – must also clearly state
the category and the title.
8. Your entry must be accompanied by one photocopy of your Omang or your passport
and residence certificate (these photocopies need not be certified).
9. Except for the cover page, your entry must not have your name on it. Judges will
judge all manuscripts blindly; i.e. they must not be able to identify the authors.
10. You must enter your work yourself (a publisher or friend may not submit it for you).
11. Deadline: Entries must be postmarked by 21 March 2011 and received by 31 March.
Any submissions that do not adhere to the above criteria will be disqualified.
Winning authors may be asked to produce proof of originality, and thus you should not
destroy any drafts, including the first one, until the results have been confirmed.

Send your cover page, copy of identification, and four copies of your manuscript to
Bessie Head Literature Awards
P.O. Box 70401

Winners to be announced in mid-June 2011 on the website

For more information go HERE.

Pentagon Publishers reserves the right to publish prize-winning manuscripts and to evaluate
all manuscripts for publication. Please send all other queries to

Monday, December 13, 2010

30th Anniversary / Mahube Launch!!

On the evening of December 4th WABO members and literature enthusiasts gathered at Alliance Francaise to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the association and to launch the 30th anniversary edition of our literary journal, Mahube. The publication partially sponsored by Botswana's Department of Arts and Culture.

Contributors to this issue of the journal include:

David Kerr -short story

Phenyo Faith Otukile- poetry

John Mhongovoyo-poetry/short story

Wazha Lopang- short story

Nicholas Keitshokile- poetry

Tiro Sebina- poetry

Monty Fanikiso Moswela-poetry

Karabo Masalela-poetry

Ontiretse Ben Magogwe- poetry

Bobana Badisang - poetry

The people in attendance were welcomed by WABO's current treasurer, Irene Ramatala.

Irene Ramatala speaking with Arts and Culture's Tshireletso Modikwa

The programme for the evening started with a brief history of how WABO started. Poet and University of Botswana lecturer and former WABO chairperson Barolong Seboni told the gathering about why the original members decided to start an association for writers and spoke about some of the projects they started including a radio show on RB1 called Writers' Corner.

Bobana Badisang, long time member of the association, spoke about some of the projects WABO has been engaged in over the years. She also spoke about why writers' associations are so important.

Current chair of the organisation, poet TJ Dema, told the audience about the plans the present committee has for the organisation including the establishment of an office, monthly writing workshops, and the archiving of the history of the organisation.

Volunteers manning the food and drinks table

Many of the contributors were in attendance and read from their writing.

UB Lecturer and long time WABO member, Tiro Sebina, reading his poem

The vote of thanks was given by the current vice chair, Lauri Kubuitsile. The evening ended with snacks,food and conversation as attendees bought copies of Mahube and had them signed by contributors. Many people signed up for membership and paid their annual subscription fee as well. It was a fantastic evening.