Monday, December 14, 2009

Bessie Head Literature Awards 2010 Submissions Requested

2010 Bessie Head Literature Awards
(sponsored by Pentagon Publishers)
Short Story, and
Children’s Story

Bessie Head Heritage Trust and Pentagon Publishers announce prizes in literature,
one prize to be awarded each for novel, short story, and children’s story. Residents and citizens of Botswana are invited to submit manuscripts on any topic in one of the above categories. Categories are defined according to standardliterary characteristics, and are limited to the following lengths:
Novel at least 40,000 words; no upper limit
Short Story 10,000 words/10 pages
Children’s Story 10,000 words/10 pages

All submissions must adhere to the following criteria:
1. All work must be original, unpublished and not submitted to any publisher.
2. All manuscripts must be typed. No handwritten manuscripts will be accepted. You must submit four copies of your work. You must submit by post; no emailed entries will be accepted.
3. No more than one submission (novel, short story, or children’s story) per person. You may submit in only one category.
4. No school assignments will be accepted as submissions.
5. All submissions must include one cover page with the following information: author's name (no pen-names will be accepted), at least two ways the author can be contacted (telephone and
post or email), and a clear statement of the category of the manuscript ("novel", "short
story", or "children’s story"). All submissions must also include one photocopy of Omang,
passport and residence certificate, or other form of identification (this copy need not be
certified). The first page of the manuscript (not the cover page) must also state clearly the
category of the manuscript.
6. All submissions must be written in English, and be thoroughly revised and proofread for grammar and spelling.
7. Except for the cover page, manuscripts must not have the author's name on them. Judges will judge all submissions blindly; that is, they must not be able to identify the author.
Any submissions that do not follow the above criteria will be disqualified.
Authors are advised that they may be asked to authenticate their work, and therefore should not destroy any drafts, including the first one, since winners may be asked to produce them as proof of originality.
Contestants may only win once in each category (once you win, you are barred from entering in the same category again for three years), and contestants must enter their own work (a publisher or friend may not enter your work).
Novel P 2,500.00
Short Story P 1,250.00
Children’s Story P 1,250.00

Post — not email — your cover page, copy of identification,
and four copies of your manuscript to
Bessie Head Literature Awards
P.O. Box 70401

Deadline: All entries must be postmarked by 20 March 2010
and received no later than 31 March 2010
Winners to be announced in early June 2010 on website
Prize-giving ceremony details to be announced. Enquiries to, or visit the page
Bessie Head Heritage Trust members, Pentagon Publisher employees, contest judges, and members of their families are prohibited from entering. Pentagon Publishers reserves the right to publish prize-winning manuscripts and to evaluate the remaining manuscripts for publication. All manuscripts will be deposited with Bessie Head Heritage Trust; however,
Pentagon Publishers acknowledges the substance of the rights of copyright in the manuscript and the lawfulness and validity of the copyright holder's rights and title to the rights of copyright in the manuscript.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Writers Beware

Numerous Batswana writers have been taken in by scams from publishers and agents. In most cases deals that seem to good to be true are probably not. This is a great site to check out- Writers Beware which warns writers about some of the scams out there. Protect yourself!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Baobab Prize 2009, an African literary revolution for children

The Baobab Prize PRESS RELEASE

July 31, 2009 - This week marks the launch of the second annual Baobab Prize, an international literary award established to encourage the writing of African literature for young readers. Issuing a statement to commemorate the launch of the prize, co-founder and director of the prize Ghanaian Deborah Ahenkorah said, “The success of our inaugural year gives us confidence as we launch today. We received entries from nine African countries and our participating writers ranged in age from eleven to sixty-four years. It is clear that the Baobab Prize is here to stay and to revolutionize African literature as we know it.”

The Baobab Prize annually invites entries of unpublished African short stories written for audiences either 8-11 years or 12-15 years. This year the prize will award $1,000 to the best story in each category and $800 to the most promising young writer (18 years and below). Also all short listed stories will be considered for possible publishing. The Baobab Prize is open to African citizens of all ages. Deadline for submission is April 15, 2009.

Ramatoulaye Shagaya, Senegalese co-founder of the prize says, “the mission of the Baobab Prize is to identify the literary giants of the next generation and produce classic stories that will be appreciated for years to come. This year, we want to challenge African writers to unleash their imagination. Tell us a story we've never heard before. A winning story this year will be a story that stands out."

The winners of the inaugural year of the Baobab Prize were Lauri Kubuitsile from Botswana with Lorato and her Wire Car, the best story written for readers aged 8-11 years; Ivor W. Hartmann from Zimbabwe with Mr. Goop, the best story written for readers aged 12-15 years and Aisha Kibwana from Kenya, the most promising young writer with Strange Visitors that took her Life Away.

The Baobab Prize has lofty dreams about the future of African literature. It envisions that in ten years bookstores all over the world will be brimming with top quality African stories written for children. This Prize is made possible by funds provided by Bryn Mawr College, The Global Fund for Children and members of the Baobab Prize administrative team.

Contact: Deborah Ahenkorah
Website at

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bessie Head Awards Scheduled for 19th July

On the 19th of July, 2009, former High Court Justice and author Unity Dow will be awarding the prizes for this year’s Bessie Head Literary Awards. The ceremony will take place at The Little Theatre at the National Museum starting from 2:30 pm. Admission is free. Ms Dow will also read from some of Bessie Head’s writing, so it will indeed be an event not to miss. Authors and poets wishing to do readings will also be given an opportunity to do so.

The Bessie Head Heritage Trust has announced the winners for this year’s awards and they are:

For Novel:
1st Place: Ms. Cheryl Selase Ntumy for her manuscript Crossing
2nd Place: Ms. Kagiso Madibana for The Way It Goes
3rd Place: Mr. Monametsi Paul for The Reunion

The winner will receive a cash prize of P2,500.00; the runners-up will receive a set of books donated by Exclusive Books and by Pentagon Publishers.

For Short Story:
1st Place: Ms. Gothataone Moeng for a story entitled “Putting on Faces”
2nd Place: Ms. Wanja Njuguna for her story “Forbidden Love”
3rd Place: Mr. Galefele Maokeng for “The Easter Trail”

The prize for the short story winner is P1,500.00, and again the runners-up will each receive a set of books.

For Poetry:
1st Place: Ms. Luda Sekga for “He Was My Oppressor”
2nd Place: Mr. Goabilwe Mogapi for the poem “Memoirs of a Child Soldier”
3rd Place: Ms. Masego Morima for her poem “The Man Who Walks”

The poetry prize is P1,000.00, with a set of books to go to the runners-up.

The Bessie Head Literature Awards are sponsored by Pentagon Publishers and run by the Bessie Head Heritage Trust.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Two Batswana Writers are Finalists in New SA/PEN Short Story Contest


4th February 2009

2009 PEN/Studzinski Literary Award finalists announced

The South African Centre of International PEN (SA PEN) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2009 PEN/Studzinski Literary Award.

The award for original short stories in English by African authors attracted an unprecedented 827 entries, 625 of which met with the rules of entry. Just under 200 stories were longlisted, and 34 stories were chosen as finalists by the PEN Editorial Board comprising Shaun Johnson (Chair), Anthony Fleischer, Justin Fox, Harry Garuba, Alistair King and Mary Watson. Nobel Laureate JM Coetzee is currently judging the shortlisted stories and will choose the winners of the first (£5 000), second (£3 000) and third (£2 000) prizes. The winners will be announced in May 2009. (Details regarding the announcement will be posted on in due course.) The finalists’ stories will be included in an anthology of new writing from Africa to be published later this year.

The writers and their stories to have been selected as finalists for the Pen/Studzinski Literary Award 2009 are:

Ken Barris – The life of Worm
Nadia Davids – The visit
Ceridwen Dovey – Survival mechanisms
Joan du Toit – An informed decision
Graham Ellis – No match for Fanie Smith
Rosemund J Handler – Strident night
Jeanne Hromnik – Love In troubled times
Karen Jayes – Where he will leave his shoes
Suzanne Jordaan – Beulah
Bobby Jordan – Metalhead and Situation Orange
Chisanga Kabinga – Display cabinet
Ken N Kamoche – A kiss in Nanjing
Yvette Kruger – What I wore
Lauri Kubuitsile – Pulani’s eyes
Beatrice Lamwaka – The star in my camp
Jennifer Lean – To each his own
Irene McCartney – Pauline’s ghost
Jenna Mervis – The lives of dogs
Kirsten Miller – Only in art
NoViolet Mkha Bulawayo – Snapshots
Wame Molefhe – Rainbow-coloured dreams
Natasha Moodley – Spirit of Madala
Isabella Morris – Bluette
Kyne Nislev Bernstorff – The last supper
Naomi Nkealah – In the name of peace
Maik Nwosu – In Leopardville
Tolu Ogunlesi – River Falling
Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi – Area boy rescue
Andrew Salomon – A visit to Dr Mamba
Alex Smith – Soulmates
Dineke Volschenk – Glorious wounds
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers – Keeping everything the same
Hayet Z – Flypapered days

The PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Award has replaced the HSBC/SA PEN Literary Award and aims to encourage new creative writing in Africa. It is open to all citizens of African countries writing in English, and offers talented writers on the continent an exciting opportunity to develop or launch a literary career.

Media enquiries: Lesley Lambert Tel: +27 (0)83 326 2500
Administrative enquiries: Deborah Horn-Botha Tel: +27 (0)21 701 8510

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mahube in Pipeline

Just a quick note to people who have made submissions for the second issue of Mahube. We are reading submissions now. We still need to access funding for the publication. Please bear with us and thanks for your patience.

Best of luck with your writing in 2009.
Lauri Kubuitsile
WABO Vice Chairperson