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 Your work must be original, unpublished and not submitted to any publisher.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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The 30th Anniversary Issue of Mahube Launch

You’re invited!

What? WABO’s 30th Anniversary Celebration

Where? Alliance Fran├žaise, Gaborone

When? Saturday 4th December

Time? 6 pm

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Writers Association of Botswana and WABO will be holding a celebration to launch the 30th Anniversary Issue of our literary journal Mahube. The issue includes both poetry and short stories from new and established writers in Botswana. Contributors will be in attendance to read and sign your copy. It will be on sale for only P50.

We will also be accepting annual fees from our membership at the launch and will be issuing new membership cards. To help us update our membership database, please fill in the attached membership form and bring it with you on the evening. Once the annual membership fee is paid we will issue you with a membership card. There are many exciting events planned for next year for WABO members and your membership card will be your ticket to attend. The annual fee is P100.

If you will be attending please RSVP at botswanawriters@gmail.

Let’s make this a fantastic event!

We hope to see you there!

WABO Executive

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Market for Writers

BKO: Call for Submissions

BKO is an online literary journal looking for fresh, interesting and engaging content for its new website. BKO would be grateful for your contribution; it is a site where poets, essayists, short story writers and academics can share their work on varied subjects. Those who contribute are welcome to link their contributions to any websites or blog spots where readers can gain further access to their work.

The magazine will be available as a downloadable PDF as well. The selected materials may be published on the website and / or on the PDF version of BKO.
BKO will also stream MP3 videos and sound recordings; artists are welcome to send in their recorded work for possible inclusion on the website.
BKO requests the following types of work:
• Written/ Recorded (MP3 / Video) Poetry
• Short Stories / Fiction
• Essays
• Articles
• Photography or Graphic Work

This edition / issue of BKO is not themed, so writers / poets / emcees can submit material of their own liking. We will welcome anything that may remotely relate to the "comeback" or "phoenix-effect" of this popular magazine.

Length: Creative writing / fiction / opinion pieces should not exceed 900 words. Poems should not exceed two pages in length.

Origin: BKO welcomes contribution from anyone in any part of the world.

Originality of the work:
BKO only welcomes original works. Should your work be influenced by someone, please do mention this. BKO will not be responsible for plagiarised work. All work that is plagiarised / copied / illegally acquired will be unpublished from the website and from the PDF version of the magazine. The offending artist will not be published in BKO again.

Works published elsewhere:
BKO welcomes work that has been published elsewhere, provided permission for republishing has been acquired (where necessary) from the original publisher. Such permission (if / where necessary) should accompany your submission.

Copyright of submitted materials will always belong to the author / writer. BKO can only use this material for publishing (online and PDF) and for its marketing purposes only. BKO will not sell the content / material (MP3s, video, documents) to anyone without express knowledge and agreement with the author / owner of material. The author / writer is responsible for informing anyone who wants to republish their material, that such material has already been published before in BKO. The author / writer can republish such material elsewhere, even without informing BKO.

Discretion to publish:
BKO and its editors hold the express discretion to publish or not to publish any materials submitted. The editors or owners of BKO may decide not to publish any work at their sole discretion. Such decision of the editors / owners of BKO is final and they may not offer any explanation to anyone.

If you are keen, or if you have any questions, please feel free to email and enquire. Otherwise, you can email the editor your material at

Love, Light and a River of Stories,
Ngozi Chukura
Guest Editor

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Snorri Sturlusson Icelandic Fellowship

The Department of Europe and Americas is in receipt of an invitation through our Embassy in Sweden, from the Arni Magnusson Institute for Icelandic Studies in Iceland to the above mentioned.

The fellowships are granted to writers, translators and scholars outside Iceland in the field of humanities, to enable them to stay in Iceland for at least three months in order to improve their knowledge of the Icelandic language, culture and society.

The Department, therefore, saw it fit to generate interest to their esteemed Association and encourage you to apply for the fellowship.

The fellowship is for people wishing to stay in Iceland for up to three months to study the language, culture and society. It covers travel and living expenses. At the end of the fellowship fellows are expected to submit a report. The fellowship is awarded once per year. There is no special application form. Prospective fellows should submit a brief but detailed account of what they intend to do in Iceland as well as details of education and publications.

Please note that application deadline is 31 October 2010 and all applications should be sent by post, no emails will be accepted. The Department acknowledges that it is rather short notice, but trust that you will take up the offer. Send to the Arni Magnusson Institute for Icelandic Studies, Sigurour Nordal's office, PO Box 1220 , 121 Reykjavik.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Database of Writers in Botswana

The Department of Arts and Culture and The Writers Association of Botswana would appreciate your support in compiling a writers' database. If you are a Motswana / Botswana based writer please send us your:

1. Full Name:
2. Gender:
3. Age:
4. Citizenship:
5. Genre of writing (ie short story, poetry, fiction etc) :
6. Email address:
7. Contact number:
8. Have you been published? Y/N
9. Title of your books, publisher and ISBN:
10.Have you won any writing prizes? List them
11. Are you a full time writer or part time writer?
12. Where are you based in Botswana (name of town/village/city)?

Please copy and paste the above questions with your answers into the email body with subject title: WRITERS DATABASE, complete the information and send to by TUESDAY 26 OCTOBER 2010.

Feel free to pass this email to other Batswana/ Botswana based writers.

WABO Executive Committee

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mahube Selections

The editorial committee has made its final selections for the 30th Anniversary edition of WABO's literary journal, Mahube. We would like to thank everyone who took time to send in their submissions and we wish you the best of luck with your writing.

Below is the list of selected poems and stories:
***Please note that the order that these stories and poems appear are not reflective of any ranking. ***

Short stories:
1. As long as it Doesn't Spoil my Apettite -Wazha Lopang
2. Yoga, Sunita and The Captain-David Kerr
3. Another Vagrant Dead- John Mhongovoyo

1. I never stopped praying -Phenyo Faith Otukile
2. The Township -Ben Mogotsi
3. Somewhere in the World- Tiro Sebina
4. Gaborone Poetic Duo- Tiro Sebina
5. Male Business- Muke Arthur Buzwane
6. To a Literary Scholar- Pauline Moagaesi
7. The Spirit of Jesus -Nicholas Keitshokile
8. Let us prey - Nicholas Keitshokile
9. Ode to Nyangabgwe Hill- Monty F. Moswela
10. I write -Bobana Badisang
11. Desert Sky-Bobana Badisang
12. Three Women -Karabo Masalela
13. May 2nd -Karabo Maselela
14. Who Am I? - John Mhongovoyo
Literary Bridge- by John Mhongovoyo
Blackout the Block- John Mhongovoyo
Botched Motherhood Tiro Sebina
18. Blame the Pill -Ben Magogwe
19. Fuck (on high of my own) - Tshireletso Motlogelwa
Writers listed above please note the following:
1. Editors are currently working on your pieces. They will be forwarded to you soon.
2. Please send a 50 word (no more) bio to

We expect to have the issue out before the end of the year.
Thanks again to everyone!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

TJ Dema's Poetry Translated into Chinese

An Anthology of African poetry in English, French, Portuguese Amharic and Arabic
translated into Chinese
edited by Kaiyu Xiao, Isabel Ferrin-Aguirre and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers
244 pages
Publisher: World Knowledge Publishers, Shanghai
October 2010
ISBN 978-7-5012-3895-8

Six months, about 1000 e-mails, one facebook chat and here it is: No
Serenity Here, a contemporary anthology of African poetry to be
launched during the Shanghai Biennale in October 2010. Original poems
in English, French, Portuguese, Arabic and Amharic will be published
alongside their Chinese translations. The volume includes Nobel
Laureate Wole Soyinka, along with voices from 25 African countries,
and was translated by a team of Chinese poets under the guidance of
Kaiyu Xiao.

Edited by Xiao in China, Isabel Ferrin-Aguirre in Berlin and Phillippa
Yaa de Villiers in Johannesburg, No Serenity Here celebrates
established writers such as Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana), Makhosazana Xaba
and Lebo Mashile (South Africa), Veronique Tadjo (Cote d’Ivoire) and
Fatima Naoot (Morocco), and introduce lesser known yet brilliant
voices like TJ Dema (Botswana), Shailja Patel (Kenya) and Tania Tome
(Mocambique), as well as Amanda Hammar and Joyce Chigiya (both from

Besides the veterans like Soyinka (Nigeria), Kofi Anyodoho (Ghana),
Chirikure Chirikure (Zimbabwe), James Matthews (South Africa) and
Keorapetse Kgositsile (South Africa’s Poet Laureate, whose poem lent
the title to the anthology), the volume also showcases the prodigious
talents of Shabbir Bhanoobhai (South Africa), Nii Ayikwei Parkes
(Ghana), Tolu Ogunlesi and Obododimma Oha (Nigeria), Stanley Onjezani
Kenani (Malawi) and Beaven Tapureta (Zimbabwe), Keamogetsi Molapong
and Dorian Haarhoff (Namibia), Hama Tuma and Alemu Tebeje Ayele (both
from Ethiopia).

“We read widely, but it was the contact with contemporary poets that
brought the project to life and delivered its unique vibrancy and
varied voice,” says Ferrin-Aguirre, who also worked until recently as
a programmer for the Berlin Poesiefestival and researcher for the
Literatuurwerkstatt, a global database of poets which collects
recordings of poets reciting their work in their original languages in
its Lyrikline project.

Acclaimed Chinese poet and academic Kaiyu Xiao admits in his foreword:
“the poems … would make me physically quiver as the poems shattered my
expectations.” Many of the poets are appearing in print for the first
time, and most of them for the first time in Chinese.

“African writers have made an important contribution to the world
reservoir of thought on the human condition; this is just a small part
of the literary wealth that we have to offer. China has given us so
much, and I’m proud that we are reciprocating,” said writer and
performer de Villiers.

Published by World Knowledge Publishers and commissioned by artist and
philanthropist Mr Hu, the tri-continental project also received
support from the Jiang Nan Art and Design Foundation and the Moonchu

Friday, October 1, 2010

Call for African Women Poets

Here is a call for submission from African women poets posted at Kwani.
From the guidelines:

"Poems may focus on any of the following: the work life, motherhood, wifehood,
children, the state and nation, war, Africa’s wealth or lack thereof, poverty,
HIV-AIDS, prison, freedom, celebration, grief, happiness, border crossings,
marriage, birth, the environment, loss, love, trans-nationalism, migration,
gender, race, class, and any other topics or issues that interest African women

The deadline is December 31, 2010.
Send submissions by email to: Anthonia Kalu (; Folabo
Ajayi-Soyinka (; Juliana Nfah-Abbenyi (, there is also a snail mail address in the guidelines.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Invitation to a Book Launch!!

Readings by Luso Mnthali, Gothataone Moeng, and Lauri Kubuitsile.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Join Our Facebook Group

Let's get Botswana writers talking! Join our Facebook page.
See you there!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Call for Submissions for 30th Anniversary Issue of Mahube

Dear Writers,

This year marks an exciting time for WABO. The association is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The new executive committee is calling for submissions for a 30th Anniversary edition of our literary journal, Mahube.

What we’re looking for:

- poems (max of 3)

-short stories under 2000 words

-black and white photographs (one to be used on the cover, others to be used inside)

- creative non-fiction under 2000 words

The deadline for submissions is the 30th of September, 2010. Email all submissions to Only those arriving at this email address will be considered.

Only emailed, typed submissions will be allowed.

Please note: people who made submissions for Mahube in the last two years need not re-submit as their submissions will be considered for this issue. All submissions must be accompanied by a letter declaring that all submitted works are the original works of the author with whom all copyrights lie and have never been published in part or in full elsewhere. Simultaneous submissions are allowed. Please inform the WABO Executive Committee if they are accepted for publication.

Provide a page with your full name, email address, postal address and at least one contact number.

All decisions regarding acceptances will be communicated by 22nd October, 2010. Contributors whose work is published will receive one free copy of Mahube.

Looking forward to seeing what our writers can do!

The Executive Committee


Sunday, July 4, 2010

WABO AGM 4th July 2010

The WABO Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday the 4th July at Falconcrest in Gaborone. There were 20 member in attendance. A report of what the last committee managed to do was presented by the outgoing chairperson, Barolong Seboni. Then elections were held for a new committee.

The gathering

The outgoing chairperson, Barolong Seboni.

Alistair Hagger counting the votes during the election.

The new committee: (from left to right)
Wame Molefhe- Secretary, TJ Dema- chairperson, Atang Mogome- additional member, Abraham Sechele II- additional member, Kelly Sorinyane- treasurer, Irene Gaone Ramatala- additional member, Lauri Kubuitsile- vice chairperson, Bakalanga Mafoko- vice secretary.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Botswana writers,
Next weekend we will be having our annual general meeting to elect a new executive committee who can chart a new and exciting course for our organisation.
Hope to see you there!!

Date: Sunday 4th July 2010
Time: 10 am
Venue: Falconcrest, Gaborone