By Iminza Keboge
Published April 24, 2014
Golden Baobab, an Accra (Ghana)-based body that recognises writers and illustrators of children’s literature in Africa through annual literary awards, is calling for entries.
Nanama B Acheampong, Coordinator of the Golden Baobab Prizes, says her organisation is in 2014 awarding six prizes worth US$20,000 and that the deadline for receiving submissions in Accra is June 29, 2014. Only unpublished stories for children written by African citizens are eligible.
Acheampong says Golden Baobab, that has over the past five years awarded prizes for Picture Book, Early Chapter Book and Rising Writers, has in 2014 introduced three more prizes–for Illustrators, Rising Illustrators and Lifetime Achievement in Children’s Literature–bringing the tally to six as the organisation marks its sixth edition of “discovering, nurturing and celebrating the talent, passion and contribution of [writers and illustrators] to the African children’s literature space.”
Though Golden Baobab says it has introduced its Lifetime Achievement in Children’s Literature Award “to recognise African writers/illustrators who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding significance to the development of African children’s literature”, it is yet to say how the award will be administered.
In 2013, Coordinator Acheampong says they received 180 submissions from 13 African countries for the original three Golden Baobab Prizes for literature.
“We expect to receive many more submissions for the Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature this year. We have also had such positive reactions to our newly launched Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations and are looking forward to being pleasantly surprised,” she says.
The 2013 winners were Liza Esterhuyse from South Africa who won the Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Book. Karen Hurt, also from South Africa, won the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Book while 12-year-old Kanengo Rebecca Diallo from Tanzania won the Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers which awards promising writers below the age of eighteen.
Entry information for the 2014 prizes is on the organisation’s website, goldenbaobab.org.
“Entrants should note that the copyright of each entry submitted to the Golden Baobab Prizes remains vested in them. However, by submitting an entry, entrants declare that they are legally entitled to do so and give Golden Baobab permission to make their entry available for exclusive worldwide royalty-free usage, reproduction and distribution,” a statement issued to the media says.
Winners of the contest will be announced in November 2014.
Deborah Ahenkorah, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Golden Baobab says, “I am thrilled that as we mark the 6th anniversary of the prizes, we are doing more than we ever have to champion the work of African writers and illustrators of children’s stories. For example, we have increased cash prizes from an annual $3000 to an annual $20,000. This increase reflects the value we place on the work created by incredibly talented writers and illustrators of African children’s stories. This is only the beginning of our aspirations for this space.”
The full description and amount of cash attached to each award are as follows:
• The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Book (US$5,000)
• The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Book (US$5,000)
• The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers (US$2,500)
• The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators (US$5,000)
• The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Illustrators (US$2,500)
• The Golden Baobab Lifetime Achievement in Children’s Literature Award.