The Golden Baobab Prize has announced its call for writers to enter its prize for African Children’s Literature for 2013 with some interesting shifts in the traditional categories of Junior Category (literature for ages 8 – 11); Senior Category (ages 12 – 15); and the Rising Writer prize for writers under the age of 18.
It appears the usual categories of Junior and Senior are off the table this year, with only the Rising Writer category maintained. Instead, we have Best Picture Book Manuscript and Best Early Chapter Manuscript. The deadline for submission this year is 14 July.
While this may come as a surprise to many, and perhaps a disappointment to industry connoisseurs with strong leanings to writing itself, a cursory look at recent programmes implemented by the Foundation provides some answers. In the past year, Golden Baobab has organised workshops for children’s illustration in Ghana particularly. It is only expected that the prize may seem to be shifting towards that direction.
When we put this to Golden Baobab, it appeared we guessed right: “This is the new direction. Golden Baobab is focusing on enthralling literary content for African children (below the age of 11) because we believe that the greatest impact on children’s imaginations occurs at their earliest stages.”
The benefits may not be apparent at the moment, but children’s illustration is one section of the literary industry that may be dying. A literary prize that focuses on children’s illustration is therefore much welcomed. Indeed, it may not be a total loss for writers in the children’s literature category or upcoming ones. The prize may in the end force, albeit mildly, writers and illustrators to collaborate more. In the end, children will benefit from the good of both artistic worlds.
The prize accepts work for children submitted via email and in English by any African citizen irrespective of their current places of residence or location. To submit on the Golden Baobab website, please click here.
The Golden Baobab Prize, an initiative of the Golden Baobab Foundation (a registered NGO in Ghana), was established in July 2008 with the grand aim of soliciting and promoting creative writing works for children and young adults. The prize also aims to identify talent for the next generation of African writers. As an annual event, the prize is awarded to African writers of children’s literature and young adult fiction.
- Golden Baobab Prizes for African Children’s Literature (theafricanstreetwriter.com)