180 stories were submitted to this year’s Golden Baobab Prizes. Of these, 25 made it onto the longlist (which included some Ghanaians) and eight to the shortlist. The 8 shortlisted stories are:
The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books
The Princess with a Golden Voice by Philip Begho (Nigeria)
The Little Hippo by Liza Esterhuyse (South Africa)
Grandma Mimo’s Breakfast by Carol Gachiengo (Kenya)
The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books
Seven by Sabina Mutangadura (Zimbabwe)
Rhino by Richard Street (South Africa)
What’s going on at 179 Jabulani Street? by Karen Hurt (South Africa)
The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers
The Little Secret by Fego Martins Ahia (Nigeria)
Pieces of Africa by Kanengo Rebecca Diallo (Tanzania)
Chair of judges for the Picture Book Prize, Zetta Elliott, whose first picture book, Bird, won the Honor Award in Lee and Low Books’ New Voices Contest, commented on the shortlist saying, “I’m very impressed with the range and originality of the stories. This year’s shortlist suggests that there are plenty of emerging authors who take seriously the task of nourishing the imagination of African children. These stories have magic, mystery, and important lessons about the value of community. They confirm what we already know: Africa’s literary landscape is rich and diverse!”
The Golden Baobab Prizes, now in its fifth year, were set up to find the very best writers of African children’s literature. This year’s shortlist suggests that the judges; Bernardine Evaristo, Esi-Sutherland-Addy, Nonikiwe Mashologu, Zetta Elliott, Annette Hansen and Osayimwense Osa, all have varying ideas about what constitutes good fiction for children. This has ensured a very diverse 2013 shortlist.
Osayimwense Osa, founding author of the Journal of African Children’s and Youth Literature (JACYL), is a firm believer in the power of literature. He says, “It transform the world from confusion and violence to peace is immense and so it is wise to get children reading in their formative years. They must have access to literature which is in touch with social functions, individual lives, and world realities and some of the stories in the shortlist do just that.”
The shortlist comes out after over 8 weeks of the rigorous Golden Baobab Prizes evaluation process. It is evident that African writers are passionate about creating beautiful stories to ignite the imaginations of African children everywhere. The winners of the 2013 prizes will be announced on 13 November.
About the Golden Baobab Prizes
The Golden Baobab Prizes for literature was established in July 2008 to inspire the creation of enthralling African children’s stories by gifted African writers. The Prizes invite entries of unpublished stories written by African citizens irrespective of age, race, or country of origin. The Prizes are organized by Golden Baobab, a Ghana-based pan African social enterprise dedicated to supporting African writers and illustrators to create winning African children’s books. The organization’s Advisory Board includes renowned authors Ama Ata Aidoo, Patrice Nganang, Jay Heale and Maya Ajmera. Golden Baobab is proudly supported by Echoing Green, Reach for Change, The Global Fund for Children and The African Library Project.
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