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Saturday, 8 April 2017

The 2018 Golden Baobab Prize: Now Open for Submissions from African Writers and Illustrators




I’m very excited to announce that the Golden Baobab Prize is back and accepting submissions from African writers and illustrators until 1st December 2017.

Awards are available in three categories:
  •  The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books, for the best story targeting a reader audience of ages 4-8.
  •  The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books for the best story targeting a reader audience of ages 9-11.
  • The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators for the best artwork that matches illustration briefs provided, intended for children ages 4-11.

Winners of the 2018 Golden Baobab Prize will each receive a cash prize of USD$5,000 USD. In addition to press publicity, winning stories are guaranteed a publishing deal, finalist writers are connected with publishers across Africa and finalist illustrators participate in exhibitions and workshops.

Established in July 2008 to support the development of children’s books by African writers and illustrators, the Prize invites entries of unpublished stories and illustrations created by African citizens irrespective of age, race, or country of origin. 

Now in its ninth year, this year Golden Baobab is entering an exciting new phase with a heavier focus on publishing. It also announces the re-opening of the Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators, the most important award for African children's book illustrators.

In this new phase, the 2018 Golden Baobab Prize aims to offer a distinct platform for professional African writers and illustrators to kick-start their careers. The Prize will also work to facilitate relationships between African publishers and finalist writers and illustrators with the goal to see more African children’s books being published. In view of this, Golden Baobab is excited to expand its publishing network and increase its impact in more countries.

 Previously longlisted titles have already begun to be published, including this Picture Book longlisted in 2014 

Here's what Victor Kyerematen, the organisation’s Prize Coordinator, had to say about the launch of the 2018 Prize: 

In the past, Golden Baobab has done a fantastic job of highlighting and honouring fresh voices in African children’s literature. Henceforth, we are eagerly prioritising work that gets more African books in the hands of children.
Previous winners of the book prize includes Mary Okon Ononokpono with her short story Talulah the Time Traveller, who I had the pleasure of interviewing in 2014; while the winner of the inaugural prize for illustrators was the super talented, Xanelé Puren, who I interviewed in 2015. Find out more about this exciting prize on Golden Baobab's website

Xanele Puren's winning illustration, Jama is late to borrow a book from the library. Image via Golden Baobab

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