850 African Children’s Stories and Counting
8/14/2012 12:11:15 PM -
The Golden Baobab Prize, which inspires, discovers and rewards African writing talent in the field of children's literature, officially became the most competitive children's literary prize on the continent this year when it registered record numbers in the entries received. By the time the curtain closed on the submissions period on 24th June 2012, the Prize had been sent over 450 entries from a total of 279 entrants. These numbers mean that the volume of stories submitted to The Golden Baobab Prize in 2012 almost tripled from those recorded in 2011. The high number of applicants for this year's prize brings the total number of stories collected by Golden Baobab to 850 in only four years and effectively establishes 2012 as a game-changing year for one of Africa's most important literary awards.
Golden Baobab Prize Co-Founder and Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah expressed her satisfaction in a statement, 'It's incredibly inspiring to see so many African writers from all over the world rallying around the cause of The Golden Baobab. They believe, like us, that young people all over the continent deserve a consistent supply of quality literature. The next stop now is to get all these amazing stories into the hands of readers. We're looking to create partnerships to make this happen. I'm really excited to watch and see what The Golden Baobab Prize will do for the African children's literature landscape.' Golden Baobab has already had 3 of their winning stories published as children's books, which have been distributed in 15 countries. The volume of this year's applicants and high level of competition they bring to the Prize ensure Golden Baobab will have an even richer pool of stories from which to select winners.
Prize entries came from Africans from North Africa, East and Central Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa and indicated a growing interest and broad support. Stories were received from writers holding citizenship in 19 different African countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Nigeria produced the largest number of entries. The entries came from a range of writers of all ages; the youngest entrant was aged 11 and the oldest aged 71.
This year's judges are Carol Broomhall, Publishing Director of Jacana Media, Binyavanga Wainaina, world-renowned novelist, satirist and 2002 Caine Prize Winner, Atinuke Akinyemi-Sears, author of the famous children's book The No 1 Car-Spotter, Yohannes Gebregeorgis, the founder of Ethiopia Reads, Kopano Matlwa author of Coconut, Spilt Milk and the winner of the 2010 Wole Soyinka Prize and the EU literary award, and Vivian Yenika-Agbaw assistant editor of Sankofa: Journal of African Children's and Young Adult Literature. Winners of this year's prize will be announced during the very first week of November, 2012.