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Golden Baobab has announced the awards for the 2018 Golden Baobab Prize. This year marks 10 years since the prestigious pan-African children’s literary award was set up to celebrate and support talented African writers and illustrators. To date the Prize has inspired submissions of over 2,000 new and original African children’s stories and illustrations and offered substantial monetary awards as well as publishing opportunities.

Entering a decade since its establishment, this year’s Golden Baobab Prize presented a specific focus on publishing. This was reflected in the Prize’s jury which was a panel of prominent international publishing and literacy professionals. According to the Golden Baobab Prize administration, the mandate for this year’s jury was to find writers whose manuscripts were publishing ready and versatile illustrators whose styles showed evidence that they could create work for a wide audience of children. After a lengthy deliberation process, the jury announces that the 2018 Golden Baobab Prize will offer multiple awards but no winner. The jury concluded that the top entries of the literature prize were more ready for editorial support and mentorship than they were ready for publication. For the illustrator prize, while there were strong entries the jury did not find illustrations that met this year’s criteria.

2018 Golden Baobab Prize Shortlist

The 2018 Golden Baobab Prize jury has selected four stories for the shortlist and awarded them a prize package of editorial support, in addition to connections to publishing opportunities. It has selected for one illustrator for the shortlist commending them for their creative interpretation of the illustration briefs provided. The 2018 Shortlist are:

  • The Clock Can’t Jump Through Time by Adeola Adeyemo (Nigeria) for the Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books

  • Think Before You Act, Kuku! by Thandazile Sakhile Mpofu (Zimbabwe) for the Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books 

  • Keeper of the Gates by David Kwakye (Ghana) for the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books

  • The Era of the Afrocubs by Ayo Oyeku (Nigeria) for the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books: 

  • Elizabeth Jeffery (South Africa) for the Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators

Speaking on this announcement, Golden Baobab’s Executive Director, Deborah Osei-Agyekum said: “We support the jury’s decision for the Golden Baobab Prize to announce no winner for 2018 but rather offer awards to multiple entrants. The cash award from this year's Prize will be rolled into future years with an increased focus on publishing. Over the past 10 years, the Golden Baobab Prize has successfully matched talented African writers and illustrators to publishing opportunities for children's books and we are committed to do more. Stories and illustrators from the Golden Baobab Prize have gone on to be published by African Bureau Stories, Penguin Random House South Africa, Oxford University Press, Quramo Publishing and Cassava Republic Press among others."

 

 

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This year, the Golden Baobab Prize received over 300 new and original stories and illustrations from 17 African countries. Our 2018 Jury, made up of prominent international publishing and literary professionals, went through a rigorous process to evaluate this year’s entries.

2018 Golden Baobab Prize Longlist

Our Longlist for the 2018 Golden Baobab Prize 

We are very happy to unveil our 2018 Longlist which features twelve African children’s authors and illustrators from six countries across the continent. They are:

The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books

  • Adeola Adeyemo, Nigeria - The Clock Can’t Jump Through Time

  • Thandazile Sakhile Mpofu, Zimbabwe - Think Before You Act, Kuku!

  • Sharon Salu, Nigeria - Koko’s Head

  • Marie Pelagie Elimbi Moudio, Cameroon - The Water Festival

The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books

  • Warũgũrũ Mũchĩra, Kenya - Akinyi

  • David Kwakye, Ghana - Keeper of the Gates

  • Ayo Oyeku, Nigeria - The Era of the Afrocubs

  • Lorna Likiza, Kenya - Oi Gets Lost

The Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators

The winners of the Golden Baobab Prize will be announced on December 15th, 2018.

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2018 Golden Baobab Prize Judges

We are delighted to announce our judges for the 2018 Golden Baobab Prize! This year’s jury comprises prominent international publishing and literacy professionals. They are:

  • Akoss Ofori-Mensah, Publisher, Sub-Saharan Publishers

  • Kathy Knowles, Children’s writer, publisher and founder, Osu Library Fund

  • Daphne Lee, ConsultingEditor, Scholastic Asia

  • Sarah Odedina, Editor-at-Large, Pushkin Press

  • Akua Peprah, Educator, The Lovett School

  • Carol Williams, West Africa Regional Director, Worldreader

Full details about the 2018 judges can be found here: http://www.goldenbaobab.org/prizes/judges

“We are excited to present a jury this year that boasts an international group of literary professionals who care about getting diverse books to children.” says Eunice Ahenkorah, Program Manager of Golden Baobab. “As the Golden Baobab Prize celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, we look forward to a new chapter where we will establish meaningful partnerships with various organizations to increase our capacity to have more African children’s books published by our authors and illustrators”

The Golden Baobab Prize was established to discover and present talented African writers and illustrators with opportunities to produce African children's books. We invite entries of unpublished stories and illustrations by African citizens irrespective of age, race, gender or country of origin, and offers cash prizes as well as publishing opportunities to outstanding entries.

Winners of the Prize have to gone on to see success in the publishing industry. Grandma’s List, a Golden Baobab Prize winning story by Ghanaian writer Portia Dery and published by African Bureau Stories, has won the 2018 Children’s Africana Book Award (CABA) organized by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association in the U.S. The CABA Award sponsors include the African Studies departments of Harvard, Howard and Yale universities among others. 

The winners of this year’s Golden Baobab Prize will be announced on December 15, 2018.

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Grandma's List, a story that was awarded the 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books, has just won the internationally coveted Children's Africana Book Award (CABA). The book was written by Ghanaian author Portia Dery, illustrated by South African artist Toby Newsome and published by African Bureau Stories, a publishing partner of the Golden Baobab Prize. Grandma's List won the 2018 CABA Young Children’s category along with books from international publishers Penguin Random House, Candlewick Press and Lantana Publishing among others. 

    Portia Dery, 2018 CABA Winner   

(Portia Dery, 2018 CABA Winner and her book, Grandma's List)

The Children's Africana Book Award is an annual award presented to authors and illustrators of the best children’s and young adult books on Africa published or republished in the U.S.A. The awards were created by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association (ASA) and its sponsors include the African Studies departments of universities Harvard, Howard and Yale among others. Past winning writers of CABA include Desmond Tutu, Niki Daly and Nnedi Okorafor.

Image from Grandma’s List

(Image from 2018 CABA Winning book, Grandma’s List)

The Golden Baobab Prize guaranteed the publication of Grandma's List, as part of the prize package it offered to the winning writer. The success of this book is an end product of Golden Baobab's commitment to supporting the careers of African writers and illustrators and finding more opportunities for their great work to shine on regional and international platforms. This year, Golden Baobab is expanding its activities in publishing to provide more opportunities for talented African children's authors and illustrators to develop their careers. We are developing strategic African and global publishing partnerships to produce more stories from the Golden Baobab Prize.

CABA announces winners of 2018 Best Book for Young Children

(CABA announces winners of 2018 Best Book for Young Children)

Grandma’s List is a brilliant and colorful story about an 8-year old girl Fatima, who wants to save the day by helping her Grandmother complete her list of errands. The problem is, Fatima loses the list and she has to recall from memory what was written on it. The rest of story then takes the reader on a funny and heartwarming adventure with Fatima and her family.  

An inside look of the Award winning book, Grandma’s List 

(An inside look into the award winning book, Grandma's List)

An inside look of the Award winning book, Grandma’s List

Kudos to Portia Dery and Toby Newsome for coming together to create this lovely story that young readers all over the world adore!

To order a copy of Grandma’s List, visit: facebook.com/pg/africanbureau/shop/

To purchase Grandma’s List, as an eBook on Amazon, click here. 

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The 2018 Golden Baobab Prize Call for Submissions

Accra, Ghana, 31st March 2017 - Golden Baobab is pleased to announce the call for submissions for the 2018 Golden Baobab Prize. The Prize discovers and celebrates African writers and illustrators of children's stories and confers awards for their work. After enjoying nine successful years as an industry leader, Golden Baobab this year announces 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.

The 2018 Golden Baobab Prize offers a distinct platform for professional African writers and illustrators to kick-start their careers. The Prize will 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.

Commenting on the launch of the 2018 Prize Victor Kyerematen, the organization's Prize Coordinator said, "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 prioritizing work that gets more African books in the hands of children."

The 2018 Golden Baobab Prize offers three awards:
• 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 receive a cash prize of 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.

The final deadline for submission is 31st March 2018. Golden Baobab invites African writers and illustrators to submit entries for this year's Prize and spread the word among their networks.

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