News

 

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 1st December 2017. Golden Baobab invites African writers and illustrators to submit entries for this year's Prize and spread the word among their networks.

Hits: 4263

Vennessa Scholtz

Vennessa Scholtz from South Africa, Winner of the 2016 Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books.

 

How do you feel about being a winner of the Golden Baobab Prizes? What does it mean for you?

I am humbled and honoured to be a winner of this prestigious award, more so because this is my first foray into writing literature for this age group. I am grateful and blessed for a God given opportunity to write this story, and for the possibility of it reaching and encouraging a new generation of readers.

How did you hear about the Golden Baobab Prize? and how is Golden Baobab’s work important to you?

I had seen some of the books at my library and then went looking for Golden Baobab online. It is important that African children read stories about them, for them and set in the world they live in. Golden Baobab gives these stories an opportunity to be published and read.

What fascinates you about (African) children's literature?
 

These are stories I can relate to. It’s the stories my children can understand because it’s about their reality and the continent they live on. It’s something we need to appreciate as often children’s stories are about far away countries and about situations that are foreign to us.

What were the hurdles you had to overcome to produce or publish your work? How did you surmount them?

The most difficult aspect was to find the time to write. I have a full time job, and I’m a wife and mother of two grown sons, so finding time just to sit and write was difficult. I forced myself to spend at least 30 minutes writing when I got home in the evening. Sometimes I would just put down words and at other times I actually worked on definite pieces of writing.

What ambitions do you have for your career?
 

Winning Golden Baobab has given me the kick start I needed. I didn’t think I would win, so much so that I already started working on an entry for next year. I hope to continue writing children’s stories that will make a positive impact on the reading habits of our young people.

 
 

 

Lori-Ann Preston

Lori-Ann Preston from South Africa, Winner of the 2016 Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books.

 

How do you feel about being a winner of the Golden Baobab Prizes? What does it mean for you?

 I’m absolutely thrilled, grateful and honored to be a winner of The Golden Baobab Prizes.  To have received recognition of my writing by such a prestigious panel of judges is both humbling, exciting and a dream come true.

How did you hear about the Golden Baobab Prize? and how is Golden Baobab’s work important to you?

 The competition was advertised by SCBWI an international children’s writing society that I’m a member of.  I then googled The Golden Baobab Prize and was immediately excited to become a part of such an amazing endeavour. I certainly share in The Golden Baobab’s vision ‘to create a world filled with wonder and possibilities for children, one African story at a time’.  And I am delighted to become a part of The Golden Baobab team. The Golden Baobab Prize has also given me the opportunity as an unpublished writer to become recognized and supported, which I am extremely grateful for.

What fascinates you about (African) children's literature?

I absolutely love my beautiful country and its incredible diversity. I find African children’s stories to be both fun and educational and I love reading children stories that they can relate to.

How did you become interested in books and writing?

My mom has always been an avid reader.  She introduced me, as a young child to the wonderful world of books. My most memorable and favourite book would be Enid Blyton’s, Up The Faraway Tree, which my mom read to me as a young child.  The characters had such a huge impact on my life and I so wanted to meet Moonface and Silky the fairy. I have always had a calling to write children’s stories and I’m passionate about educating children. As a teacher who has read hundreds of books to children over the past twenty years, nothing brings me more pleasure, than introducing children to the wonderful world of their imagination.

What ambitions do you have for your career?

The hope for my career is that I can continue to write more and more and more books.  I’m also a strong believer in life-long learning and would love to continue with my studies. The hope for my books is that they will spread joy, education and the love of reading into the hearts of all the children of Africa.

 

Hits: 1999

                                                                       2016 Golden Baobab Winners                                                                                                           

The Golden Baobab Prize Announces 2016 Winners and Shortlist

 Accra, Ghana, November 21, 2016 – Golden Baobab is delighted to announce the winners of the 7th edition of the Golden Baobab Prize. The Prize is often referred to as the “African Newbery Prize”, and is renowned as a pioneering and prestigious award in the African children’s literature industry.

This year, the Golden Baobab​ ​Prize received over 150 stories from 11 African countries.​ ​The submissions were judged by​ ​an​ ​impressive​ ​jury from diverse backgrounds who collectively brought nearly 100 years of experience in children’s literature to the selection of the 2016 winners and finalists.   

The winning stories of the 2016 Golden Baobab Prize are:

  • The Ama-zings! by Lori-Ann Preston from South Africa, Winner of the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books.

  • Kita and the Red, Dusty Road by Vennessa Scholtz from South Africa, Winner of the Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books.  

The winner of each Golden Baobab Prize receives​ ​a cash prize of 5,000 USD and a guaranteed publishing contract.​​

2016 Golden Baobab Prize Shortlist.

 

 Those shortlisted were:  

The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books

  • Maya and the Finish Line by Ayo Oyeku from Nigeria

  • Lights and Freedom by Khethiwe Mndawe from South Africa

The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books

  • A Dark Night for Wishes by Kai Tuomi from South Africa

  • Mr. Cocka-Rocka-Roo by Lori-Ann Preston from South Africa​

The Executive Director of Golden Baobab, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum commented, “For the past seven years, The Golden Baobab Prize has​ ​focused on delivering a quality annual literature prize that raises awareness about the need for more African literature for children.​ ​Now, the Prize is excited to enter a new​ ​phase where we​ ​will focus heavily on setting up more publishing partnerships and opportunities for our writers to get more African books into the hands of children. ​For the first​ ​time, this year's winning stories are guaranteed a publishing contract. The longlist also receives publishing services from Golden Baobab​ ​that will​ ​connect their​ ​stories to leading African and international publishers.”

Hits: 2305

Posted by on in News

We are excited to share that, two stories from the Golden Baobab Prize have been published into books this year.

Cover of book, Malaika's Magical Kiosk      Cover of book, Dad Goes to School

Malaika’s Magical Kiosk written by Shaleen Keshavjee-Gulam from Kenya (for readers 7-10 years old) and Dad Goes to School by Mandy Collins from South Africa (for readers 5-8 years old) were longlisted in the 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books.

As part of our commitment to the finalists of our Prize, we connected the top stories from the Prize to African and international publishing opportunities.

Malaika’s Magical Kiosk and Dad Goes to School, were produced by Mango Books, an imprint of Quramo Publishing Limited, an independent publishing company based in Nigeria. Quramo Publishing Limited is part of Golden Baobab’s growing network of publishing partners who are committed to our vision to spread more books by Africans to young readers all over the world.

Watch for a snippet of Malaika's Magical Kiosk

Watch for a snippet of Dad Goes to School

Our Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum attended the launch of the children's books, which was held in Lagos, Nigeria, to show support to the longlisted authors, literacy and publishing initiatives of Mango Books.

 Book Reading at Quramo Publishing's Book Launch        Our Executive Director at Quramo Publishing's Book Launch

Malaika’s Magical Kiosk and Dad Goes to School are available to download on Amazon. To buy copies in Nigeria, kindly visit Quramo Publishing Limited's website. For copies in Ghana, please contact Golden Baobab.

 
Hits: 1634

We are very honored that our Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum has been recognized by the International Literacy Association (ILA) for her work as a literacy and education advocate and her contributions to the space through Golden Baobab and our sister company, African Bureau Stories.

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum on the Cover Page of ILA's Literacy Today Magazine

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum on the Cover Page of ILA's Literacy Today Magazine

Deborah was nominated and selected as one of the 30 rising literacy leaders for the International Literacy Association’s second annual 30 Under 30 list! The 30 under 30 list which recognizes up-and-coming literacy champions around the globe and this year’s list of honorees consist ‘rising leaders’ from 12 countries and several sectors. The winners are made up of nonprofit leaders, classroom teachers, authors, volunteers, researchers, and social entrepreneurs, who have championed projects that have directly improved literacy in their communities.

DUNK Student Athletes received their book bags from Deborah & GeeBee The Book Bag

Student Athletes from DUNK, a basketball after school program received their book bags from Deborah & our mascot, GeeBee The Book Bag

 Our Executive Director was featured (on the front page!) of Literacy Today, the member magazine of the International Literacy Association. To read the full magazine interview and inspiring stories of other literary champions who made the list, click here.

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum features as the cover story for Literacy Today

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum features as the cover story for Literacy Today  

 

Hits: 1634