Seen in the Daily Graphic of 29 August 2014
The Ghana Book Trust [I was going to put it in a link, but it seems their website is down] in collation with the Canadian Organisation for Development through Education (CODE) and the Burt Award for African Literature invites interested persons to participate in a 5-day Writers’ and Editors’ workshop.
The workshop is for persons who write for/are interested in writing and working with Young Adult fiction.
Dates: 8-10 September, Writers’ workshop; 11-12 September, Editors’ workshop
Venue: Erata Hotel, East Legon
Time: 9am – 4pm
Resource persons: Kevin Major from Canada and seasoned Ghanaians in the book industry.
Registration: phone Winnie on 026-569-9700 between 9am and 4pm. Deadline is 4 September 2014.
Good luck to those who participate. The more people who write here in Ghana the better, especially for those who like reading.
The official ceremony for the 2011 Burt Award for African literature, organized locally by Ghana Book Trust , with sponsorhip from CODE , which took place on 16 July 2012, was a bit different from most book related ceremonies that I have attended here in Accra.
Firstly, it started on time. And I was late, thinking 15 minutes past of the official start time would be OK, but it wasn’t! Too bad for me, and a big hurrah for the organizers. TG I wasn’t the latest to arrive though, and I don’t think I missed too much.
Secondly, it was pretty short and to the point. Within an hour all the speeches had been done, and it was time for some photos with the winners, or press interviews, or just networking with friends and colleagues.
Thirdly, there were no books available for sale. A disappointment actually, though I did know in advance that this was just the award ceremony itself. What further saddened me though was hearing that the books would not be published until November this year, which is definitely later than expected!
But then I shouldn’t complain; that means that there is something to look forward to!
Winners for 2011 are:
- First prize: Mamle Wolo, for The Kaya girl
- Second prize: Ruby Goka, for The lost royal treasure
- Third prize: Manu Herbstein, for Akosua and Osman
All are being published locally, and 3000 copies of each title will be distributed to schools, libraries and other institutions, so they will be widely available.
Note: There was press coverage in both the Ghanaian Times and the Daily Graphic, but not a huge amount online. See here and here.
Although I have never attended any of the formal ceremonies where the Burt Awards for African Literature have been formally presented [does this sound like a hint to the future organizers? I leave to your imagination!], I do feel that it is worth promoting , so that teenagers here in Ghana may have access to a wider range of fiction which is contemporary, exciting, and relevant to their own lives.
Most of the following is taken from an advert in the Daily Graphic [though with some spelling mistakes and omissions] of Tuesday 28 February 2012, but further details are available from the Ghana Book Trust, whose contact details will be listed below.
To quote the ad: “The Ghana Book Trust and CODE, a Canadian NGO, have the pleasure to invite Ghanaian authors and publishers to participate in a competition to produce story books for the youth between the ages of 12 and 15.”
- The award is restricted to authors who are citizens of and resident in Ghana
- Manuscripts will be accepted through publishers only; who are allowed to submit not more than two manuscripts
- Winners of the previous year cannot submit manuscript for the immedate year after
- Manuscripts should be written in English
- The length of the manuscript should be 30,000 – 40,000 words and should be in chapter form. It should be typewritten, double-spaced, Times New Roman font size 12
Date for submission:
Manuscripts should be submitted to the Ghana Book Trust in one soft copy and five hard copies by 29 June 2012 at 4pm.
There is also more information on the Ghana Book Trust website.
Contact details for GBT are:
Location: on the IPS road, Accra
Postal: PO Box LG536, Legon, Accra
Telephone: +233 (0)30 250 2495
All the best to the authors and publishers!
Skimming through the Daily Graphic this morning (Tuesday 28 February) I came across an advert – incidentally with several spelling mistakes! – which naturally caught my eye: the announcement of the 2011 winners for Ghana of the Burt Award for African Literature. These are:
- 1st prize: The kaya girl, by Mamle Wolo (published by Kwadwoan Publishers)
- 2nd prize: The lost treasure, by Ruby Y Goka (published by Kwadwoan Publishers)
- 3rd prize: Akosua and Osman, by Manu Herbstein (published by Techmate Publishers) [not sure where this publisher is]
- Shoes for her feet, by Laurene Boateng [no mention of a publisher]
- Betrayed by the city, by Ida Fynn Thompson [no mention of a publisher]
The Burt Award is organized in Ghana by the Ghana Book Trust and CODE (a Canadian NGO, which helps children to learn by supporting libraries, teacher training and book publishing in developing countries).
Actually this announcement is almost the same as the one I later found on the GBT website, so I do pay credit as it is due. To be frank the three prize winners were not totally a surprise as two of them had indicated to me late in 2011 that they were in the running.
Congratulations to all!
The question I ask as a book buyer: where in Accra can I buy these titles?
I was aware that the Burt Award for African literature 2009 was going to be officially announced on 4 August here in Accra, at the Ghana Book Trust, but didn’t go to the function.
However, this morning, I see that Nana Fredua-Agyeman at ImageNations has already blogged about it.
Once again, nothing in the news part of the main state-owned press so far, but Ghanaian Times did have two adverts related to the award in the 5 August edition. One was an invitation to publishers to tender, but the other was actually more in the form of a press release. There is a copy of the “Announcement of winners” on the GLA website.
If I find more stories on the web related to these awards, I will put up the links.
My colleague blogger, Fiona Leonard, wrote very recently about a recent visit to the Ghana Book Trust in Accra.
The headline “Where do books for Africa go to die?” says it all. The last time I went there – sometime last year – the situation was no different. I was looking for some “light” reading for students and for the library at work, and I did find a reasonable selection – both for the time I had to look, and for the money I had to spend! But I did have to scrounge through some large dirty boxes on the floor and a few shelves of non-textbooks.
I do admit that I felt that GBT was definitely not what it used to be. First of all, there weren’t many people there; yet I emember occasions when it was full of students looking for texts to buy, as well as institutions hoping to supply their libraries. It was dark – maybe it always was, but I didn’t notice it, and definitely dingy looking. Definitely not a very attractive place to go.
Yet, as was mentioned by Fiona, GBT continues to receive containers of books from donors in North America, although they no longer act as recipients of books for Book Aid International which has stopped working in Ghana and West Africa.
So what has happened? And why? The word on the street is that some companies in the book trade were not pleased with GBT who were supplying many organizations at very low prices, but is this a reason for the lack of care?
Thanks Fiona for saying what many of us should have said ages ago, and for being outraged!
I have to admit that I have seen ads in the Ghanaian newspaper for CODE’s Burt award for African literature in Ghana, and I haven’t made any mention of it. Mea culpa!
So here is the link to the specific CODE page and I think I should mention that the deadline is 31 May 2010.
The local collaborating organisation is Ghana Book Trust, which in my view is somewhat moribund, or perhaps I should say, less active than it used to be. A pity, as it did help provide books to lots of institutions and community libraries. But maybe it was regarded as competition by booksellers? or was that just a piece of gossip which I heard, and am mentioning?
By the way: CODE was originally an acronynm for Canadian Organization for Development through Education, but this is now the official name! [I thought I should mention this fairly useful? piece of information!]