Accra, Ghana November 1, 2013: 180 stories were submitted to this year's Golden Baobab Prizes. Of these, 25 made it onto the longlist and 8 to the shortlist. The 8 shortlisted stories are:
The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books
- The Princess with a Golden Voice by Philip Begho (Nigeria)
- The Little Hippo by Liza Esterhuyse (South Africa)
- The Grandma Mimo's Breakfast by Carol Gachiengo (Kenya)
The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books
- Seven by Sabina Mutangadura (Zimbabwe)
- Rhino by Richard Street (South Africa)
- What's going on at 179 Jabulani Street? by Karen Hurt (South Africa)
The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers
- The Little Secret by Fego Martins Ahia (Nigeria)
- Pieces of Africa by Kanengo Rebecca Diallo (Tanzania)
According to the Chair of Judges for the Picture Book Prize, Zetta Elliott, whose first book, Bird, won the Honor Award in Lee and Low Books' New Voices Contest,
I am very impressed with the range and originality of the stories. This year's shortlist suggests that there are plenty of emerging authors who take seriously the task of nourishing the imagination of African children. These stories have magic, mystery, and important lessons about the value of community. They confirm what we already know. Africa's literary landscape is rich and diverse.
The Golden Baobab Prizes, now in its fifth year, were set up to find the very best writers of African children's literature. This year's shortlist suggests that the judges; Benardine Evaristo, Esi Sutherland-Addy, Nonikiwe Mashologu, Zetta Elliott, Annette Hansen and Osayimwense Osa, all have varying ideas about what constitutes good fiction for children. This has ensured a very diverse 2013 shortlist.
Osayinwense Osa, founding author of the Journal of African Children's and Youth Literature (JACYL), is a firm believer in the power of literature. He says,
Its ability to transform the world from confusion and violence to peace is immense and so it is wise to get children reading in their formative years. They must ave access to literuature which is in touch with social functions, individuals lives, and world realities and some of the stories in the shortlist do just that.
The shortlist comes out after over 8 weeks of rigorous Golden Baobab Prizes evaluation process. It is evident that African writers are passionate about creating beautiful stories to ignite the imaginations of African children everywhere. The winners of the 2013 prizes will be announced on November 13.
About the Golden Baobab Prizes
The Golden Baobab Prizes for literature was established in July 2008 to inspire the creation of enthralling African children's stories by gifted African writers. The Prizes invite entries of unpublished stories written by African citizens irrespective of age, race, or country of origin. The Prizes are organized by Golden Baobab, a Ghana-based pan African social enterprise dedicated to supporting African writers and illustrators to create winning African children's books. The organization's Advisory Board includes renowned authors Ama Ata Aidoo, Patrice Nganang, Jay Heale and Maya Ajmera. Golden Baobab is proudly supported by Echoing Green, Reach for Change, The Global Fund for Children and The African Library Project.
For further information, photos or to arrange interviews, please contact: Nanama B. Acheampong via email@example.com
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