Burt Awards for African Literature - 2010: Call for Submissions

CODE, a Canadian NGO and the Ghana Book Trust have the pleasure to invite Ghanaian authors and publishers to take part in a writing competition to produce engaging and educational stories for youth 12-15 yeas old.

The Burt Award for African Fiction is a newly created annual award to recognise excellence in young adult fiction from Ghana. The Award is sponsored by CODE through the generous support of a Canadian patron, Bill Burt. The award is restricted to authors who are citizens and resident in Ghana.

1st Gold: GH¢ 16,000
2nd Silver: GH¢ 8,000
3rd Bronze: GH¢ 4,000

  1. Manuscripts will be accepted through publishers only; who are allowed to submit not more than three manuscripts. The manuscripts are expected to be prepared by authors in collaboration with publishers. This is to ensure that the submitted manuscripts are edited to some extent by the publishers before they are read by the jury.
  2. Manuscripts shall be written in English and show the mastery in the use of the English language.
  3. Manuscript should be prose fiction with content and language appropriate for ages 12-15.
  4. Each story should demonstrate a solid command of English, through clear, coherent language, proper sentence structure, vocabulary, and punctuation.
  5. The story should have strong literary merit with: i) Engaging characters with whom young readers can identify; ii) A protagonist who overcomes challenges or obstacles in a positive way; iii) A well-developed plot with a clear beginning, middle and end; iv) Effective use of literary devices.
  6. The story should have a strong narrative style - with strong imagery, lively dialogue, and vivid description - to arouse young readers' interest and curiosity and keep them turning pages.
  7. The story should reflect issues and challenges of concern to contemporary Ghana.
  8. Manuscripts which have the potential to evolve into a sequel or series will be welcome.

The length of the mauscript should be between 75 and 120 pages and should be in Chapter form. It should be type-written, double spaced, Times New Roman, font 12.

Deadline for submission: The manuscripts should be electronically submitted to the Ghana Book Trust by Friday 29th April 2011by 4.00 pm. (Email Address: gbt@africaonline.com.gh)

They will be reviewed by a panel of qualified judges to determine the winners and the decision of the judges will be final. CODE will explore the possibility of having these titles co-published in Canada. Copies of the titles will also be distributed to the Ghana Book Trust's network of CODE-supported schools and other community libraries.

Winners - The winners will be announced through the media, and will be awarded at the Ghana International Book Fair in November 2011.

Culled from Friday, November 5, 2010 edition of the Daily Graphic, page 31.

Click here to read last year's winners.


  1. What a great award! I love that it requires Ghanaian authors who still live there. And I do hope the winners do get co-published in Canada so that I can pick them up as well :)

  2. Yes Amy it is a huge money even when converted into dollars. And yes I am happy it restricts the participation to Ghanaians living in Ghana. What i have found out is that most Ghanaian/African authors live outside the continent. As they claim it is the only way to make a breakthrough. Hope this would help all aspiring writers.

  3. Yes I've found it disappointing some times that most of the work I can find, especially by contemporary African authors, are all from ones who have moved away. It's really hard to find works by writers still living in their home countries, at least from way over here.

  4. Kudos to Bill Burt for funding this competition. I wonder how many Business Tycoons and rich men in Ghana would fund a whole literary award in Ghana???????
    Bill Burt, I pray that God continues to increase your wealth. Amen!

  5. @Amy it's not only at your end. Most often writers within the country find it difficult to get publishers. As of now I know of Sub-Saharan publishers and one or two involved in publishing novels. and even that you really have to be an already published author. I hope things do change. I hate it as it is.

  6. @Geosi, lol. They love money not knowledge. Don't you know that it is money that rules and not knowledge? lol. and most especially people with the word!!

  7. Nana, you're certainly right...lol!

  8. I'm looking forward to submitting my entry next year. Titled "Too Young for Love."

    And it will motivate a sequel: Old Enough for Love and Other Things

  9. @SCD, that would be great. Just send it...

  10. Bill Burt Award; Here I come... thank you NANA for the publicity

  11. @Sylvanus... submit... who knows


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