McMillan Writer's Prize for Africa

Macmillan is delighted to announce the start of the fourth Macmillan Writer's Prize for Africa, the only literary prize awarded to writers of unpublished African children's literature. The competition is open to entrants from all countries in Africa.

Previous prize winners have had their entries published and promoted by Macmillan throughout Africa; winning and shortlisted entries have come from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zambia to date, and there have been a number of strong contenders from other African countries. Here are comments from two competitors:

"Even though I didn't win, I was greatly encouraged to learn that my entry was nominated as one of the best from my country. I will definitely try again next time."

"I've enjoyed reading some of the published winners. It has helped me to be more aware of my own writing, and to think more carefully about writing for children."

Following the successful launch of the Macmillan Children's Illustrator Award in 2005, Macmillan is pleased to be running this competition a second time, in recognition of the importance of pictures in African children's books.

Macmillan Education is sponsoring both prizes with the following awards. Macmillan will also offer publication for the winning stories:

Junior Award

For an original, unpublished story in English of not more than 10,000 words written for children in the 8-12 age range

Prize value US$5,000

Senior Award

For an original, unpublished story in English between 14,000 and 20,000 words, written for young people between the ages of 13 and 17 years.

Prize value US$5,000

New Children's Writer Award

For and original story in either the junior or senior category by a previously unpublished writer

Prize Value US$3,000

Children's Illustrator Award

For an illustration based on one of the texts detailed in the competitor's pack.

Prize value US$1,000

The closing date for all entries is 30 June 2007.

Manuscripts for the Writer's Prize will be evaluated by an independent panel of four judges who are prominent writers: Meshack Asare, Jamila Gavin, Jack Mapanje and Helen Oyeyemi. The shortlist will be announced in November 2007 and the prize winners will be announced in January 2008. There will be a special awards ceremony later in the year to celebrate the publication of the winning stories.

The winning entry for the Illustrator's Award will be displayed as part of the Writer's Award ceremony. Macmillan will enter into separate discussions with the winning illustrator regarding further assignments in children's book illustration for Africa.

Competitors' packs with full information and entry forms can be obtained FREE from local Macmillan offices or by emailing writersprize@macmillan.co.uk

For further information, please contact:

Nicki Price
Macmillan Education
Between Towns Road



Nombuso Mkhize
Macmillan South Africa
PO Box 32484


(Tel) 011 731 3330 (Fax) 011 731 3552

(Press release: 8th January 2007)





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