The Ghana Book Trust (GBT) in partnership with CODE, and with the generous support of Canadian philanthropist William Burt, is pleased to invite publishers to submit manuscripts for the 2014 Burt Award for African Literature.

Objectives of the Award

  1. To recognize excellence in young adult literature from Ghana.
  2. To support and motivate the development of supplementary reading materials at a critical stage of learning – the transition period between mother tongue and English medium instruction.
  3. To strengthen the English language skills of youth and help foster an enthusiasm for and love of reading.
  4. To stimulate and support the African publishing industry and the development of African literature.
  5. To increase the stock of English books in schools and libraries in Ghana.

Submission Criteria

To be considered for the Award:

  1. Authors must be citizens of and resident in Ghana.
  2. Eligible entries must be in manuscript form and submitted by publishers only. Publishers and authors may only submit up to 2 manuscripts annually for the Award. Publishers and authors are expected to have collaborated on the development of the manuscripts prior to submission to ensure that submitted manuscripts are of the highest quality.
  3. Manuscripts must be written in English.
  4. Manuscripts must be prose fiction and written in chapter form.
  5. Manuscripts must contain content and language appropriate for youth between the ages of 12 and 15 years.
  6. Manuscripts must be thought-provoking and original.
  7. Manuscripts should be between 80-120 pages (approximately 20,000 to 40,000 words) in length.
  8. Manuscripts must be typewritten, double spaced on A-4 sized paper, and set in Times New Roman font, size 12.

Criteria for Winning Manuscripts

Winning stories will:

  1. Have literary merit with a well-developed plot and young, engaging characters with whom young readers can identify.
  2. Demonstrate a solid command of the English language through clear, cohesive language use and proper sentence structure, vocabulary, and punctuation.
  3. Have a strong narrative style and make effective use of imagery, lively dialogue, vivid descriptions, and humour or suspense to captivate readers.
  4. Engage and entertain young readers, arouse their interest and curiosity, and keep them turning pages.
  5. Reflect a common experience, but offer original perspectives that appeal to young African readers.
  6. Reflect issues and challenges of concern to contemporary Ghanaian adolescents.

Manuscripts which have the potential to evolve into a series or sequels will be welcome.

Notification of Winning Submissions

Manuscripts will be assessed by a panel of qualified judges according to the criteria set out above. Shortlisted titles will be further revised and edited by the authors and their publishers. First, Second and Third Prize winners will only be determined once the books are edited, approved by the jury and CODE, and published into books. Shortlisted titles that do not win one of the prizes will be promoted with an Honorable Mention designation. There is no guarantee that shortlisted titles will win prizes. Only those titles that meet the highest quality standards will be deemed worthy of winning prizes. The decision of the jury will be final. Prizes will be awarded at an Award ceremony once the manuscripts are published.

Awards for Winning Authors*

1st Prize          CAD$ 9,000

2nd Prize         CAD$ 7,000

3rd Prize          CAD$ 5,000

*Prizes are based on $9,000, $7,000 and $5,000 Canadian dollars and will be subject to changes in the currency exchange rates.

Guaranteed Purchase of Winning Titles

Publishers of the winning books are guaranteed the purchase of up to 3000 copies. Those copies purchased by GBT through the Award will be donated to GBT’s network of schools, libraries, and other organizations across Ghana. The publishers will be responsible for marketing the other approximately 2000 copies printed to the general public. Winning titles could also be eligible for publication internationally in print and digital formats.

NEW Award for sequels or series

We are pleased to announce a new prize that will recognize an excellent title that is a sequel to a previously published book, or part of series of previously published books, for young adult readers that feature the same characters, themes or storylines as a previously published book. There is no guarantee that the sequel prize will be awarded every year. For manuscripts to be considered for this prize they must meet all of the same criteria, and follow the same submission procedures for the main award, as outlined in this form. Only titles that meet the highest quality standards will be deemed worthy of winning a prize. The decision of the jury will be final.

Sequel Prize CAD $1000*

*Prizes are based on $1000 Canadian dollars and will be subject to changes in the currency exchange rates. Please note that there is no guaranteed purchase of copies of the winner of the Sequal Prize.

Deadline for Submission:

All manuscripts must be submitted by publishers to the Ghana Book Trust office on or before 5pm on 30th June 2015. Please send one soft (electronic) copy on a CD or to [] and five (5) hard copies to the address listed below.

The publisher should add a cover letter with author details.

For more information, please contact:

The Burt Award Coordinator
Ghana Book Trust office near UPSA Madina

Tel: 0302502495, 0302971845/6, 0265699700