Ottawa, Canada, September 7, 2017 – In celebration of International Literacy Day, CODE is delighted to announce its Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature shortlist. This first regional competition...
Call for Submission November 2017
New Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature
Administered by CODE and made possible by the generosity of William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation, the Burt Award recognizes excellence in young adult literature, addresses an ongoing shortage of relevant, quality books for young readers, and promotes a love of reading and learning at the upper primary and secondary school levels. Established in Tanzania in 2008, the program has since expanded to Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Canada and the Caribbean.
CODE’s Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature (BAAYAL) replaces the Burt Award for African Literature, a collection of four separate literary prizes in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania. The new multi-country grand prize will be awarded to an outstanding work of English-language, young adult literature by an author, illustrator (if applicable), and translator (if applicable) from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, or Tanzania.
Both published and unpublished works of fiction (novels or short story collections), selected nonfiction, and graphic novels are eligible. Writers, illustrators, and translators must be citizens of Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, or Tanzania, by birth or naturalization, including those living outside of their countries of origin. Only eligible publishers operating in one of the participating countries may submit titles for consideration.
CODE’s long-time partner, Ghana Book Trust, will coordinate the adjudication of the inaugural grand prize. A jury comprised of members from each participating country and one non-participating country will select a shortlist of up to five titles. One title will be named the winner, with its creator(s) receiving a prize of $10,000 CAD. A second title will be designated as an “honour book,” its creator(s) to receive a prize of $2,000 CAD.
The remaining finalists will each receive a prize of $1,000 CAD. CODE will purchase 3,000 copies of the winning title and 3,000 copies of the honour book for each of the four participating countries, up to 12,000 copies per title. These books will be donated to schools, libraries, community centres, and NGOs. Additionally, the publishers of the winning title and honour book will each receive a grant of $2,000 CAD to support the promotion of their Burt Award titles.
Unchanged is CODE’s ongoing support for the creation of engaging, locally relevant books for youth through monetary prizes for authors and their collaborators, the guaranteed purchase of award-winning books, and capacity building for authors and publishers.”
The works eligible for CODE’s Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature will be determined by national competitions in each participating country: CODE’s Burt Award for Ethiopian Young Adult Literature; CODE’s Burt Award for Ghanaian Young Adult Literature; CODE’s Burt Award for Kenyan Young Adult Literature; and CODE’s Burt Award for Tanzanian Young Adult Literature. Local juries will select shortlists of up to five titles each. One title per country will be named the national winner, its creator(s) to receive a prize of $1,000 CAD. The publisher of the winning title will receive a guaranteed purchase of 3,000 copies, which CODE will donate to schools, libraries, community centres, and NGOs in its country of origin. All finalists from each national competition will then move on to the grand prize, up to 20 titles in total each year.
Call for submissions
Submissions to CODE’s Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature are now being accepted by CODE’s implementing partners: CODE-Ethiopia; Ghana Book Trust; National Book Development Council of Kenya; and the Children’s Book Project for Tanzania.
The award guidelines, nomination forms, and FAQs are available from the implementing partners (contact information below) and online at https://codecan.org/codes-burt-award-for-african-literature
The deadline for submissions to the national competitions is March 15, 2018. The national winners will be announced in the fall of 2018.
Only finalists from the 2017 national competitions will be eligible for the grand prize, with a deadline for submissions of March 15, 2018. National finalists may be revised and improved before submission for the grand prize. The shortlist for the grand prize will be announced in July 2018, and the winner and honour book will be announced at a gala celebration in Accra, Ghana, in the fall of 2018.
CODE (formerly the Canadian Organization of Development through Education) is Canada’s leading international development agency uniquely focused on advancing literacy and education in some of the world’s regions in greatest need. By acting to establish and ignite engaging learning environments through the development and publishing of locally-authored and designed children books, training teachers and teacher-librarians, resourcing libraries as well as distributing significant numbers of high quality reading materials, CODE focuses on inspiring young minds to improve their literacy and comprehension with the hope that they become critical thinkers and lifelong learners, all in working towards nurturing a literate civil society.
For more information about CODE’s Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature
Geneviève “Vivi” Spicer
Integrated Marketing and Communications
613-232-3569, ext. 252
For instructions, award guidelines, nomination forms, and FAQs, please visit
Download guidelines [CLICK HERE]
or contact the implementation partner in your country CODE’s Burt Award for Ethiopian Young Adult Literature
P.O. Box 9443, Arat Kilo Square, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
+251 111 266 563 / +251 0919 -34-38-49 / +2510913-00-39-51
CODE’s Burt Award for Ghanaian Young Adult Literature
Ghana Book Trust
No. 16 IPS Road, Legon, Accra, Ghana
P.O. Box LG536, Legon, Accra, Ghana
+233 302 502 495 / +233 244 383 724
CODE’s Burt Award for Kenyan Young Adult Literature
National Book Development Council of Kenya
Golf Course Phase 1, Ngobit Estate, House No. 116B, Nairobi, Kenya
P.O. Box 10904-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
+254 770 108556
CODE’s Burt Award for Tanzanian Young Adult Literature
Children’s Book Project for Tanzania
Kijitonyama Area, Plot No. 271, Block 44, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
+ 255 222 773 392