The Burt Award for African Literature

The Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE) in collaboration with the National Book Development Council of Kenya (NBDCK) and with the generous support of a Canadian patron, Mr. Bill Burt, have the pleasure to invite Kenyan authors to take part in a writing competition to produce engaging and educational stories for the youth (12 – 18 years old) which will be published as part of the Burt Award for African Literature.
Objectives of the Award
1. To support and motivate the development of supplementary reading materials for a critical stage of learning – the transition period between mother tongue and the English medium of instruction in both primary and secondary schools.
2. To publish stories which strengthen the English language skills of the youth and help foster enthusiasm and a love for reading.
3. To stimulate and support the African publishing industry and contribute to the literary wealth of African literature.
4. To increase the stock of English reading materials in school and community libraries.
5. To recognize excellence in literature for youth.
Criteria for the Award’s Writing Competition
The story should:
1. Be written in English.
2. Demonstrate a solid command of English through a clear cohesive language and proper sentence structure, vocabulary and punctuation.
3. Be thought-provoking and original: It should have an excellent story telling style e.g. strong imagery, lively dialogue, and vivid description to arouse young readers’ interest and curiosity and keep them turning pages.
4. Be prose fiction containing content and language appropriate for ages 12-18 years old.
5. Have a strong literary merit including;
  • Engaging characters with whom young readers can identify and a protagonist who overcomes challenges or obstacles in a positive way.
  • A well-developed plot with a good fl ow of events.
  • The effective use of literary devices, such as flashbacks.
6. The story should refl ect current issues and challenges of concern to contemporary Kenya.
7. Submissions which shall have the potential to evolve into a book series or sequel are welcome.
Manuscript Submission Guide
1. The length of the manuscript should be between 120 – 150 pages.
2. The manuscript should be in chapter form.
3. They should be type-written in double space.
4. The font type should be Times New Roman, font size 12.
The Awards
1st Prize - CAD$ 12,000
2nd Prize - CAD$ 6,000
3rd Prize - CAD$ 3,000
Deadline for Submission
All manuscripts, which must be in soft copy, should be submitted by Friday 30th September 2011 at 12.00 noon.
The manuscripts will be assessed by a panel of qualifi ed jurors based on the criteria set herein.
The winners together with the date and venue for the award ceremony will be made known through the media.
For more information about the Award, please contact:
The National Book Development Council of Kenya
P.O. Box 10904 - 00100
Tel. 254 020 2721876; 2725006
Cell Phone +254 770 108 556
Email:, and


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