Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

CODE have made a call for submissions to its 2017 Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature. The award replaces the Burt Award for African Literature, which comprised four separate prizes in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. The new award will be awarded to “an outstanding work of English-language, young adult literature by an Ethiopian, Ghanaian, Kenyan or Tanzanian author, translator and/or illustrator.” It will consider both published and unpublished works of fiction as well as selected non-fiction and graphic novels.

The single winner will receive $10,000 CAD while the runner-up will receive $2,000 CAD and be designated an “honour book.” Other finalists will each receive $1,000 CAD. In addition to this:

CODE will purchase 3,000 copies of the winning title and 3,000 copies of the honour book for each of the participating countries, up to 12,000 copies per title. The books will be donated to schools, libraries, community centres, and NGOs. Aditionally, 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.

Last year, the 2012 winner of CODE’s Burt Award in Ethiopia, Linda Yohannes, was published by us.

Commenting on the award’s makeover, CODE’s Manager of Literary Awards and Publishing, Hadley Dyer, said: 

“The new Burt Award in Africa is even bigger and better than the previous iteration of the award, recognizing the best young adult literature from the four participating countries and we hope additional African nations in the near future. Transitioning to a multi-country award means the competition is steeper, so it will be quite an achievement to be named to the shortlist.”

CODE’s Program Officer for Literary Awards, Claire Bolton, has this to say:

“The writers, illustrators, translators and publishers who create the grand prize-winning title and honour book will not only receive a generous monetary award but also have thousands of copies of their books donated to schools, libraries, and community in all participating countries, hugely expanding their audience. As well, CODE has committed to supporting the award program and the cause of literacy through a new public reading campaign, aimed at encouraging youth to fall in love with reading.”

Here are things to know.

In order to be eligible for the BAAYAL competition, works must first be finalists in one of the following national competitions: 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, CODE’s Burt Award for Tanzanian Young Adult Literature. Publishers operating in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania can now submit to CODE’s local implementing partners.

The deadline for submissions to the national competitions is May 15, 2017. The national winners will be announced in the fall of 2017.

Only finalists for the 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.

Download the submission guidelines on the CODE Website.


Please Note: Brittle Paper is not responsible for the organization or further promotion of this call for submissions, neither do we have a stake in its popularity. Thank you.

Tags: ,

Otosirieze Nnaemekaram is a writer, an academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017). His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop facilitated by Giles Foden. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies and Pop Culture, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories and is working on a 600-page novel. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."


Chike Frankie Edozien’s “Lives of Great Men” Is a Finalist for the 2018 Publishing Triangle Awards

lives of great men copies

Chike Frankie Edozien’s Lives of Great Men is a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Awards, in the Randy Shilts Award […]

Freedom | Sobantu Mzwakali | Fiction


THERE IS NO need to see the sun in these intense blue skies.  It is foreboding, ominous and could be […]

From “Logarhythms” to “The Hate Artist”: Texts, Sub-texts, and the Art of Naming in Niran Okewole’s Poetry | Tosin Gbogi

the hate artist

Logarhythms is Niran Okewole’s first poetry collection, and it is with this that he established himself as a poet to […]

Lesley Nneka Arimah and Zinzi Clemmons Are Finalists for the $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize

zinzi clemmons - black cultural events

Lesley Nneka Arimah’s short story collection, What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, and Zinzi Clemmons’ novel, […]

For Women’s History Month, Enkare Review Is Listing African Literary Women Who Have Inspired Them


For March 2018’s Women’s History Month, Enkare Review magazine is listing the 30 African literary women who have inspired them. […]

Tomi Adeyemi’s “Children of Blood and Bone” | Read Chapters 1-6

tomi adeyemi

Last year, 23-year-old Nigerian Harvard graduate Tomi Adeyemi scored a million-dollar book + movie deal for her Young Adult trilogy. […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.