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."

Photo via bookdash.org

A South African publishing initiative is revolutionizing the country’s reading culture by taking an innovative approach to children’s books publishing.

Book Dash, a not-for-profit organization founded by Arthur Attwell, is providing affordable books with premium content for children. They invite writers and illustrators to volunteer their time to create children’s books. As much as 50 volunteers attend book creating events called “book dashes.” They usually have 12 hours to create new titles, complete with text and images. The books are then printed and distributed for free to children in the community, in partnership with literacy organizations and libraries. There is also an app for reading digital versions of the book.

Everything about the model is brilliant. You get top-notch writers and artists to work for free and then get donors to sponsor the printing.

It is heart warming to see super-duper high-profile writers like Lauren Beukes supporting the project. She participated in a recent book creation event. She did the writing. Nana Venter did the illustration, and Cape Town based MasiArtSA did the design. The result was a book titled And Also! Here are the pictures she shared on her Instagram page @laurenbeukes.

The best part of the Book Dash project is that the books are open source, meaning that anyone anywhere in the world can translate and reprint them without the least bit of hassle.

We are in love with the project. Giving children free books is wonderful, but taking the extra step to make sure that they are getting books with great content is on another level of amazing.

At the rate at which they are going, Book Dash could just meet their goal of getting a child to own 100 books by the age of 5.

Kudos to the folks at Book Dash!

 

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.

2 Responses to “South African Creatives Are Redefining Children’s Book Publishing” Subscribe

  1. Julia Norrish 2018/01/17 at 06:49 #

    Thank you so much for featuring Book Dash! The exposure helps immensely. We hope to continue on our journey of creating, translating and publishing beautiful, culturally-relevant picture books for young African children.

  2. Julia Norrish 2018/01/17 at 06:50 #

    Thank you so much for featuring Book Dash! The exposure helps immensely. We hope to continue on our journey of creating, translating and printing beautiful, culturally-relevant picture books for young African children.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

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

Archives

#LIPFest18 | Register for Poetry Workshops with Kwame Dawes, Nick Makoha, Lebo Mashile, and Yomi Sode 

lipfest - lebo mashile

The 2018 Lagos International Poetry Festival (#LIPFest18) is offering workshops by some of the biggest names in contemporary African poetry. Much-honoured […]

The Freedom Artist, Ben Okri’s New Novel Forthcoming in January 2019, Is a Rallying Call in a Post-Truth Society

Ben Okri. Photo credit: David Levenson / Getty.

Ben Okri has a new novel forthcoming in January 2019. The Nigerian novelist-poet-essayist, who is the only black African to […]

Nuruddin Farah’s 14th Novel, North Of Dawn, Explores the Lives of Somali Immigrants in Norway and Experiences of Religion and Jihadism

nuruddin farah boundary2.org

Celebrated Somali writer Nuruddin Farah’s new novel will be out on 4 December 2018. The 384-page North of Dawn, forthcoming […]

Literary Prizes and the Decisions of Writers

Conde

Maryse Conde, the French-Guadeloupean author of I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem (1986), Segu (1987), A Season in Rihata (1988), […]

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus Turns 15: The Best Moments of a Modern Classic

chimamanda ngozi adichie - by ecrivain

“It wasn’t the first novel I wrote,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie told the audience at the University of Nairobi, during her […]

Quramo Writers’ Prize 2018 Unveils Top 5 Finalists

Quramo 1

Lagos – 10/10/18: Quramo Publishing has unveiled the Top 5 finalists of the Quramo Writers’ Prize 2018, two weeks after […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.