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

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."

Archives

Nnedi Okorafor, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Wole Talabi, Sibongile Fisher Lead 2018 Nommo Awards Shortlists

sibongile fisher

The 2018 shortlists for the four Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans have just been announced. Among the shortlisted […]

GoFundMe | Please Donate to Help Get Selves Nonfiction Anthology into Print

SELVES gofundme 1

The team behind the remarkable e-anthology, Selves: An Afro Anthology of Creative Nonfiction, led by its curator, Basit Jamiu, have […]

New Collection of Plays Shines Light on African Women Playwrights

Contemporary Plays by African Women

There are many literary projects making a difference in the way we read and talk about African literature. One of […]

Chibundu Onuzo is Coming to America! | See All the Dates

chibundu onuzo

US-based fans of Chibundu Onuzo are in luck. Her critically acclaimed second novel¬†Welcome to Lagos will officially be released in […]

“I Pushed His Hand Away…Gently”: Chimamanda Adichie on Being Sexually Harassed at 17

adichie dior 2

At the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality, held 15-17 April, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talked about “a powerful man in the […]

Poet Nacima Qorane Sentenced to Jail in Somaliland for Advocating for a Reunified Somalia

nacima qorane

A court in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland has sentenced poet Nacima Qorane to three years in jail for her […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.