Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 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!

 

Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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

  1. Julia Norrish January 17, 2018 at 6:49 am #

    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 January 17, 2018 at 6:50 am #

    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

The 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize is Now Open for Entry

Apply for the 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize

The Aspen Words Literary Prize is open for entry as of today. The $35,000 prize annually rewards an “influential work […]

July 10 | Sarah Ladipo Manyika Hosts Strive Masiyiwa on Conversations Across the Diaspora

July 10 _ Sarah Ladipo Manyika Hosts Strive Masiyiwas on Conversations Across the Diaspora

Sarah Ladipo Manyika, author of In Dependence (2008) and Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun (2016), has teamed up […]

Bernardine Evaristo Becomes First Black Writer to Win Author of the Year

Bernardine Evaristo Becomes First Black Writer to Win Author of the Year in the British Book Awards

  Bernardine Evaristo’s winning streak continues as she dominates two categories of the 2020 British Book Awards: Best Fiction Book […]

Apply for the 2020 Morland Writing Scholarship | £27,000 for Nonfiction, £18,000 Fiction

Apply for the 2020 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship

The Miles Morland Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Morland African Writing Scholarships. The awards offer a fiction […]

The Million Naira Nigeria Prize for Difference and Diversity | Here is How to Nominate Someone

The Million Naira Nigeria Prize for Difference and Diversity _ Here is How to Nominate Someone

Nominations for The Nigeria Prize for Difference & Diversity is officially open. The new prize, co-presented by digital media platform […]

This is Why I am Endowing a N1 Million Prize for Difference and Diversity in Nigeria | Chude Jideonwo

This is Why I am Endowing a N1 Million Prize for Difference and Diversity in Nigeria _ Chude Jideonwo (2)

Last year, I wrote a piece on CNN during Pride Month​—​a month set aside to celebrate sexual and gender diversity […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.