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Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, co-founder of Cassava Republic. Image from Publishing Perspectives.

Cassava Republic has been awarded the Inclusivity in Publishing Award at the 2018 London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. The awards are sponsored by Hytex and held in association with the Publishers Association.

The London Book Fair—held this year from 10-12 April, 2018—is an annual gathering of publishers, writers, editors, literary agents, booksellers, journalists, and every other group within the publishing industry. It is the second biggest book fair in the world, after the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Commenting on the winners, Jacks Thomas, Director of the London Book Fair, said:

“The International Excellence Awards are a reminder of the magnificent work being done in publishing by creative groups of people all around the world. From translators in Serbia and librarians in Latvia to psychologists in Australia and literary agents in Spain, these awards showcase the diverse talent working in the publishing industry today. It has been a pleasure and honour to celebrate these individuals and organisations here at The London Book Fair, in the creative capital of the world.”

The UK Publishers Association Chief Executive, Stephen Lotinga, added:

“This year’s winners represent a real breadth in excellence in the publishing ecosystem around the world. Publishing makes a hugely valuable social and economic contribution to our world’s economy, and notably in delivering content to the visually impaired. I’m delighted we are also able to recognise our next generation of publishing leaders as well as celebrate strides being made in diversity and inclusivity in our own national publishing industry.”

Co-founded in 2006 by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Cassava Republic have established themselves as arguably the leading publishers on the continent, anchored on their mission “to change the way we all think about African writing.” Their work was partly the subject of a profile in The New York Times last year.

Their nonfiction books include such groundbreaking titles as Yemisi Aribisala’s John Avery Award-winning food memoir Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex And Nigerian Taste Buds (2016), the Ellah Wakatama Allfrey-edited Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction (2016), and She Called Me Woman: Nigeria’s Queer Women Speak, co-edited by Azeenarh Mohammed, Chitra Nagarajan, and Rafeeat Aliyu. This year, they acquired the rights to Saraba editor Emmanuel Iduma’s collection of travelogue, musing and poetry, A Stranger’s Pose.

Among their fiction books are such acclaimed titles as Doreen Baingana’s Commonwealth Prize-winning story collection Tropical Fish: Tales from Entebbe (2008), Teju Cole’s novella Every Day Is for the Thief (2007), Helon Habila’s novel Measuring Time (2007), Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s 1.7 million-selling first novel In Dependence (2009) and her Goldsmiths Prize-shortlisted second Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun (2016), Sade Adeniran’s Commonwealth Prize-winning Imagine This (2011), Lola Shoneyin’s Orange Prize-longlisted The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (2010), Nnedi Okorafor’s novella What Sunny Saw in the Flames (2013), Elnathan John’s NLNG Prize-shortlisted novel Born on a Tuesday (2015), Leye Adenle’s crime novel Easy Motion Tourist (2016), Petina Gappah’s Baileys Prize-longlisted The Book of Memory (2015), Olumide Popoola’s novel When We Speak of Nothing (2017), and Ayesha Haruna Attah’s slave trade era novel The Hundred Wells of Salaga (2018).

Here is the full list of this year’s International Excellence Awards winners is below:

The Academic and Professional Publisher Award, supported by Research Information:

Brill Publishers (Netherlands).

The Audiobook Publisher of the Year, supported by BookExpo America:

Penguin Random House Audio (USA).

The Bookstore of the Year Award sponsored by Gardners:

The Uppsala English Bookshop (Sweden).

The Educational Initiatives Award:

Quirky Kid (Australia).

The Educational Learning Resources Award, supported by The China Publishing & Media Journal:

Ideas Roadshow (Canada).

The Library of the Year Award:

National Library of Latvia (Latvia).

The Literary Translation Initiative Award:

Geopoetika (Serbia).

The Literary Agent Award:

Deborah Harris, The Deborah Harris Agency (Israel).

Gloria Gutierrez, Balcells Agency (Spain).

The Literary Festival Award, supported by The International Literature Showcase:

George Town Literary Festival (Malaysia).

The Rights Professional Award:

Jennifer Powell, Scholastic (USA).

The London Book Fair Simon Master Chairman’s Award:

Asoke K. Ghosh, Chairman and Managing Director, PHI Learning (India).

Eligible for entries from Market Focus Baltics only:

The Market Focus Baltics Adult Trade Publisher Award:

Dienas Grāmata (Latvia).

The Market Focus Baltics Education Publisher Award:

Zvaigzne ABC Publishers (Latvia).

The Market Focus Baltics Children’s and Young Adult Publisher Award:

Kake Make (Alma Littera) (Lithuania).

The Market Focus Baltics Cultural and Literary Initiative Award:

Children’s Republic (Estonia).

Eligible for entries from all countries, including the UK:

Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award: Publisher:

Hachette Livre (France).

Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award: Initiative:

Daisy Forum of India (India).

Eligible for entries from the UK only:

Inclusivity in Publishing Award, supported by the Publishers Association:

Cassava Republic.

The Association for Publishing Education (APE) Dissertation and Project Prizes:

Best MA Dissertation: Lucie DuCarre, Kingston University.

Best BA Dissertation: Annabelle Rose, Oxford Brookes University.

Best MA/BA Practical Project Prize: Freya Maenhout, Oxford Brookes University.

Best Overall Project: Freya Maenhout, Oxford Brookes University.

Eligible for entries from China only:

The Bookstore Spirit of China Award, sponsored by Gardners:

Sanlian Taofen Bookstore.

Brittle Paper is happy that their work is being recognized on the global level.

Congratulations to Cassava Republic!

Visit their Website.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, academic, literary journalist, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Transition, and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted. 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. 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 teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com.

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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.

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