Tuesday, July 12, 2011


A couple of months ago I was asked to adjudicate the annual Bessie Head Literature Awards poetry section. This is one of very few writing awards Botswana has and the short story and poetry section alternate annually. The winners have just been announced and the press release is below and contains information about the open prize giving ceremony.


The BESSIE HEAD HERITAGE TRUST, together with Pentagon Publishers, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 BESSIE HEAD LITERATURE AWARDS.

In the category of NOVEL, the winner is Ms. Tlotlo Pearl Tsamaase for her manuscript Unlettered Skies of the Sublime. The first runner-up is Mr. Service Motsamai Monyamane for Mma-Shirley’s Children, and the second runner-up is Mr Moreetsi Pius Gabang for Cryout. The winner will receive a cash prize of P2, 500.00, the first runner-up will receive P1 200.00, and the third runner up will receive P800.

In the SHORT STORY category, the winner is Mr Boikhutso Robert for a story entitled “The
Zambezi Crocodiles”. The first runner-up is Ms. Rebaone Kenanao Motsumi for her
story “Incestous Scandal ... saving Grace”; the second runner-up is Ms Jocasta Tshomarelo
Bobeng for “The War of Animals and Plants”. The prize for the short story winner is P1, 500.00; for the second runner-up it is P900.00; and for the third runner-up it is P600.00.

The POETRY winner is Mr. John Hutcheson for a set of poems (“The Massacre of
Innocents”, “The Man”, and “Curse”). The first runner-up is Ms Lisa Reed for a set of poems
(“Buffalo Sunrise”, “Campfire”, and “The Joy of Africa”). The second runner-up is Ms. Bernice
Tiny Letlhare also for a set of poems (“Wisdom”, “Allegory of a Strong Being”, “What is Life”
and “People in the Street”). The poetry prize for the winner is P1, 200.00; for the first runner-up it is P800. 00 and for the second runner up it is P500.00.

On 24 July 2011, Ms Penelope Moanakwena, President of the Botswana Reading Association, will award the above prizes in the National Museum in Gaborone, in a ceremony beginning at 2:30p.m. at the National Museum in Gaborone. The event will include readings by the winners and runners-up, a launch of the works of the 2010 winners in book form, and an open mike session.
Pentagon Publishers will promote the titles of their BESSIE HEAD SERIES of writing in English from Botswana.

24 July 2011
2:30 pm
National Museum
, Gaborone
Free Admission

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