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NB: Email submissions cannot be accepted.
Please read the following rules carefully.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
2008 Bessie Head Literature Awards
(sponsored by Pentagon Publishers)
for Poetry, Short Story, and Novel

Bessie Head Heritage Trust and Pentagon Publishers announce prizes in literature, one prize to be awarded each for poetry, short story, and novel. Residents and citizens of Botswana are invited to submit manuscripts on any topic in one of the above categories. Categories are defined according to standard literary characteristics, and are limited to the following lengths:

Novel: no limit
Short story: 10,000 words/10 pages
Poem: a set of one to three poems

All submissions must adhere to the following criteria:

  1. All work must be original, unpublished and not submitted to any publisher.
  2. All manuscripts must be typed. No handwritten manuscripts will be accepted. You must submit four copies of your work. No emailed entries will be accepted.
  3. No more than one submission (novel, short story, or set of poems) per person. You may only submit in one category.
  4. No school assignments will be accepted as submissions.
  5. All submissions must include one cover page with the following information: author's name (no pen-names will be accepted), at least two ways the author can be contacted, a clear statement of the category of the manuscript ("novel", "short story", or "poem"). All submissions must also include one photocopy of omang, passport and residence certificate, or other form of identification (this copy need not be certified). The first page of the manuscript (not the cover page) must also state clearly the category of the manuscript.
  6. All submissions must be written in English, and be thoroughly revised and proofread for grammar and spelling.
  7. Except for the cover page, manuscripts must not have the author's name on them. Judges will judge all submissions blindly; that is, they must not be able to identify the author.

Any submissions that do not follow the above criteria will be disqualified.

Authors are advised that they may be asked to authenticate their work, and therefore SHOULD NOT DESTROY any drafts, including the first one, since winners may be asked to produce them as proof of originality.

Contestants may only win once in each category (once you win, you are barred from entering in the same category again for three years), and contestants must enter their own work (a publisher or friend may not enter your work).

Prizes
Novel P2,500.00
Short Story P1,500.00
Poem P1,000.00

Send your cover page, copy of identification, and four copies of your manuscript to

Bessie Head Literature Awards
P.O. Box 70401
Gaborone

Deadline: All submissions to be postmarked on or before 1 May 2008

Winners announced 6 July 2008 on website www.bessiehead.org
Prize-giving ceremony details to be announced.

Bessie Head Heritage Trust members, Pentagon Publisher employees, contest judges, and members of their families are prohibited from entering. Pentagon Publishers reserves the right to publish prizewinning manuscripts and to evaluate the remaining manuscripts for publication. All manuscripts will be deposited with Bessie Head Heritage Trust; however, Pentagon publishers acknowledges the substance of the rights of copyright in the manuscript and the lawfulness and validity of the copyright holder's rights and title to the rights of copyright in the manuscript.

Further notes:
  • There is only one prize in each category. Runners-up do not receive cash prizes, but hold the honour of second and third place.
  • The provision in the rules "Pentagon Publishers reserves the right to publish prizewinning manuscripts and to evaluate the remaining manuscripts for publication" means that Pentagon will consider publishing the manuscripts, so this is an opportunity to have your work considered by a publisher, but Pentagon does not promise to publish it. If Pentagon decides not to publish, the author (who still owns copyright) is of course free to submit it to another publisher.

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