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2007 Bessie Head Literature Awards
(sponsored by Pentagon Publishers)
for Poetry, Short Story, and Novel

The Bessie Head Heritage Committee 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: 20,ooo words/15 pages
Poem: a set of one to three poems

All submissions must adhere to the following criteria:

1. All work must be original and unpublished.
2. All manuscripts must be typed. No handwritten manuscripts will be accepted. You must submit four copies of your work.
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 a 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 a photocopy of omang, passport and residence certificate, or other form of identification. 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 should 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).


Novel P1,500.00
Short Story P1,000.00
Poem P500.00

Send four copies of your manuscript to

Dr. Mary Lederer
P.O. Box 70401

Deadline: All submissions to be postmarked on or before 15 March 2007
Winners announced: End of June 2007
Prize-giving: in Serowe, 3rd weekend of July, to coincide with activities to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of Bessie Head's birth.

Bessie Head Heritage Committee 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; 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.

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