On Sunday, 19 July 2009, the Hon. Unity Dow, former High Court Justice, will award the above prizes in the National Museum in Gaborone, in a ceremony beginning at 2:30 P.M. in the Little Theatre. Admission is free, and all are welcome. The event will include readings by the winners and runners-up, a reading from Bessie Head’s work by Ms. Dow, a launch of the works of the 2008 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.
The Bessie Head writing competition is offered annually by the Bessie Head Heritage Trust in association with Pentagon Publishers. Each year's winning entries, and other entries of superior quality, will be published by Pentagon in its Bessie Head series. This series is devoted to new creative writing in English by Botswana authors.
Details about next year’s contest, including rules and guidelines for submitting entries, will be published soon on the this website at www.bessiehead.org. The results of the 2008 and 2007 competitions are also found there.
The Bessie Head Literature Awards are sponsored by Pentagon Publishers and administered by the Bessie Head Heritage Trust. The Trust was established in June 2007 to promote the life and work of Bessie Head both here and abroad. We believe this competition is important for two reasons: (a) to help preserve Bessie Head's legacy in Botswana, since she is our country’s most famous writer who has gained broad recognition overseas; and (b) to encourage the development of local literature in various genres in English.
Bessie Head herself was generous with her time when students asked her for assistance and advice, and we believe that this generosity is best reflected in a vigorous effort to promote literature and reading in Botswana. It is through literature, music, and all other forms of cultural imagination that both personal spirit and national identity are nurtured and strengthened.
For further information, please contact Dr. Leloba Molema, chair of the Bessie Head Heritage Trust (phone 3913417), or Mr. Tiro Sebina, secretary of the Trust (cell 71602279).