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Press Release

The Bessie Head Heritage Trust and Pentagon Publishers are pleased and proud to announce the winners of the 2010 Bessie Head Literature Awards. They are:


1st prize

Ms Tshetsana Senau Travelling to the Sun: The Diary of Ruth

2nd position

Mr Patrick Melusi Mtunzie The Calabash of Life in the Diaspora

3rd position

Mr Wazha Lopang If Mother Only Knew
Short Story

1st prize

Mr Legodile Seganabeng “The Moon Has Eyes”

2nd position

Ms Atang Mogome “The Evil Messenger of God”

3rd position

Ms Jelena Ivancevic “The Rise and the Fall in All of Us”
Children's Story

1st prize

Ms Jenny Robson “The Right Time”

2nd position

Mrs Reshoketjoe Lilford “The Christmas Dress”

3rd position

Ms Dabilo Malebogo Mokobi “Grampi”


The monetary prizes for the first-place winners are sponsored by Pentagon Publishers, Gaborone. They comprise P2500 for best novel, P1250 for best short story, and P1250 for best children's story. Second- and third-place winners will receive a set of books from Pentagon and from Exclusive Books, Gaborone.

On Saturday, 26 June 2010, Prof. F. Mnthali of the UB English Department will give the keynote remarks. Immediately afterwards, Ms Penny Moanakwena of the Reading Association of Botswana will award the above prizes in the National Museum in Gaborone, in a ceremony beginning at 10:30 A.M. Admission is free, and all are welcome. The event will include readings by the winners and runners-up, an open mike for literary performers, and the launch of the works of the 2009 winners in book form by Pentagon Publishers as part of their Bessie Head Series of writing in English from Botswana.


Saturday, 26 June 2010


10:30 AM


National Museum (Handling Room), Gaborone

All Welcome

Free Admission

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 The results of all previous 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 Mr. Tiro Sebina, acting chair of the Bessie Head Heritage Trust (cell 71602279), or Dr. Leloba Molema, secretary of the Trust (phone 3913417).

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