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Press Release

The Bessie Head Heritage Trust and Pentagon Publishers are pleased and proud to announce the winners of the 2011 Bessie Head Literature Awards. They are:


1st prize

Ms Tlotlo Pearl Tsamaase Unlettered Skies of the Sublime

2nd position

Mr Service Motsamai Monyamane Mma-Shirley’s Children

3rd position

Mr Moreetsi Pius Gabang Cryout
Short Story

1st prize

Mr Boikhutso Robert “The Zambezi Crocodiles”

2nd position

Ms Rebaone Kenanao Motsumi “Incestous Scandal ... saving Grace”

3rd position

Ms Jocasta Tshomarelo Bobeng “The War of Animals and Plants”

1st prize

Mr John Hutcheson “The Massacre of Innocents”
“The Man”

2nd position

Ms Lisa Reed “Buffalo Sunrise”
“The Joy of Africa”

3rd position

Ms Bernice Tiny Letlhare “Wisdom”
“Allegory of a Strong Being”
“What is Life”
“People in the Street”


The monetary prizes for the first-place winners are sponsored by Pentagon Publishers, Gaborone. They comprise P2500 for best novel, P1500 for best short story, and P1200 for best poem or set of poems. Second- and third-place winners will also receive cash prizes.

On Sunday, 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 2:30 p.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.


Sunday, 24 July 2011


2:30 PM


National Museum, 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, a member of the Bessie Head Heritage Trust (cell 71602279), or Dr. Leloba Molema, secretary of the Trust (phone 3913417).

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