On this blog you will find NEWS about
writing and illustrating Children's Books, the society and its members and activities as well as links to websites and blogs about Children's Books

JUNE 2007 - no.2 - The Newsletter of SCBWI SA

The Electronic Newsletter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, South Africa
June 2007 – no. 2

In this issue


  • Report back on Talk by Piet Grobler
  • SCBWI Stand at the Cape Town Book Fair


  • What publishers want
  • BloggingBlogging for the busy writer/illustrator
  • Marjorie’s blogspot


  • StAAf 2nd Call for Children’s Stories
  • Anansi Books
  • 3rd Conference on South African Children’s Literature
    Call for submissions


  • 2008 Hans Christen Anderson Awards
  • CP Hoogenhoutoekenning vir Afrikaanse kinderboeke
  • Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award for 2007
  • IBBY Honor Books
  • Maskew Miller Longman Award for Children’s Literature in Limpopo Indigenous Languages



Report back on Talk by Piet Grobler
Paddy Bouma

The well known author/illustrator Piet Grobler, recently nominated by IBBY SA for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, gave an interesting and informative talk about his work to the SCBWI at Bellville Gallery on 22 May.
He showed original artwork from some of his recent publications including the delightful “Little Birds’ ABC” and explained his work process and technique. He also showed us the handmade paper he uses, his watercolours and pens – details that are always fascinating to other illustrators!
This was a thoroughly worthwhile and inspiring talk, many thanks to Piet for so generously sharing with us.
SCBWI Stand at the Cape Town Book Fair
This year SCBWI had its own stand at the Cape Town Book Fair, a joint venture between the Publishers’ Association of South Africa and the Frankfurt Book Fair in association with the Sunday Times. More that 49 000 book lovers attended the Fair as opposed to 26 000 last year. The SCBWI stand, which provided a wonderful opportunity for writers and illustrators to showcase their work, drew a great deal of interest. Stunning posters designed by Marjorie van Heerden, Joan Rankin, Piet Grobler, Samantha van Riet and Paddy Bouma were on sale. If you missed the chance to get copies, email Marjorie without delay. ===================================
Cape Town
Date: Saturday 18th August 2007
Time: 11:00—17:00
Where: Marjorie’s House – 153 Beach Rd, Gordon’s Bay. Tel: 021 856 0432
Cost: For Non-members R60 per person (includes tea & lunch)
For SCBWI members R30 per person (includes tea & lunch)
RSVP: by 1 August at the latest. Please use “Cape Town August Meeting” in the subject line.
Description: Children’s book illustrators and writers – Come and spend a day with Marjorie at her home to talk about children’s Books. We will talk about the CT Book Fair and everyone will have a chance to tell their experiences at the Fair –
Paddy will talk about her recent visit to the Bologna Book Fair (the International Children’s Book Fair in Italy).
Helen King, one of the Commisioning editor of Macmillan Education, from England, is currently in South Africa and we will invite her to come to meet writers and illustrators and tell about their publishing company. Bring your work in progress, portfolio, recent books with you to show.
And if there is time, Marjorie will also talk about blogging & show on her computer how to start your own blog.


Date: 12 July 2007
Time: 9:00—13:00
Where: Brescia House School, 14 Sloane Street off William Nicol, with parking off Pytcheley Rd, Bryanston.
Cost: For Non-members R80 per person (includes tea & lunch)
For SCBWI members R40 per person (includes tea & lunch)
RSVP: by 5 July at the latest. Please use “Illustrators and writers share their books” in the subject line.
Description: Children’s book illustrators and writers share their books.
9:00 – 9:15 Registration
9:15 – 9:30 Welcome
9:30 – 10:30 Rob Marsh
10:30 – 10:45 Tea
10:45 – 11:30 LeAnne Hardy
11:30 - 12:00 Agueda Nunes
12:00 - 12:15 Discussion
12:15 Lunch
Rob Marsh will take a selection of his published books and show in some detail the process he followed to conceive and create each of them. He will explain his methods and techniques. He will also talk about the publishers he works with, how he first made contact and how his relations with publishers have developed.
LeAnne Hardy will show her books and talk about how she has turned her real life experiences on several continents into fiction.
Agueda Nunes will talk about the importance of believing in yourself as a writer.
What publishers want …
By Jenny Hatton – Assistant Advisor

The Gauteng region of the SCBWI discussed the topic What publishers want … at its meeting on 8 May at Sandton library. Margaret Houliston, Sandton Librarian, kindly hosted the meeting which was held in the auditorium. Jenny Hatton chaired the meeting which was attended by 34 interested writers, illustrators and other children’s book people.
Children’s book publishers from Gauteng introduced themselves and briefly described the types of books they publish. They outlined some common mistakes made by illustrators and writers when submitting their work and gave some very welcome tips to the participants.
Russell Clark, project editor from Jacana Media, one of South Africa’s fastest-growing independent publishers, focused on the need for books with a South African focus as well as on books for newly-literate readers.
Jacana is proud of the fact that it publishes what it likes. It began as an ecological publisher. Approximately 70% of their books are non-fiction. Jacana often commissions titles and therefore prefers authors and illustrators to submit proposals. They receive many unsolicited manuscripts and very seldom publish any of these.
Picture 1: Rod Marsh & Russell ClarkeRussell outlined some problems that they experience. One of these is writing level. Often writers use language that is too difficult for children or they mix levels. He stressed the challenge of writing for children. He suggested that it may be useful to have a small age bracket as the target group. In addition, he asked that writers and illustrators not adopt a European viewpoint. There is a great demand for non-fiction and Russell said he’d circulate a list of topics on which books are often requested by users of Cape Town libraries. He suggested that in certain circumstances, it could be useful for writers and illustrators to develop books together. Finally, Russell mentioned Jacana’s role with regard to innovative, original, fresh books and used the word “edgy” to describe what they may consider publishing. Some tips he gave included:
Develop a clear concept for your book.
Put together a proposal and submit it.
Keep your target group in mind.
Limit the age bracket for which you’re writing.
Don’t ignore non-fiction.
Keep your language level consistent for the target group.
Do not patronise your audience.
Write from an African perspective.
For more information about Jacana visit

Miemie du Plessis, head of the children’s book department at LAPA Publishers in Pretoria, is responsible for the publication and marketing of approximately 70 children’s books per year. About half of these are co-editions with mostly UK publishers. Her focus is on Afrikaans books and fiction titles. However, Lapa also publishes English books if they are South African and distinctly local in content, and they do also publish non-fiction titles.
Miemie truly believes that books can make a difference in the lives of children and is therefore committed to the establishment of a reading culture amongst the children of South Africa. Miemie began her talk quoting the distressing statistic that 5 % of South Africans are book buyers! On top of that she feels that reading skills are worsening day by day.
Miemie’s main focus is on the market, namely the children who read Lapa’s books. Therefore, she goes to schools and listens to what children have to say about books. She also pays children to review books and adapts these according to the information she gets back from the target group. Books must be entertaining. Therefore, they must be “fun, fun, fun” !
Miemie indicated that her focus is the text. If she gets a good text, then she can commission illustrations. She prefers to get advice about illustrations, font etc from experts. She gets lots of poor manuscripts and stressed the importance of quality. Lapa sometimes commissions writers to develop stories on particular topics. She addressed the problem of authors not knowing the market. Miemie does not have hard and fast rules about length of text etc. If the story is gripping enough, if it is “fun”, then she is interested. She suggested that authors and illustrators should:
Carry out research into the market.
Read books for the age group.
Identify popular genres and gaps in the market.
Write credible dialogue.
Develop interesting plots and characters.
Take a new approach.
Read your story aloud and listen to how it sounds.
For more information, visit

Jonathan Williams, of Pan Macmillan, manages the publishing process for all of Pan Macmillan’s local imprints. This includes books for children and adults, fiction and non-fiction. In the last four months he has been covering for Pan’s children’s publisher Lara Cohen, who is on extended maternity leave.
Jonathan focused on Pan’s three main lists. Giraffe books are illustrated 32-page, high quality books for children between the ages of 4 and 10. They are translated into 13 different languages (South Africa’s 11 official languages as well as Portuguese and Lesotho’s Sesotho) and comprise fiction and non-fiction titles. The list of Giraffe publications is very small. Their other two lists include General books and Takalani Sesame Street books. The last list comprises books that are curriculum based. They must show how they cover the South African curriculum as well as be approved by the American franchise holder. They often commission known authors to write for them.
Jonathan confirmed what the two previous speakers had said regarding the quality of manuscripts. He can tell if a book is worth looking at within about 10 minutes. He stressed the need for writers and illustrators to carry out thorough research. They should remember that publishing is a business. Books which do not meet their needs or which cannot be marketed will not be published. They don’t have the manpower to rework books. He said:
Research the market.
Motivate why a book should be published (include a proposal).
Know what books are on Pan’s lists.
Be a step ahead of the publishers with regard to the market.
Try to work out what the trends are with regard to books on the market.
Keep “issues” in mind.
Keep a South African or African focus.
Bear the rural and urban audiences in mind.
Submit the text and illustrations together.
Think about the space needed for translations (for example, Tshivenda may take up to 2 ½ times the space taken by English text).
Keep writing level consistent.
Bear in mind that reading age and the child’s age may differ.
Learn to promote books.
What was particularly interesting was that each publisher has a slightly different philosophy and focus. Although they may sometimes be in competition, they may also publish together occasionally. All the publishers had both educational and trade publications. All the publishers were concerned about costs and keeping these down.
Mentorship Programme
As we announced in the March newsletter, the South African chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators decided to institute a mentorship programme this year in the interests of continuing excellence in the creation of children’s literature in South Africa. This is a wonderful opportunity for South African children's book writers and illustrators or potential children’s book writers and illustrators to develop their work by working one-to-one for six months with an experienced, established writer/illustrator.
2007 Winning Applicants
In Gauteng, writer Jenny Hatton will be mentored by Miemie du Plessis and Yvette de Beer will be mentored by Joan Rankin.
In the Western Cape, Samantha van Riet will be mentored by Mariana Brandt and Sandy Mitchell will be mentored by Paddy Bouma.
Blogging for the busy writer/illustrator
Damaria Senne
Last year this time I decided I was finished with blogging. It was an interesting experiment but it was too much work and brought too few returns. So I quit.
Weeks later, a colleague sent me a quick email to say my blog was getting stale. He was looking forward to the next post, he said. I hadn’t promoted the thing (still learning how it works, no time) so I thought my blog was like performing to an empty room. I didn’t realize that over time, fans were filling up the seats.
My colleague was not even the reader I thought would be interested in my folktales and parenting adventures. But there he was, a single White man in his early twenties, newly graduated from varsity; neither a parent, creative writer, school teacher or librarian.
He liked my blog enough to give me a kick in the butt when he thought I was slacking on the job. So I took my chastised self back to the stage and started telling him more stories. I even began to enjoy the experience, once I got into the rhythm of it.
The reason I’m telling this story is to make the point that writers and illustrators who are initially sceptical of blogging can make it work for them too. Also, you can get over the stumbling blocks and get to enjoy the experience. Some of the issues to keep in mind when starting a blog are:
1) Setting up a blog is not as hard as many people fear. Most blogging platforms provide step by step instructions as you register, write and publish your first post. You can explore the site later to learn what else you can do and add interesting features over time
2) Do short posts if you have time limitations. C. Hope Clark, American writer and publisher of Funds for Writers generally has about two paragraphs and a picture in each post.
3) To find something to blog about will require serious thought, so your parameters are clear. What are you willing to talk about regarding your life? What would get you into trouble with your employer/ publisher/ family/ friends? Keep in mind that whatever you write will be for public consumption, and thanks to Google cache, your posts will remain on the Internet even if you delete your blog.
4) Pace yourself and post once a week or so. Burnout is common among bloggers.
· Post a picture/doodle a week.
· Post a poem, a short short children’s story every other week.
· Interview experts your readers would be interested in talking to. All you have to do is type up 5 burning questions and email them, clean up the copy and post it.
· Link to interesting articles/resources you found on the web. (
· Find free articles on your subject, ready to be published at Ezine Articles (
1) Judge your blog traffic by the quality of your visitors (strong interest in subject), not the quantity.
2) Most blogging gurus suggest bloggers on same subject visit each other’s blogs and leave a comment. Do it judiciously and don’t waste your time cultivating people who won’t reciprocate.
3) Experts also advise bloggers to provide visitors with unique, practical resources they can use.
4) Writing about other people is an effective way to build community. It allows the people who you interview to bring their own community to your blog.
5) Publish short essays/articles to drive traffic to your blog. We’re not talking about complicated stuff here. Just a short piece – sometimes as short as 250 words - based on work/writing or life experiences and resources. Ezine Articles and similar portals accept such articles and serve as distribution points.
6) Invite friends and relatives to visit your blog. My personal choice was not to invite them at the beginning. I wanted to put my best foot forward, because they are the people who will potentially market the blog for me. If they like it, they’ll brag to colleagues and friends: “check out my cousin Damaria’s blog here. She’s very talented, don’t you think?”
7) Link your blog to aggregators, so people outside your network can see your posts. Local aggregators include and Also check out It has over a thousand writers, illustrators, agents, publishers and librarians.
Here are some lessons I learnt after blogging for 18 months:
1) A blog is an online place for you to showcase your work. You can refer editors to your online portfolio/clips.
2) You can allow readers to subscribe, which in turn allows you to build a captive audience you’ll market your books to.
3) There is also a growing international trend for bloggers to collate some of their posts into non-fiction books. A good local example is Tertia Albertyn, the Cape Town based woman who started blogging about her infertility and in vitro fertilisation procedures. Her book, So Close, published by Oshun Books, was based on the blog.
4) It provides a platform for new writers to practise writing and to get feedback on their work.
5) You meet very interesting people.
The many reasons people blog
Sample blogs in the children’s publishing field
Choose a platform
Platforms I’m familiar with are Blogger (, Wordpress ( ) and My Digital Life (; local, owned by my employer.)
Damaria Senne is a journalist and author based in Johannesburg. She blogs about writing and parenting at Read her business/technology articles on the telecommunications industry (Internet and cellphones) at

Marjorie is another enthusiastic blogger
“I have recently become very interested in blogging and looked at quite a few children's book writers and illustrators’ blogs. I found that I tend to go back regularly to some to check up on what new info they had posted and that made me realise what a wonderful way to let people know what you working on – it is a wonderful self promotional tool and very easy to put up and to maintain - blog creation and maintaining instructions are very user friendly.
I have had reactions to my blog ( from Taiwan, Brazil, Canada, USA, Spain, Holland and of course South Africa & even a job commission from USA. Please go and have a look at my blog and think strongly about beginning your own blog.
I would also like to circulate a list of Children's Book writers and illustrators’ web site addresses & their blogs on the SCBWI mailing list so please send me your addresses with a VERY SHORT bio.(about 60 words - NO MORE) - your name, writer or illustrator, what type of books- for what age you write/illus.
Marjorie van Heerden
Co-Regional Advisor of the SCBWI SA
Send your info to . Please use “Blogs and websites” in the subject line.

For another blogspot, see
StAAf 2nd Call for Children’s Stories
Stories Across Africa (StAAf) a core project of the African Academy of Languages, the official language agency of the AU, is a pan African project intending to:
develop and support the use of African languages in print;
support mother tongue based bilingual education in Africa;
stimulate and support the African publishing industry and African literary and visual artists to create and foster the use of children’s literature;
begin to create a common store of written children’s literature for African children;
support possibilities for reading for enjoyment as part of literacy learning and development.
In collaboration with a local publisher from each of Southern, West, Central, East and North Africa, StAAf is publishing three anthologies of writing for children:
Early Childhood (0-8),
Middle Childhood (9-12) and
Teenagers (13+)
We invite you to submit stories and poems in any African language (with a summary or translation in English, French or Portuguese) or any of the AU official languages. Please follow the following guide (suggested maximum words per submission) with respect to length:
ECD: 800 words
Middle: 1200 words
Teen: 2000 words
The selection process will be made by the StAAf steering committee and their decision will be final. Authors of submissions which are selected for inclusion in one of the anthologies will be paid a permission fee for the use of their writing. Authors of manuscripts selected for publication will be informed before the end of October 2007.
Selected stories and poems will:
arise from and give an African point of view;
have definite literary merit;
reflect diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity etc;
challenge discrimination;
include humour and avoid being didactic and preachy;
include not only ‘problem literature’ but fantasy and experimental, non-linear texts too.
Selection issues to be considered include:
Style: How is the story or poem written? Are the ideas easily understandable? Is it readable for the target age group?
Translation: Will it be possible to adapt this poem or story into a variety of languages used on the African continent?
Theme: Is the theme relevant for the age group? Will it have continent-wide appeal? Is the theme interesting? Does it portray positive roles for the readers? Is it gender sensitive?
Attractiveness: Is the story or poem appealing to the target audience? If there is humour, is its appeal continent-wide? Does the language attract the reader?
Clarity: Is the rhythm, diction and syntax clear and appealing? Does the language contribute to transmitting the message and attracting/ entertaining the audience? Is the use of language original and lively?
Submission Details
Submission deadline: 30 July 2007
Please submit stories and poems by post or email.
If the story has already been published, please submit a copy of the title and imprint pages.
Please make and keep a copy of any story you submit for yourself. StAAf will not return stories to the sender.
No story will be accepted unless it is accompanied by a completed submission form.
Please submit entries to: Carole Bloch, StAAf Central Co-ordinator, Room 14, Arts Block, PRAESA, UCT, Private Bag Rondebosch 7700, Cape Town, South Africa, Email:, Tel: 0027 21 6503589 Fax: 0027 21 6503027
StAAf 2nd Call for Children’s Stories
SUBMISSION FORM Please complete a new form for each submission – e-mail for form

Anansi Books
It is with pride and a sense of excitement that we announce that our new website is active. Yes, Anansi has arrived in cyberspace. Visit us on the information super highway at
As you already know, we specialize in picture books for Grade R to Grade 3 learners as well as storybooks for the older learners who have become more independent readers. Our titles are published in six languages namely isiZulu, isiXhosa, Afrikaans, English, SeTswana and SeSotho.
3rd Conference on South African Children’s Literature
Invitation to attend and participate in the 3rd Conference on South African Children's Literature 17-20 September, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus
As was the case with the preceding conferences, this conference is for all who are currently involved or who wish to become involved in the production (e.g. oral storytellers, writers, illustrators, translators, publishers), marketing and distribution (e.g. publishers, agents, book suppliers), mediation (e.g. educators/facilitators, parents, librarians, and the media - newspapers, radios, television) and reception of children’s literature (by toddlers, children and teenagers as listeners to, or readers of children’s stories, poetry, stage productions and films).
A special feature of the conference is the addition of a number of writing/authoring/hands-on sessions with the theme “Writing (on) South African Children’s Literature” - practical sessions on the writing of scholarly articles, as well as sessions on writing children’s stories and poems. These sessions will be presented by renowned writers in the field of children’s literature: Prof Maria Nikolajeva (Stockholm, Sweden), author of several academic articles and books as well as fiction, Prof Elwyn Jenkins, author of several articles and books on children’s literature, Prof Osa Osayimwense, editor of the journal African Children’s and Youth Literature (JACYL), and Prof Hans du Plessis, Director of the ATKV School for Creative Writing in Potchefstroom.
Enquiries to: Betsie van der Westhuizen - Phone: 018 2991491 E-mail:
Call for submissions
Call for submissions of articles for a special issue of The Lion and the Unicorn (April 2008): Children’s Literature in South Africa
South Africa is a multilingual and multicultural society in which its people are increasingly taking pride in the development of their own languages and cultural inheritance. Children’s literature, and those involved with it, play an important role in creating positive changes in society. By sharing problems, challenges, solutions and successes with each other over a number of years now, a healthy discourse between role players working in the field is starting to develop, which holds the promise of many co-operative possibilities which could potentially yield a wealth of literary dividends. These endeavours are also supported by government policy.
Submissions are being solicited for a special issue on Children’s Literature in South Africa, to be published in The Lion and the Unicorn in April 2008. Possible topics include issues related to: the production (e.g. oral storytellers, writers, illustrators, translators, publishers), marketing and distribution (e.g. publishers, agents, book suppliers), mediation (e.g. teachers/facilitators, parents, librarians, and the media - newspapers, radio, television) and reception (by oddlers, children and teenagers as listeners to, or readers of, stories, poetry, stage productions and film).
All topics regarding South African children’s literature are welcome, including:
Production of children’s literature: topics and themes in children’s literature, oral storytelling, the writing of stories, poems, drama/stage, publishing.
Viewpoints with regard to the “needs” of the “market”, “going with the global flow” and/or/but seeing writing is an act of resistance against globalization.
Illustrations in children’s books.
The fusion of different genres and styles in writing and illustrating children’s books.
The influence of the literary content, style and other aspects of the systems of children’s literature of different parts of the world on South African children’s literature.
Marketing and distribution: agents, bookshop industry.
Mediation: reading stories and poems to children, children’s theatre, facilitating literature for toddlers, children and adolescents in all phases of school life, bibliotherapy, narrative therapy
Reception: needs and reading patterns of South African toddlers, children and adolescents, readers’ response patterns.
DEAR - Drop Everything and Read, Drop All And Read.
Humour in children’s literature.
Liminal spaces in South African children’s literature, e.g. the exchange of racial, cultural, linguistic and other cultural forms between and across the borders of different languages.
The history/histories of children’s literatures of the different and related South African languages and cultures - aspects of the bridging of difficult times and the development of children’s literature within the broad liminal spaces where many South African languages meet.
Comparative studies that read South African children’s literatures in an international context.
Commonalities and diversities between the language identities of the language groups in the broad South African language landscape, e.g. the commonalities and diversities between children’s literature in Nguni-languages and children’s literature in Sotho-languages.
Commonalities and diversities between South Africa as multilingual country and other multilingual countries.
The advancement of literature for toddlers, children and teenagers in all South African languages.
Deadline: 30 July 2007
Please send enquiries or complete manuscripts, using MLA style, double-spaced, between twenty-five and thirty pages in length (4000-5000 words), to preferably the following email address: or to the following address:
Prof Betsie van der Westhuizen
Vakgroep Afrikaans en Nederlands/ Subject Group Afrikaans and Dutch Skool vir Tale/ School of Languages Fakulteit Lettere en Wysbegeerte/ Faculty of Arts Potchefstroomkampus/ Potchefstroom Campus Noordwes-Universiteit/ North-West University Privaatsak X6001/ Private Bag X6001 Potchefstroom 2520 Suid-Afrika / South Africa, Tel.: +27 18 2991491 or: 018 2991491; Faks/ Fax: +27 18 2991562 or: 018 2991562 E-pos/ Email:

2008 Hans Christen Anderson Awards
IBBY National Sections from 35 countries have made their selections, submitting 30 authors and 30 illustrators as candidates for the 2008 Hans Christian Andersen Awards. In the following months the works of each candidate will be studied and discussed in depth by the Jury of ten experts around the world, led by Jury President Zohreh Ghaeni.
The nominees for the 2008 Awards include: Jackie French and Shaun Tan (Australia), Anne Provoost and Kitty Crowther (Belgium), Brian Doyle and Pierre Pratt (Canada), Qin Wenjun (China), Iva Procházková and Adolf Born (Czech Republic), Marie Desplechin and Claude Ponti (France), Mino Milani and Roberto Innocenti (Italy), Shuntaro Tanikawa and Akiko Hayashi (Japan), Beverley Naidoo and Piet Grobler (South Africa), David Almond and Jan Pienkowski (UK), Lloyd Alexander and David Wiesner (USA).
In 2006, the Andersen Awards went to author Margaret Mahy (New Zealand) and illustrator Wolf Erlbruch (Germany). In 2004 it went to author Martin Waddell (Ireland) and illustrator Max Velthuijs (Netherlands).
All 2008 nominees <<>>
IBBY website <<

CP Hoogenhoutoekenning vir Afrikaanse kinderboeke
Dit is vir Unisa se Eenheid vir Navorsing in Kinderliteratuur aangenaam om bekend te maak dat Protea Boekhuis ingestem het om weer die CP Hoogenhoutoekenning vir Afrikaanse kinderboeke te borg. Die toekenning word tweejaarliks gemaak aan oorspronklike Afrikaanse kinderboeke geskik vir kinders van sewe tot twaalf jaar. Die vorige wenner was Leon de Villiers vir Droomoog, Diepgrawer. Soos dit tradisioneel sedert 1960 die geval is, sal die toekenning weer 'n 9karaat goue medalje wees. Dit sal in September tydens die Aardlop Kunstefees aan die wenner oorhandig word. Aangesien die prys nie verlede jaar toegeken kon word nie, sal vanjaar se toekenning gemaak word vir boeke wat in 2004 en 2005 gepubliseer is. Uitgewers word uitgenooi om die titels van boeke wat in aanmerking kom vir die toekenning aan Thomas van der Walt by ENIK te stuur. 'n Paneel bestaande uit 'n kinderbibliotekaris, onderwyser, ouer, kinderboekskrywer en akademikus sal verantwoordelik wees vir die beoordeling. Thomas van der WaltENIK, (012) 4293972Prof T.B. van der Walt Children's Literature Research Unit Department of Information Science University of South Africa PO Box 392, 0003 PretoriaTel: +27 12 4296520, Fax: +27 12 4293400 Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award for 2007
Exclusive Books is delighted to announce its sponsorship of a new award, in association with IBBY S.A., for the best original children's picture book or illustrated children's story book published in South Africa.
For the EXCLUSIVE BOOKS IBBY SA AWARD for 2007, we invite submissions of books published between 1 January 2006 and 30 June 2007. For a copy of the rules and conditions please e-mail me at or Robin Malan at Please send your submissions (two copies of each title) to me at Exclusive Books Head Office by 30 June 2007.
We do hope this new Award will encourage the publication of wonderful new South African children's books, as it rewards our talented authors and illustrators. - Penny Hochfeld, Exclusive Books Head Office
IBBY Honor Books
Publishers are invited to submit titles of books to be considered to represent the South African book production as Honor books for 2008. The nominations must reach IBBY by 15 September 2007.
Books are eligible which have been published no earlier than three years before nomination.
Countries with a book production in several languages can propose up to three writers or translators.
One title for illustration only. So:
One to three books to be named for writing.
One to three books to be named for translation.
One book to be named for illustration.
After we receive your nominations, a panel of judges will decide which books will be nominated. At that stage the publishers involved will be contacted to complete the nomination forms and pay the fee of CHF 75.00 for each nominated title. If copies are needed for reviewing, we will let you know.
Contact me if you have any questions.
Best wishes, Lona Gericke for ( IBBY SA - Awards), ; Designation: Librarian(Children's Services): Bellville Library, Branch: Library & Information Services, City of Cape Town, Tel: +27 21 918-2281, Fax: + 27 21 948-9313, E-mail:, Website:,
Maskew Miller Longman Award for Children’s Literature in Limpopo Indigenous Languages
The purpose of this competition is to encourage the creation of children's literature in Limpopo indigenous languages, especially in Sepedi, Xitsonga, Tshivenda and IsiNdebele.
The story must be suitable for Foundation Phase (4-9 years).
The entries must be previously unpublished and original.
The text must be suitable for a picture book- no illustrations necessary but suggested artwork briefs can be added.
Easy readers with simple text.
Stories should be in the following languages: Sepedi, Tshivenda, Xitsonga and IsiNdebele.
Length: around 600 words.
Manuscripts must be typed in double spacing and submitted in duplicate hard copies.
Maskew Miller Longman will award R500 for the best entry in Sepedi, Xitsonga, Tshivenda and IsiNdebele.
Maskew Miller Longman will publish the winning entries if they meet their publishing requirements. Non-winning entries may also qualify for publication.
Maskew Miller Longman has the right to rework the story according to their requirements.
Evaluation will be done by a panel of experts and the suitability for publication for the specified target market (Foundation Phase) will be the norm. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Closing date: Friday, 27 July 2007
No restrictions on the number of entries. An official entry form must accompany every manuscript. All details should be neatly filled in.
All entries should be submitted to:
Physical Address: Magriet Lotz or Emma Lehonye, Polokwane City Library, Cnr Hans van Rensburg and Jorissen Streets, Polokwane.
Postal address: Ms. M Lotz, Polokwane City Library, P.O. Box 111, Polokwane 0700
Paddy Bouma

What an experience! This annual Fair is huge – probably four times the size of the recent Cape Town Book Fair. It is not open to the public, just to professionals in the trade, principally publishers, agents, translators, writers and illustrators.
The first thing one sees on entering is the very inviting-looking Illustrator’s Café (which has nothing to do with food!) It houses an attractive auditorium area, an Illustrators’ Exhibition for which copies of the magnificently produced exhibition catalogue are on sale and the prize-winning books are beautifully displayed. To one side is an area where illustrators are allowed to pin up their business cards and publicity material.
There are 4 international halls, the first two housing English-language books from Great Britain, the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India and Hong Kong. There is also a Literary Agents’ Centre and one for TV/film licensing rights.
The other two halls house publishers from a wealth of countries, including Rwanda, Croatia, the Ukraine and Iran. China has a large presence. The guest of honour this year was Wallonia- Brussels with a beautifully designed stand featuring such favourites as Tintin. Also present here are IBBY and the International Youth Library, on whose exhibition of their choice of the most notable books of the year I was fortunate enough to be represented.
Many publishers offer the opportunity for illustrators to show their portfolios. It is a good idea to contact publishers about 2-3 months before the fair to arrange an interview, particularly for author-illustrators who would like to show a dummy book. Otherwise go around, preferably on the first day, and make as many appointments as possible. Some publishers have set times at which illustrators may come by, and then it is a case of joining the queue! Or else, if you notice that an art editor has just finished with another illustrator, and from the look of the stand you think your work may fit in, present yourself with a smile… On the whole, it’s amazing how friendly and helpful the editors are, considering the vast numbers they deal with.
The fair is located a little outside the city centre and is easily accessible by a local bus. Bologna is a beautiful old city and to stay close to the Piazza Maggiore is a good option – it’s pleasant to walk around town in the evening, enjoy a glass of wine in the piazza and an excellent meal at one of the many restaurants.
If you plan to go to Bologna, check the website first – illustrators are offered a reduced entry fee of 10 Euros a day if one registers online. The fair runs over four days and one needs to spend at least three there to take in as much as possible. Also find out what illustrator events are offered. Some are really special. This time there was an interview with Wolf Erlbruch, who was the featured artist and did the poster and cover for the exhibition catalogue.
This Fair, the world’s biggest dealing with children’s books, gives one an excellent overview of what is happening in publishing worldwide. But it’s not for the faint-hearted!

MARCH 2007 - no.1 - The Newsletter of SCBWI SA


The Electronic Newsletter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, South Africa
MARCH 2007 – No.1


  • Report Back – Publisher’s Day
  • Events planned for 2007
  • Report Back – Illustrator’s Workshop
  • Mentorship Programme
  • Article – First Words in Print
  • Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market
  • ATKV-Kinderboektoekennings
  • Competitions
  • Interesting Books

By Petro Bosman

ON the 12th of March there was a big buzz going on at the Bellville Library. The reason: The SCBWI Publisher’s Day, where writers and illustraters flocked together to meet 13 publishers from all over the country.
The Bellville Library was so kind to offer their venue for free. For the library the Publisher’s Day was also a “first”, according to Martha de Wet of the library. And what a great day it was!
Publishers sat at tables in one room and writers and illustraters had 15 minutes to pitch their work to the publishers of their choice. For some writers and illustraters it was their first eye-to-eye experience with the publishers, and all the people thought it was a great privilege to meet the publishers personally. It was also a chance to meet other writers and illustraters, and we enjoyed the interaction with people also driven by the love of children’s literature. One of the illustraters I met, came all the way from Witbank to meet the publishers at this special day.
A delicious lunch of lasagne and salad was served by the caterers at the library.
A special thanks to Marjorie van Heerden, co-regional advisor of the South African branch of the SCBWI, for all her hard work before the event.

Please note: Writers or illustrators who wish to show their books/work to publishers need to register
as a trade visitor. Go to
click on Trade Visitors for information and registration. IF YOU HAVE NOT REGISTERED YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO SHOW YOUR WORK

The joy of illustration
Jenny Hatton - Assistant Advisor
The Gauteng branch of SCBWI South Africa had its first meeting on 3 March 2007. This very special occasion was hosted by Joan Rankin at her beautiful old house overlooking the leafy northern suburbs of Johannesburg.
The presentation was attended by a total of 22 people, three of whom are SCBWI members. Illustrators, writers, teachers and lovers of children’s books came from Middleburg, Witbank, Pretoria and Johannesburg.
The morning began with a brief welcome and introductions. Joan then told her story and mind mapped some of the important events in her life that lead to illustrating children’s books. After tea she showed slides of illustrations from a wide range of international and local books. Then she passed around a fascinating array of children’s books. Finally, Joan spoke about visiting schools and demonstrated how a story could be shown on the Overhead Projector.
Joan’s experience comes from illustrating over forty children's books as well as writing some of them. In 1991 she won South Africa's most prestigious award for children's book illustrations, the Katrine Harries Award, for her illustrations in The Dancing Elephant; Ask for Patricia and The Twelve Days of Christmas.
A key message that Joan delivered was the importance of learning from one another. The Gauteng branch intends to do just that. It plans a number of initiatives to meet, share ideas, support one another and promote the publication of more South African children’s books.

SCBWI SA is launching a Mentorship Program
From 30 March 2007, South African Writers and illustrators will be able to apply for the SCBWI SA Mentorship Program. The winners will be chosen by panel of 4 judges and will be announced during the Cape Town Book Fair (June).
This is an opportunity for a writer/illustrator to work with an established writer/illustrator who will help them develop their writing or illustrating.
The winners of the competition will not necessarily be the “best” submission, but the one the judges feel would benefit the most from a mentorship program. The winners will team up with the mentors according to geographical area. One writer and one illustrator in Cape Town and one writer and one illustrator in Gauteng.
For 6 months the winners will work with an established writer or Illustrator, seeing them for a session every month. The mentor will spend an average of an hour or two a month for the six months working with one of the winners. During this time, the mentor will review manuscripts or illustrations and work on writing or illustrating exercises. They may also make arrangements to go with the winner to visit local events of interest to writers or illustrators, or participate in whatever the mentor thinks is the best use of the time.
The application form and competition information will be available soon on .
or go to to download guidelines and application form in PDF files

First Words in Print
by Petro Bosman
A majority of young children in South Africa still have little or no exposure to books and some people in certain areas still think a library cannot be fun.
This is part of an evaluation report done by the First Words in Print (FWIP) project. It investigated the effectiveness of the children’s book distribution in four areas in South Africa, as well as the recipient’s responses to the books.
First Words in Print is a project of the Book development Foundation located at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town. The project aims to encourage a culture of reading within the communities where it is implemented, contribute towards the literacy development of very young children and distribute sets of picture and story books in all South African official languages to targeted children.
During the second phase of the project books were distributed to neighbourhoods adjacent to the pilot areas of Rammulotsi in the Free State, Ottery in the Western Cape, Mount Ayliff in the Eastern Cape and Maphotla in Mpumalanga as well as to areas in KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape for the first time. The children received their books between 2004 and 2005, and early in 2006.
Ms Lerato Trok, project co-ordinator of FWIP and a lead researcher, said during the project they found many children that didn’t have books before. “In some cases, the Bible was the only book in the house for the whole family,” she said. “The FWIP was most effective at reaching children who attended pre-school. It is important to note that a quarter of the books went to children who were not in any organised form of care.
“Low literacy rates among school going children in the research areas was also more widespread than the researchers could establish during the short research visits. It confirms a survey of the department of education which found that over 60% of all South African childrens in grade 3 were illiterate.
It underlines the importance of projects which encourage young children to read for enjoyment in the own homes before they start school.”
On a positive note, one mother reported she was so inspired by the children’s positive reaction to the FWIP books that she had dedicated a room in the house to reading and story telling. Several other rural mothers reported that thet shared their books with neighbours and that this brought the children together to read and tell stories. “And yes, the children were indeed very excited about the books. Some even hid the books so that no one can harm it,” Trok said.
The research also showed that young children were attracted by colourful illustrations, humor and familiar circumstances in the stories.
“We are not saving the world, that’s true,” said Trok, “but these projects are the first steps in a long term commitment to encourage children to read. Libraries perhaps can also do more to be places of enjoyment for their young readers.”

Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market and News

Call for submissions of articles for a special issue
The Lion and the Unicorn (April 2008)
Children’s Literature in South Africa
South Africa is a multilingual and multicultural society in which its people are increasingly taking pride in the development of their own languages and cultural inheritance. Children’s literature, and those involved with it, play an important role in creating positive changes in society. By sharing problems, challenges, solutions and successes with each other over a number of years now, a healthy discourse between role players working in the field is starting to develop, which holds the promise of many co-operative possibilities which could potentially yield a wealth of literary dividends. These endeavours are also supported by government policy.
Submissions are being solicited for a special issue on Children’s Literature in South Africa, to be published in The Lion and the Unicorn in April 2008.
Possible topics include issues related to: the production (oral storytellers, writers, illustrators, translators, publishers), marketing and distribution (publishers, agents, book suppliers), mediation (teachers/facilitators, parents, librarians, the media - newspapers, radio, television) and reception (by toddlers, children and teenagers as listeners to, or readers of, stories, poetry, stage productions and film).
All topics regarding South African children’s literature are welcome. Deadline: 30 July 2007
Please send enquiries to:
Tel: 018 2991491 Fax: 018 2991562


Reviva Schermbrucker -
A week-long workshop on writing texts for picture books and books for older children. Dates and time: 9am to 1pm from Mon 30 April to Fri 4 May. Venue: Claremont

Marianne Brandt
Or Tel: (021) 9496616

Dianne Stewart - (teaches writing in the Durban area)
Dorian Haarhof - (based in Somerset West, prepared to travel)
ATKV-Skryfskool -

The following Universities and Technikons also offer Creative Writing Courses:
University of Cape Town - Department of English, Department of Extra Mural Studies
Stellenbosch University offers creative writing through the English and Afrikaans departments.
Cape Technikon
Rhodes University
University of Witwatersrand, the Writing Centre and the Centre for Continuing Education
University of Port Elizabeth
University of Natal
Noordwes-Universiteit (North-West University) -

A Weekend Workshop for Scriptwriters will take place in Johannesburg from April 20 - 21; the next Beginners Course for Scriptwriters in Cape Town starts on May 8. Read more:


Interviews with writers and illustrators. -
Info on copyright & how it works


Websites about public domain

this one has all info about USA public domain

info on books in public domain

lots of links to public domain books
For even more info - Go to Google and write "children's books in public domain" in search block.

Wat die ATKV-Kinderboektoekennings uniek maak, is dat die beoordelaars die jong lesers self is. Vanjaar het meer as 2 000 kinders en meer as 15 biblioteke, skole en takke landswyd deelgeneem aan die beoordelingsproses van kinderboeke wat in 2005 verskyn het. Die beoordelingsproses het deur die loop van 2006 plaasgevind. Die kategoriewenners kry elkeen R3 000 en ʼn splinternuwe Veertjie. Die wenners is:
Kategorie 3 tot 6 jaar:
Annelize Bester se boek Droombos se nuwe prinsessie het kleutertjies se aandag vasgevang. Hulle was mal oor die kabouters en feetjies en diere in die boek en dit was duidelik dat hierdie boek hulle gunsteling was. Hierdie boek is uitgegee deur Fantasi.
Kategorie 3 tot 6 jaar (illustrasies):
Johan Strauss was verantwoordelik vir die pragtige illustrasies in Droombos se nuwe prinsessie. Sy
illustrasies, die kleure en veral ook die detail het die kinders se verbeelding aangegryp en hulle kon net nie genoeg van die boek kry nie. Fantasi is die uitgewer van hierdie boek.
Kategorie Graad 1 tot 3:
Elmarie Botes is die skrywer van Jabulani die olifant en ook die wenner van die Veertjie. Hierdie boek, wat handel oor ʼn Afrika-olifant, het jong kinders so geboei dat hulle dit bo al die ander verkies het. Jabulani die olifant is uitgegee deur Lapa.
Kategorie Graad 1 tot 3 (illustrasies):
Anna-Carien Goosen se baie kleurvolle en lewensgetroue illustrasies van Jabulani, in Jabulani die olifant, het die jong kinders beïndruk. Die jong lesertjies het daarvan gehou om die boek weer en weer deur te blaai en net na die prentjies te kyk. Anna-Carien kry die Veertjie vir haar illustrasies van hierdie boek wat deur Lapa uitgegee is.
Kategorie Graad 4 tot 5:
Carina Diedericks-Hugo kry die Veertjie vir haar baie kreatiewe verhaal oor ʼn kat wat ʼn geheime agent is en ʼn kind by Die Magtige Internasionale Anti-Aapskeloerders-Unie
(M.I.A.A.U.) betrek om boewe en bullebakke vas te trek. Die boek is boeiend en opwindend. Operasie M.I.A.A.U. is uitgegee deur Human en Rousseau.
Kategorie Graad 6 tot 7:
Carina Diedericks-Hugo skryf weer oor Thomas en sy vriende. Hierdie keer is almal in rep en roer oor die nuwe meisie in Thomas-hulle se klas: die aantreklike sepiester Fleur Vermaak. In is daar geheime, nagmerries, raaisels en ʼn groep vriende wat alles op die ou end uitpluis. Lapa het hierdie boek uitgegee.
Kategorie Graad 8 tot 10:
Nerine Ahlers en Alet Steenkamp se boek Selfone, skelms en sjokolade het tienermeisies en dalk ook seuns se aandag van bladsy een af geboei met al die tipiese tienerdinge wat daarin gebeur: avonture, nuwe haarstyle, kleredrag, liefde ensovoorts. Dis ʼn goeie lekkerleesboek wat vir jare lank nog vermaak sal bied. Hierdie boek is uitgegee deur Lapa.

Writing tips will plant a seed that will allow your story to grow to its best dramatic or comedic potential. These tips are derived from screenplays that have made it to the big screen. These stories have reached the world and its secret ingredients will add new meaning to your writing and change the ordinary into the extraordinary, and allow your collaborators to fall in love with your narrative.
# 1 Allow your character to make unusual friends and develop unique friendships. In
Charlotte's Web a spider saves the life of a pig, who allows the young girl to come-of-age. In Eragon the friendship between a young farm boy and a dragon sets the young character on a path of transfiguration. It is also a coming of age story set in the Fantasy/Adventure genre. Also see Over The Hedge , Monster House Read more about genre
# 4 Think about a dramatic episode out of your childhood and explore its dramatic or comedic potential. Stories about families give you an opportunity to write about what you know, about something you have experienced/ witnessed, and something you are familiar with. It is also something audiences from all cultures can relate to. See
Running With Scissors, Chumscrubbers, Hoot, How to Eat Fried Worms, Little Miss Sunshine, Nanny Mc Phee, Over The Hedge, Happy Feet, Thumbsucker, Wah-Wah
# 22 Let music set your mood and get you into the write mode. Are you one of those writers who simply plonks yourself down start writing without getting into the write mode? Use music to stimulate the senses. Find appropriate music that sets the scene. Also. Use different music for projects. If you are writing about a specific culture, listen to music from that culture during the writing process. This also helps if your writing area if in a noisy zone, write with earphones on and cut yourself off from the outside world during the times when you are writing.

PLEASE publishers/Authors/Illustrators, send any information you would to have include in
the next newsletter. Is there a writing competition? Have you written an article on children’s books?
or related subject? Would you like it circulated through our newsletter? Please let us know.
Send to: with ‘NEWS’ in the subject line.
Competitions Competitions Competitions Competitions

Also incorporating
Macmillan has announced the start of the fourth, the only literary prize awarded to writers of unpublished
African children's literature. The competition is open to entrants from all countries in Africa.
Previous prize winners have had their entries published and promoted by Macmillan throughout Africa; winning and short listed entries have come from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zambia to date, and there have been a number of strong contenders from other African countries
Following the successful launch of the Macmillan Children's Illustrator Award in 2005, Macmillan is pleased to be running this competition a second time, in recognition of the importance of pictures in African children's books.
Macmillan Education is sponsoring both prizes with the following awards. Macmillan will also offer publication for the winning stories:
Junior Award
For an original, unpublished story in English of not more than 10,000 words written for children in the 8-12 age range
Prize value US$5,000
Senior Award
For an original, unpublished story in English between 14,000 and 20,000 words, written for young people between the ages of 13 and 17 years. Prize value US$5,000
New Children's Writer Award
For and original story in either the junior or senior category by a previously unpublished writer
Prize Value US$3,000
Children's Illustrator Award
For an illustration based on one of the texts detailed in the competitor's pack.
Prize value US$1,000
The closing date for all entries is 30 June 2007.
Manuscripts for the Writer's Prize will be evaluated by an independent panel of four judges who are prominent writers: Meshack Asare, Jamila Gavin, Jack Mapanje and Helen Oyeyemi.
The shortlist will be announced in November 2007 and the prize winners will be announced in January 2008. There will be a special awards ceremony later in the year to celebrate the publication of the winning stories.
The winning entry for the Illustrator's Award will be displayed as part of the Writer's Award ceremony. Macmillan will enter into separate discussions with the winning illustrator regarding further assignments in children's book illustration for Africa.
Competitors' packs with full information and entry forms can be obtained FREE from local Macmillan offices or by emailing
For further information,
please contact:
Nicki Price
Macmillan Education
Between Towns Road

Nombuso Mkhize
Macmillan South Africa
PO Box 32484
(Tel) 011 731 3330
(Fax) 011 731 3552

Write a script for a 12 minute short film in any genre. The subject is "Being Alive in South Africa". The script should be property formatted , printed and sent with the Submission Agreement Form to Daniel Dercksen, 203 Son Vida, Somerset Road, Green Point. The closing date is April 10, 2007 at 12 noon. The competition is open to any South African citizen. Scripts TO be submitted in English. The winner will receive a seat at the six-weeks BEGINNER'S COURSE FOR SCREENWRITERS starting at the SABC in CAPE TOWN on May 8, as well as a seat at the ADVANCED WORKSHOP FOR SCREENWRITERS that starts on completion of the beginner's course, and A YEAR CONTRACT WITH THE WRITE AGENCY. The prize includes a seat at both workshops AND Agency's contract, and excludes transport to and from the SABC in Sea Point, accommodation, or meals. PLEASE NOTE: No scripts will be accepted via email. .
Read more about format; Read more about genre; Read more Submission Requirements

Neem deel aan Storiewerf, die webtuiste vir kinder- en jeugboeke, se jaarlikse skryfkompetisie. Vanjaar is die tema Kreatiewe Kreature met illustrasies van Josh en Ian Marley as skryfprikkels. Skrywers moet hierdie illustrasies as vonk gebruik om 'n eie storie mee te skryf.
Die kompetisie het vyf afdelings: 7-9 jaar, 10-13 jaar, 14-18 jaar, volwassenes, asook 'n afdeling waar 'n ouer/volwassene en kind/ers saam 'n storie mag skryf.
Meer as R8 000 se pryse kan gewen word. Pryse sluit in 'n naweek vir vier by 'n ATKV-vakansieoord, versamelaarsboeke, Storiemanreekse, Afrikaanse speltoetsers, boeke en boekbewyse. Die algehele prys is die bywoning van 'n skryfkursus van die ATKV-Skryfskool (Herfsskool 2008). Kompetisieborge is die ATKV, ATKV-Skryfskool, LAPA-Uitgewers, Storieman, CTexT (NWU), Storiewerf en
Die sluitingsdatum vir inskrywings is 15 Mei 2007.
Volledige besonderhede op Storiewerf

Maskew Miller Longman recently launched its second Literature Award competition, which focuses on the genre of drama. We are inviting entries for original and unpublished drama manuscripts aimed at 15 - 18 year olds.
The Literature Awards Competition is a fantastic opportunity for all aspiring South African writers to have their work recognised by some of South Africa's top literary & drama figures.
Total prize money is over R150 000 and winners stand a chance of having their plays produced and staged by Artscape New Writing Programme and the Siyasanga Cape Town Theatre Company. To assist writers with their entries we have invited Prof. Roy Sargent to host half-day drama workshops in all provinces.
For more information on the workshops and criterion of the Literature Awards Competition please contact Teenage Pitsha on 021 532 6000 or e-mail .
An official entry form must accompany each entry.
The closing date for the competition is 31 July 2007.

Visit the website

The Centre’s 25 Best South African Books for the 2007 Cape Town International Book Fair
We are asking you, as part of the Centre for the Book community to participate in this fun book promotion activity. What are the recent South African books that you have loved? Books that you feel capture something of what South Africa is like now?
You don’t have to send us a full list of 25 books - send us the names of your favourite or six, or even one or two!
You can choose from any genre including children’s books, poetry, fiction, non-fiction -- guidebooks, cookery books, biographies, memoirs, and so on.
We will display the chosen books at the Book Fair and a lucky participant will win all 25 books. Join in the fun!
For more information see
If you know of anyone who wants to be on our mailing list
please send them this information
The news letter is free.
It has information about upcoming events, news, competitions and market information.

Anyone can be added to the SCBWI mailing list
by sending an e-mail to:
To request more information send an e-mail to:
If you want to be removed from the mailing list
send an e-mail to:
Note: If you are on the SCBWI SA mailing list you are NOT automatically a member of the SCBWI.
To become a member you have to go to and follow the HOW TO JOIN instructions

Developing Story Ideas – Michael Rabiger (avail. library)
Focal Press ISBN 0-240-80398-1
Researching for Writers – Marion Field (avail. library)
How to gather matrial for articles, novels and non-fiction books.
How to Books ISBN 1-85703-236-5
The Drawing Book – Sarah Simblet (avail.library)
An innovative, practical approach to drawing the world around you - Dorling Kindersley Limited ISBN 1-4053-0630-0

Piet Grobler
Piet has illustrated well over 50 books for children, which have been published in South Africa, Holland, Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Korea and Mexico. He has won several national awards (Tienie Hollaway medal and the Vivian Wilkes Award) and international awards (e.g. silver medal in the Noma Concours (Japan) (twice), Plaque (bronze medal) at the BIB (Biennale for Illustration, Bratislava), and Octogone de Chene (France)). He has also featured twice on the IBBY honour list as well as on the White Ravens honour list.
At his workshop in May, Piet will use illustrations from his published books to explain his methods, techniques and the process of conceiving and creating each of them.

by Elaine Ridge
In this article Piet Grobler shares his experience of being on the jury for the Noma Concours (which is part of the work of the Asia/Pacific Centre of UNESCO is open to picture book illustrators working in Asia (except Japan), the Pacific, the Arab States, Africa and South America – the developing countries. He also gives some pointers to those who would like to enter this competition.
There were about 527 entries. After a preliminary screening process, the six jury members scrutinised the work of the remaining 130 illustrators. Each of the members of the jury was given 17 stones (from a Japanese board game called ‘Go’). They then had to go through the work of all 130 (which was put in individual stacks on tables) and then vote for 17 of the book illustrations by putting a stone in the bucket near the relevant stack. It was an enormous challenge to go through all of the work in the time allowed, even though the one-hour initially set for this was extended to two hours. There were a number of rounds until the field was narrowed to the 33 who received prizes: 1 Grand Prix (gold medal), 2 silver medals, and medals for the 10 runners up and the 20 honourable mentions. An Indian won the gold medal for his illustration of ‘How the firefly got its light’ and an Iranian and a Malaysian won the silver medals. There were no South African among the winners. The sheer quality of their work meant that more than half of the prize winners (17) were from Iran.
Piet believes that the Iranian who won a silver medal should have won the first prize because ‘illustrations should be very suitable for bookmaking – in other words they should go together very comfortably with text’. Although the Indian’s work was ‘brilliant, the pictures were almost like fine art pieces - large and wonderful, in the case of the Iranian’s pictures I could just see where the text should go. I think the pictures would integrate very well with text’.
What advice does he offer to those of you who would like to enter and perhaps even win the $3 500 prize money that the gold medalist wins? Bearing in mind the system of stacking the illustrations, he advises prospective entrants to have only large, strong, bold illustrations. Remember that first impressions are very important. If the top one does not grab the attention of an adjudicator, it is very likely that the others won’t even be looked at – the pressure of time is just too great.
He also urges those wanting to enter to make their work as large as possible and experiment with textures. Techniques like collage made a strong impression on the Japanese jury members. They were also impressed by something ethnic or something reflecting folk art or the visual expression from a certain culture or particular country. The 5 to 10 illustrations may be for a book that has already been published, but not in Europe or North America.
Indian illustrator wins 15th Noma Concours
International jury meeting of the 15th Noma Concours for Picture Book Illustrations was held on 7 December 2006 in Tokyo and the work by Mr. Pradyumna Kumar of India was selected as the Grand Prize winner. The two Second Prizes went to Iranian and Malaysian illustrators. 522 works from 47 countries competed for this year’s concours, and 33 works including one Grand Prize, 2 Second Prizes, 10 Runners-up and 20 Encouragement Prizes were selected. This is the first time that an Indian work has won the Grand Prize in the Noma Concours
Grand Prize "How the Firefly Got Its Light" by Pradyumna Kumar (India)

The Noma Concours
for Picture Book Illustration has been organised biennially since 1978 by Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU). This Concours is designed to discover up-and-coming, adult illustrators, graphic designers and artists in Asia (except Japan), the Pacific, Africa, Arab States, Latin America and the Caribbean, to provide an occasion at which they can present their works widely and to offer incentives for their creative activities. For more information:

(17-24 MARCH)
At Bellville Library for instance, there will be lots of things going on – like a “library fugitive”, who will be in the library on the 24th of March, and the first person who can identify him/her, will win a pile of books.

We would love to hear about it.
Let us know the title, publisher, date of publication
and if you are the author or illustrator. Send to: with ‘NEWS’ in the subject line.

Committee members SCBWI South Africa
Marjorie van Heerden – Co-Regional Advisor
Paddy Bouma
– Co-Regional Advisor
Dr Elaine Ridge
Samantha van Riet
Wendy Hartmann
Jenny Hatton – Assistant Regional Advisor

The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators
Contact Information: SCBWI Executive Office
Stephen Mooser, President.
Lin Oliver, Executive Director
8271 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (323)782-1010, Fax: (323)782-1892