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

Katrina Harries Award for Children's Book Illustrations

The Katrina Harries Award for Children's Book Illustrations honours the work of a South African illustrator for a book published in the preceeding two years. The illustrator must be a permanent South African citizen. The prize is named after the well-known South African artist who won the first two awards in 1974 and 1976. Since 1998 the award has been managed by Unisa's Children's Literature Research Unit (CLRU). The award consists of a gold medal and is awarded biennially.

At a ceremony held at the University of Pretoria on 5 March 2008, the following awards were announced:
The 1999-2001, 2002-2003 and 2004-5 awards went to Piet Grobler for Doctor Me Di Cin / Dokter Me Di syn Human & Rousseau (2001), Toepa-toepa towery Protea (2003), Net een slukkie, padda! / Please Frog, just one sip! Human & Rousseau (2002), Die spree met foete Human & Rousseau (2002), Het Vogeljes ABC Lemniscaat (2005), Makwelane en die krokodil Human & Rousseau (2004) and Mia se ma / Mia's mom Human & Rousseau (2005) respectively.

The 2007 award went to Emily Bornoff for Prinses van die Afrikavlaktes Lapa (2006).

Local Language Publishing Program Writing Competition 2008 Room to Read

Local Language Publishing Program Writing Competition Room to Read is currently promoting its first Local Language Publishing Writing Competition that is open to all writers over the age of 18. There are cash prizes of R10 000 each for the best five stories. Independent judges, who will be looking for such qualities as originality, imagination and flair, will read the entries. Most importantly, they will consider how the story will appeal to children from a range of South African backgounds. The purpose of this competition is to encourage the writing and production of children's literature in South Africa, especially in indigenous languages. We plan to publish the best of these works in 2008.

Competition rules The competition is not open to Room to Read South Africa staff and their immediate families and the judges of the competition. Authors must be 18 and over. No entries will be returned and Room to Read South Africa will not be accountable for any entries that do not reach our office. Room to Read South Africa will publish the winning manuscripts only if they meet our publishing requirements. Non-winning entries may also qualify for publication. Room to Read South Africa has the right to edit and revise the manuscripts according to their requirements. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. There is no restriction on the number of entries made by any one person; however, an official entry form must accompany each separate entry.


The manuscripts must be original and previously unpublished. Manuscripts must be suitable for children aged 6 -14 years, and can be written in any of the 11 official languages of South Africa. Stories will be adapted/ translated into all 11official languages. The stories should be enjoyable and age appropriate and suitable for children in rural and urban environments. Length: around 600 words for Foundation Phase (6-9 years). Around 1200 words for 10-14 years. CLOSING DATE: 30 June 2008 PLEASE NOTE:

Copyright in text will remain with the author. No royalties will be paid . Manuscripts must be sent to: Local Language Publishing Program Writing Competition Room to Read South Africa Postnet Suite 172 Private Bag X 15 MENLOPARK 0102 OR Corner Hilda and Arcadia Street Hatfield Gardens, Unit F1 HATFIELD 3

NOTE: Please ensure that you have a tracking number which will enable you to follow up whether your post was received. A copy of the entered manuscript should be kept as no entries will be returned. Only winners and authors of publishable manuscripts will be contacted.

Centre for the Book

Nombulelo Baba has taken over as Project Co-ordinator for the Children's Literature Programme at the Centre for the Book from Colleen Higgs who resigned at the end of February. She is a teacher by profession who taught in the Foundation Phase for 9 years before joining READ Educational as a Teacher Trainer. For another 9 years with READ she conducted in-service training for teachers. She has also conducted workshops for the WCED's 100 Books project. She joined the Centre for the Book in May 2007. She says she's passionate about reading and Children's Literature in general. She will be circulating mail related to Children's Literature to the CLN e-group which is a free service offered by the Centre for the Book. Welcome, Nombulelo.