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The Otto Foundation Children’s Book Award

31 July 2024

The Otto Foundation Children's Award

The Otto Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the inaugural Otto Foundation Children’s Book Award.

The Otto Foundation Children’s Book Award was conceived with the aim to support local publishers, promote new authors and illustrators, and to recognize quality storytelling. The goal is also to celebrate South African stories and promote diversity in children’s literature.

The Foundation will award two book prizes:

  • One for a picture book targeted at learners aged 5 to 9
  • One for a chapter book or graphic novel aimed at learners aged 10 to 13

The winners will receive prize money to the value of R25 000 each. The winning titles will also be promoted through the foundation’s website and social media channels.

What makes the Otto Foundation Children’s Book Award unique is that young local readers will also play a role in the selection of the winners. Following the nomination process, shortlisted titles will be included in the Otto Foundation’s annual Reading Relay, which is hosted among six schools in the District Six area in Cape Town.

Book reviews submitted by participating learners during the relay process will be considered in the final selection of the award winners. This reading relay, will take place during October and November. Following the reading relay, a final review and selection by the Otto Foundation team and an advisory panel will take place during November and December 2024. The winners will be announced in January 2025.

During the judging process, the review panel will consider factors like authentic representation of South African culture and traditions; the quality, creativity and originality of the storytelling and artwork; the relevance to the target audience and the title’s celebration of diversity, inclusivity and the multicultural reality of South Africa.

The deadline for nominations is on the 31st of July 2024. Titles nominated must have been published within the last 18 months (starting on January 2023) or expected to be available in print by the end of July 2024. The publisher must be South African-owned or based in South Africa. (Local self-published titles will also qualify.)

Nominations for the Otto Foundation Children’s Book award can be sent to bookaward@ottofoundation.org.

A detailed description of the award criteria, the entry requirements and the award process can be viewed here.

For more information on the Otto Foundation Children’s Book Award, contact the Foundation’s Director: Stakeholders & Partnerships, Nonikiwe Mashologu, at nonikiwe@ottofoundation.org.


Otto Foundation
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