Kingsmead Book Fair's Young Writers’ Competition

Kingsmead Book Fair launches Young Writers’ Competition - open to all school children in South Africa.

Kingsmead College, a leading girls’ school in Johannesburg, is proud to launch the inaugural KBF Young Writers’ Competition. Celebrating the talents of young writers across our country, the competition is open to school children aged 6 – 18. 

At a time when South Africa’s youth are in a reading crisis, this national writing competition is aimed at motivating and inspiring young people to become readers and writers. According to the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), eight out of 10 Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning across all languages in South Africa. 

The Covid pandemic has worsened the situation and closures of Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres across South Africa – some temporary and some permanent – will take a toll on learner literacy. Crucial to improving literacy levels is encouraging a love of reading and writing for enjoyment as well as meaning. Initiatives that focus on literacy will play an increasingly important role in this pursuit.

“We are so excited about the new addition to our literary programme. The future of writing and literature is so important, and we welcome all opportunities for the youth to show their talents,” says Alex Bouche, Director of Marketing at Kingsmead College.  “We can’t wait to see the submissions from budding authors all across the country!”

The competition encourages aspiring young writers to submit their original short stories based on set topics and word counts per age category. “Story telling is an ancient art, intrinsic to most cultures. By encouraging creative writing children are given tools to make sense of life and process their experiences,” explains Corinne Rosmarin, curator of the Kingsmead Book Fair Children’s and Teen Programmes. 

“We are launching the Young Writers’ Competition to encourage a culture of reading and writing amongst our youth. The digital world has significantly affected reading levels among children, so we need to redirect their attention and build up the joy of writing and reading. By rewarding the winning entries in each category with cash prizes, book hampers and a mentorship session with a writer and publisher, we hope to inspire a new generation of writers in South Africa.” 

Judges of the competition include published authors and publishers such as Jacana, Jonathan Ball, Macmillan and Imagnary House and as well as Exclusive Books GM of Marketing, Batya Bricker.

Kingsmead College will be hosting its tenth annual Book Fair in association with Standard Bank Wealth and Investment and Timberland on Saturday 21 May, 2022.  Over the years, the Kingsmead Book Fair has become a significant event on South Africa’s literary calendar, for authors and readers alike.  The children’s and young adult’s programme has grown each year, enjoying great popularity and excitement.

The Kingsmead Book Fair is committed to the promotion of literacy and to encouraging a love of learning; connecting all age groups and cultures in the community. Their vision is to showcase the talents of international and South African authors through book readings, author panels and stimulating workshops. The last in-person Book Fair in 2019, saw more than 145 authors speaking in 42 different sessions on the main programme, 9 teen sessions and 18 children’s sessions. 

The KBF Young Writers’ Competition closes at midnight on 16 May 2022.  Entries can be found on the Kingsmead Book Fair website at https://kingsmead.co.za/bookfair/

Prizes are sponsored by Imagnary House, Standard Bank, Exclusive Books, Pan Macmillan, Penguin, Jonathan Ball and NB publishers.

Queries can be sent to Corinne Rosmarin at booktreeinfo@gmail.com or Alex Bouche abouche@kingsmead.co.za

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