Burt Award Ghana seal


Local Coordinating Organization

The Ghana Book Trust (GBT) is the local coordinating organization administering the CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature – Ghana. GBT and CODE have been working together for over 15 years on literacy development programming in primary schools in Ghana.

Objectives of the Award

  • To recognize excellence in young adult fiction
  • To support and motivate the development of supplementary reading materials for a critical stage of learning – the transition period between mother tongue and English medium instruction.
  • To strengthen the English language skills of youth and help foster enthusiasm and love for reading.
  • To stimulate and support the Ghanaian publishing industry and the development of Ghanaian literature.
  • To increase the stock of English readers in established school libraries and other community libraries.

Youth literature in Ghana

Ghana has a number of established publishers and a growing publishing industry. There is a relatively large pool of talented writers in the country, yet a clear need for relevant and appropriate reading materials to be published for youth to build and reinforce their literacy skills, and foster interest in reading.

Process to select the winning titles: Manuscripts are evaluated and judged on an individual basis. Each year there is a  week-long deliberation process to determine winning submissions.


Six professionals are involved in judging submissions. Among them five are Ghanaians and one Canadian. The jury members are carefully selected on the basis of their knowledge and expertise in the areas of youth literature, linguistics, publishing and writing.

The Canadian jury member, Peter Carver, was selected by IBBY Canada to join the Ghanaian Burt Award jury. Peter Carver is an award-winning and well respected editor and instructor. In addition to judging manuscripts, Mr. Carver is supporting writers in Ghana by co-leading workshops to help writers focus on the key considerations and skills in writing specifically for youth.

Prizes and Guaranteed Purchase or Titles

Writers win monetary awards of $9,000 for first prize, $7,000 for second prize and $5,000 for third prize (CAD), while publishers receive a guaranteed purchase of 3,000 copies of each title to be distributed to schools and libraries in their country. Publishers print an additional 2,000 copies to market and sell commercially.

Distribution of Books to Schools and Community Libraries

As part of making the books accessible to readers, the Ghana Book Trust distributes the titles to schools and community libraries throughout the country. In addition, they will facilitate the use of these materials in schools and the greater community through activities such as authors’ speaking tours, essay writing contexts and radio dramatizations of the titles.

Writers’ Workshops

In addition to supporting the production of excellent literature for youth, the Burt Award helps to develop writers’ skills in Ghana by providing workshops for aspiring and emerging writers. These workshops, held for writers and editors, are designed to address the need to develop writers’ skills in producing fiction specifically for youth.

Contact Information


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Aug 31, 2018

Accra, Ghana and Ottawa, Canada, August 31, 2018 – CODE and the Ghana Book Trust proudly announce the winner, the honour book, and the finalists of the 2018 Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature, which recognizes outstanding writing for young adults by African authors, at an award ceremony at the Ghana International Book Fair in Accra, Ghana. The international jury received a total of 17...

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CALLING ALL EDITORS for the 2018 Remote Editing Mentorship Program

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Are you passionate about the creative process of young adult literature? Are you looking for an opportunity to work alongside African and Caribbean book creators and mentor their creative process? If you answered yes, then this opportunity is for you! CODE is seeking volunteer editors to mentor African and Caribbean authors, editors, and publishers whose manuscripts are eligible to compete in the...

The 2018 Shortlist for the CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature

Aug 02, 2018

Accra, Ghana July 31, 2018 – The Ghana Book Trust (GBT) and CODE are delighted to announce the finalists for the 2018 CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature. This year, Ghana Book Trust received 17 submissions from publishers in Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. The five-member jury made up of publishing and writing professionals from each of the program countries and Canada, met...