Local Coordinating Organization

The CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature – Tanzania is coordinated by the Children’s Book Project (CBP), a Tanzanian, award-winning literacy organization. CODE has been working with CBP for over 25 years to support literacy development programming in primary schools in Tanzania.

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 African publishing industry and the development of African literature.
  • To increase the stock of English readers in established school libraries and other libraries.

Youth literature in Tanzania

Tanzania 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 available for youth to build and reinforce their literacy skills, and foster interest in reading.

As one Tanzanian author stated: “The Burt Award is long awaited. It came at the time when most English novel writers have despaired and have stopped writing because our books don’t sell.Now that we have an impetus to write, we will write.” - Dr Martha Mvungi

Jurying Manuscripts

Six professionals are involved in judging submissions. Among them are four Tanzanians, one Ugandan and one Canadian. The jury members are carefully selected on the basis of their knowledge and expertise in literature, linguistics, publishing and writing.Manuscripts submitted by publishers are evaluated and judged on an individual basis. A week-long deliberation process takes place each year during which time the jury meets to determine winning submissions.

The Canadian jury member, Hadley Dyer, was selected by IBBY Canada to join the Tanzanian Burt Award jury. In addition to judging manuscripts, Hadley is helping to develop writers’ skills in Tanzania by co-facilitating writers’ workshops for aspiring writers and editors of fiction for youth, in English.

Writers’ Workshops

The Burt Award helps to develop writers’ skills in Tanzania by offering writers’ workshops. These workshops, held for aspiring writers and editors, are designed to address the need to build up writers’ skills in producing fiction specifically for youth, but also writing in English.

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. In addition, publishers print an additional 2,000 copies to market and sell commercially.

Distribution of Books to Schools and Community Libraries

The Children’s Book Project will distribute the titles to more than 150 schools and community libraries throughout the country. Publishers and the Children’s Book Project will facilitate the use of these materials in schools and the greater community through activities such as the radio and live dramatizations of the titles and essay-writing contests in schools.


Children’s Book Project for Tanzania
Children’s Book Project for Tanzania
(255) 22 2760750

Burt Award for African Literature – Tanzania

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