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Nominations for Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Open

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Every year, more than a hundred nominating bodies all over the world propose candidates for The World’s Largest
Children’s Literature Award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. The nomination process for the 2021 award is now open.

South African individuals who are eligible [click here to view who is eligible for nominations] are welcome to submit a 500-word motivation detailing “Grounds for nomination” (why the organization/individual would be a strong candidate for the ALMA) to IBBY SA at by 5pm on 20 March 2020. The process for submitting nominations for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award through IBBY SA will be over two phases, as follows:

  1. Anyone wishing to nominate will first check that the organization/individual being nominated is eligible [click here to view who is eligible for nominations] and that should they be nominated, they are willing to prepare the documents needed [click here to view the Nomination Form] for submission to the Swedish Arts Council by the 10 May deadline.
  2. Then, a 500-word motivation detailing “Grounds for nomination” (why the organization/individual would be a strong candidate for the ALMA) will be submitted to IBBY SA by 5pm on 20 March 2020.
  3. IBBY SA will review nominations and select the two nominations they consider strongest contenders to put forward for the ALMA, providing feedback on outcome by 2 April 2020.
  4. These two nominees must then complete the required documents for submission and send to IBBY SA by no later than 10 May 2020.
  5. IBBY SA is required to submit these nominations to the Swedish Arts Council by 15 May 2020, via email or online.

Please note that the other nominating bodies in South Africa are: Children’s Literature Research Unit (UNISA), Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA), Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Each nominating body can nominate up to two nominees in their own country, and two from other countries. If you have any questions contact IBBY SA at

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The Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award Winners 2019

National bookseller Exclusive Books has announced the winners of its bi-annual IBBY SA Award, a competition aimed at recognising the best South African children’s book writers and illustrators, and, for the first time, best translator.

The Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award is endorsed by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a non-profit organisation which represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together.

To be considered for the award, the writer, illustrator and translator must be South Africans and the book must be an original work written in any of the official South African languages. The book must also have been published in SA. The winners each receive R10,000 cash.

Congratulations to the winners!

Best Story
Lebohang Masango’s title, Mpumi’s Magic Beads, took the award for Best Writer.

Mpumi’s Magic Beads is a delightful story about friendship, self-esteem, discovery and beautiful hair in the big city of Joburg. It follows the sudden adventures of Mpumi, Asante and Tshiamo as they see the world around them from new heights and realise all of the fun waiting to be discovered outside of their classroom. This story is a great read for the whole family, especially children aged between five and 10.


Best Translation
The superb translation of Maryanne and Shayle Bester’s Elders at the Door, by Xolisa Guzula, won her the prize for Best Translation.

Iinkonde eMnyango, the isiXhosa translation, is a fable which is told across the continent and belongs to all of Africa and its people. Although the setting and characters are quintessentially African, from the rhythms of their speech to the patterns on their clothes, the message is universal.



Best Illustrations
The stunning picture book, South African Animal Portraits A-Z, saw Nicolaas Maritz win the prize for Best Illustrations.

The vivid and charming illustrations allow you to meet the mammals, reptiles, insects and birds which populate the veld, desert, forests and ponds of SA. From the ant-eating aardvark to the zebra spitting cobra, there is a new friend on every page.