Kingsmead Book Fair & Young Writers’ Competition 2023

Calling all aspiring young writers: KBF ’23 is open for entries

The KBF Young Writers’ Competition ’23

The Book Tree is proud to be running the second KBF Young Writers’ Competition.  Celebrating the talents of young writers across South Africa, the competition is open to school children aged 6 – 18.  Home schooled children can also enter.

The theme this year is Courage, in honour of the school’s 100th birthday.


Courage comes from the French word for ‘heart’. It means to be brave; ‘to be able to face uncertainty without fear; to act in accordance with one’s beliefs and to have the courage of one’s convictions.’ But courage comes in many different forms and it’s not always about being brave. 


“Tell us a story about courage, be it silly or scary, amorous or adventurous, witty or wise.” 

Use the topic of courage as a springboard for your story and let your imagination run wild.  It doesn’t have to be about the literal meaning of courage, play with what the word means to you. We’re looking for original stories, so write the story you’d love to read.  We’re not looking for overly religious or moralistic stories – have fun with it!


There are cash prizes and book vouchers for the winner in each age group plus written feedback on the piece submitted. In addition, the winning entries will be published in an eBook anthology of children’s stories on the Kingsmead Book Fair website. A selection of runner up stories will also appear here.  See last year’s entries for inspiration.

Enter Here!

Entries can be found here.

We can’t wait to receive all your entries – remember the deadline is 31 March at 20H00.  Don’t leave it until the last minute to enter! Winners will be announced at the Kingsmead Book Fair on 27 May.

Need some tips on writing? We’ve got you covered – look at our tips here.

Diarise this date: Kingsmead Book Fair 27 May 2023

The Kingsmead Book Fair (KBF) will be held on Saturday 27 May at Kingsmead College, Rosebank, Johannesburg. This is the 12th year of the festival and it’s a much loved event on South Africa’s literary calendar, for authors and readers alike.

The Children’s and Young Adults Programme

The children’s and teen programme has grown phenomenally, offering the ideal setting to introduce young readers to the authors of their favourite books.  We celebrate all things books. We also run interesting panel discussions around various literary, world and topical interest issues. Over the years we’ve had some of the best-loved writers as well as exciting new talent attend the fair, sharing their books and creating a love of reading.  We have an amazing line up in 2023 with favourites like Refiloe Moahlotsi and Alex Latimer to new talent like animation artist Kabelo Maaka from Cabblow Studios, Nonikiwe Moshalogo and Maya Wegerif (Sho Madjozi).  Don’t miss out! Look out for the programme and booking announcement here.

Literacy Outreach 

The Kingsmead Book Fair, in partnership with our sponsors, is committed to the promotion of literacy and to encouraging a love of learning; connecting all age groups and cultures in the community. Our vision is to showcase the talents of international and South African authors through book readings, author panels and stimulating workshops.

Some of our community initiatives include a book drive to collect gently loved books as well as tickets given to children from disadvantaged schools without access or means to attend the fair.

All proceeds from the event go towards the Kingsmead Trust, which enables around 20 bright young women to receive an excellent education at the school. The bursaries constitute 100% of their school fees, uniforms, daily lunch and tour subsidies.

Get in touch

We’d love to hear from you!

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