Aug 2021 2nd edition

Calling all authors of children’s stories

Written by: Sphelele Ngubane

If you are a writer who has always wanted to have your children’s stories published, you now have an opportunity to do so.

Nal’ibali, a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign to spark children’s potential through storytelling and reading, is calling aspiring and seasoned writers to donate their original children’s stories fImage: Supplied by Nal’ibalior publication.

“The donated stories will help children fall in love with stories and promote and elevate all of our national languages,” says Nal’ibali’s Production and Translation Coordinator Nosiphiwo Sifumba.

“Authors will be acknowledged for their story, whether used on radio or in print,” she adds.

The authors’ work may be written in any of South Africa’s official languages and each story will be translated by the organisation into all other official languages. Those who want to write in a foreign language, may also do so.

“South Africa faces a critical shortage of children’s literature in indigenous languages and Nal’ibali believes it is these stories that motivate and inspire children to learn to read and help them sustain this essential habit,” says Sifumba.

Writers can submit as many stories as they like, however they must never have been submitted for publishing in any other book or to any other publisher. Submissions must be relevant to children between the ages of five and eight.

“We share these stories on radio, in our story book and in newspaper supplements.

“Nal’ibali aims to grow children’s love of stories, rather than teach them educational concepts or content that they learn at school. We want children to link stories to pleasure,” says Sifumba.

Interested authors can read or listen to some of the stories that have already been submitted at

Criteria for submission

If you submit a story in a language other than English, also send a summary of the story in English (maximum 50 to 100 words). You must indicate which language you have used.

Handwritten stories will not be accepted. Each story must be submitted as a separate MS Word document, via email. You must include your full name, contact number and physical address. 

Submitted stories must be between 775 and 900 words. 

Stories can be submitted to Nal’ibali via email:

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