All the winners of the GBAS Book Cover Design Awards 2021

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The winner for best cover design of a non-fiction work is African Europeans by Olivette Otele (Jacana), designed by Russell Stark.
The winner for best cover design of a non-fiction work is African Europeans by Olivette Otele (Jacana), designed by Russell Stark.

The Good Book Appreciation Society (GBAS), a Facebook group that has won a large following of book-lovers, has concluded its prizes for book-cover design and announced the winners.

The winner for best cover design of a non-fiction work is African Europeans by Olivette Otele (Jacana), designed by Russell Stark. The fiction winner is Junx by Tshidiso Moletsane (Umuzi), designed by Fahiema Hallam.

Midway through the competition, GBAS announced that Fine Music Radio had agreed to sponsor a prize for the best cover of a poetry volume. The FMR Poetry Award ultimately went to Years of Fire and Ash (Jonathan Ball), designed by Michiel Botha.

The late Botha was a much-acclaimed designer of South African book covers, over decades. GBAS decided, as the competition neared a conclusion, that it would institute “the Michiel Botha Honorary Special Mention, to pay tribute to a great South African cover designer who passed away earlier this year”.

Organiser Paige Nick said the “category was never planned” but that “the cover for Vier Susters by Gerda Taljaard, really stood out to us and moved us greatly, and we wanted to honour it in some small way, and so creating a special mention in Michiel's name felt like a great way to honour both his legacy of work and this phenomenal piece of book fine-art and design.”

Vier Susters is published by Penguin and the cover was designed by Russell Stark – his second win in this competition.

GBAS Book Cover Design Awards 2021
The winners of the GBAS Book Cover Design Awards 2021. (Supplied)

The Africa Book and Design Festival also came on board, and gave a prize for illustration excellence. So the ABDF Award for Illustration Excellence went to Wayfarers’ Hymns by Zakes Mda (Umuzi), designed by Gretchen Van Der Byl.

Then there was a Readers’ Choice Award, which entailed voting by members of the Facebook group for any of the titles offered. The winner was Glass House by Chinenye Emezie (Penguin), designed by Georgia Demertzis.

The GBAS Book Cover Design Awards have been well received; they obviously fill a gap, because no such award has been given in South African publishing before. They will continue next year.

Vier Susters
Vier Susters.
The cover of Chinenye Emezie’s book Glass House
Chinenye Emezie’s Glass House. (Supplied)

The full shortlists in each category were: 

Fiction:

• Verkleurmannetjie by Francois Bloemhof (LAPA); designer: Casper Schutte

• Disruption by Short Story Day Africa (Short Story Day Africa); designer: Megan Ross

• Glass House by Chinenye Emezie (Penguin); designer: Georgia Demertzis

• Junx by Tshidiso Moletsane (Umuzi); designer: Fahiema Hallam

• Know my Name by Refiloe Moahloli (Pan Macmillan); designer: Katlego Keokgale

• Ancestral by Charlie Human(Penguin); designer: Sonwabo Valashiya

• Being Dianne by Qarnita Loxton (Kwela); designer: Russell Stark

• You Are Loved by Refiloe Moahloli (Pan Macmillan); designer: Zinelda McDonald

• Women out of Water by Sally Cranswick (Modjaji); designer: Jesse Breytenbach

• Rio Abajo Rio by Barbara Grenfell Fairhead (Modjaji); designer: Trilby Krepelka

Junx
Junx.

Non-fiction:

• African Europeans by Olivette Otele (Jacana Media); designer: Russell Stark

• To the Wolves by Caryn Dolley (Maverick 451); designer: Sean Robertson

• Black Consciousness: A Love Story by Hlumelo Biko (Jonathan Ball); designer: Sean Robertson

• Sol Plaatje’s Mhudi (new edition) by Sabata-mpho Mokae (Jacana); designer: Russell Stark

• Slabbert by Albert Grundlingh (Jonathan Ball); designer: Michiel Botha

• 1986 by William Dicey (Umuzi); designer: Michiel Botha

• When Secrets Become Stories, edited by Sue Nyathi (Jonathan Ball); designer: Sean Robertson

• How I Accidentally Became a Global Stock Photo by Shubnum Khan (Pan Macmillan); designer: Ayanda Phasha

• The Poisoners by Imraan Coovadia (Umuzi); Marius Roux

The winner for best cover design of a non-fiction
The winner for best cover design of a non-fiction work is African Europeans by Olivette Otele (Jacana), designed by Russell Stark.

FMR Poetry Award:

• Disteltyd by Marlise Joubert (Protea Boekhuis); designer: Annemart Swanepoel

• Beat Routes by Justin Fox (Karavan); designer: Stephen Symons

• Klinkklaar by Daniel Hugo (Protea Boekhuis); designer: Annemart Swanepoel

• Yellow Shade by Dimakatso Sedite (Deep South); designer: Gugulethu Mtumane

• Years of Fire and Ash edited by Wamuwi Mbao (Jonathan Ball); designer: Michiel Botha

• Transcontinental Delay by Simon Van Schalkwyk (Dryad Press); designer: Stephen Symons

• After Troy by Taban lo Liyong (Deep South); designer: Nonkosi Montrose

Years of Fire and Ash.
Years of Fire and Ash.

The Africa Book & Design Festival Award for Excellence in Illustration:

• Isle by Claire Robertson (Umuzi); designer: Marius Roux

• Yellow Shade by Dimakatso Sedite (Deep South); designer: Gugulethu Mtumane

• The White People by Michael Harmel (Jacana); designer: Trevor Paul

• Verkleurmannetjie by Francois Bloemhof (LAPA); designer: Casper Schutte

• Wayfarers’ Hymns by Zakes Mda (Umuzi); designer: Gretchen van der Byl

• The Lost Language of the Soul by Mandla Langa (Picador Africa); designer: Ayanda Phasha

• Mad Honey by SJ Naudé (Umuzi); designer: Marius Roux

• Skerwe by Sally Partridge (LAPA); designer: Megan Bird

Wayfarers’ Hymns by Zakes Mda
Wayfarers’ Hymns by Zakes Mda.


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