James Berry and Lemn Sissay will help to choose the best African children's literary talents to receive cash prizes and publication deals. The Macmillan Writer's Prize for Africa, sponsored by Macmillan Education, is open to writers born in Africa and now living elsewhere, as well as African nationals and naturalised citizens. There are awards for unpublished fiction for two age groups, eight to12 and 13 to 17, and for the most promising unpublished children's writer. A big cheer for the new illustration category, but why is the prize money so far below that offered to writers? Closing date June 30; www.write4africa.com for details.