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Mary Corrigall, Jamie McGregor Win Thomas Pringle Awards

Jamie McGregorAlert! The SA English Academy – that recondite NGLO (that’s “Non-Governmental Literary Organisation” for those unaware of this important acronym) – has completed its arcane deliberations over the dizzying array of Thomas Pringle Awards and conjured up two further winners: Mary Corrigall, for reviews, and Jamie McGregor (pictured), for literary articles.

Each gets R2000 to go with the gong. Corrigall and McGregor join David Medalie (short story), Darrel Bristow-Bovey (youth literature), Rustum Kozain (poetry) and Michiel Heyns (translation) in the Academy’s Class of 2007/8 – which has now fully graduated, or so the Academy claims.

You can find samples of Corrigall’s reviews on her blog, Art in Jozi. The Pringle judges said, of her writing, “In her writing she is never dismissive, but strives to understand the ‘why’ of event, art form or cultural display, often penetrating to a layer of intelligibility that would escape a more superficial or judgmental tack. She is reliably perceptive, sensitively responsive, an ‘embedded’ journalist of a particular kind, willing to immerse herself in the experience at hand.”

McGregor won his Pringle for an article called “The Sea, Music and Death: The Shadow of Wagner in Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway“, published in English Studies in Africa, Vol. 49 Number 2. The judges said, “The article breaks new ground in that it shows that the tracing of Wagnerian undercurrents in Woolf’s work has hitherto neglected Mrs Dalloway. The article shows a fine acquaintance with Wagner and with the criticism of Woolf’s work and applies these with passion and illumination to the novel concerned. Naturally, the choice, from a powerful field of contenders, was not easy.”

Finally, here is the complete, unadulterated press release about the English Academy’s awards, which we’re reprinting for those that have already filled out this morning’s Sudoku:

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ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WINNERS OF THE 2008 ENGLISH ACADEMY AWARDS

Mary Corrigall was chosen as the winner of the 2008 Thomas Pringle Award for Reviews for a portfolio of reviews that appeared in the Sunday Independent.

The adjudicators noted that Corrigall is a ‘reliably perceptive, sensitively responsive and an “embedded” journalist of a particular kind, willing to immerse herself in the experience at hand’.

David Medalie’s ‘The Mistress’s Dog’ (published in New Contrast, Vol. 34 No 6, December 2006) was chosen as the winning story for the 2008 Thomas Pringle Award for a Short Story.

The panel felt that David Medalie’s story was deserving of this award because ‘the structure is tight, the tone understated, and the action low-key – all qualities that heighten the emotional situation of the protagonist’.

Jamie McGregor’s ‘“The Sea, Music and Death”: The Shadow of Wagner in Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway’ (published in English Studies in Africa, Vol. 49 No 2, 2006) was the winning article of the 2008 Thomas Pringle Award for a Literary Article.

The committee agreed that ‘the article shows a fine acquaintance with Wagner and with the criticism of Woolf’s work and applies these with passion and illumination to the novel concerned’.

Darrel Bristow-Bovey was chosen as the winner of the 2008 Percy FitzPatrick Prize for Youth Literature, for his novel SuperZero published by Tafelberg in 2006.

The judges were of the opinion that ‘SuperZero is a well-constructed, well- written and consistent novel, which is full of suspense …. The novel avoids clichés and stereotypocal characters and leaves a number of questions unanswered’.

Mary Corrigall and David Medalie would be presented with their awards on 21 March 2009 on the occasion of the English Academy Percy Baneshik Memorial Lecture. Award ceremonies for the other two winners will be held later in the year.

For more information, please contact Naomi Nkealah on 011 717 9339 (on weekdays 09:00-12:00) or at englishacademy@societies.wits.ac.za.

THOMAS PRINGLE AWARDS

The Thomas Pringle Awards are sponsored by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and administered by the English Academy of Southern Africa.

The five categories of the Thomas Pringle Awards, each surveyed by a panel of adjudicators, are:

1) Play, book, film and television reviews in newspapers, and short reviews in magazines:

Considered annually.

Past winners include Shaun de Waal (1997;2001) and Alexander Sudheim (1999).

2) Literary articles or substantial book reviews:

Considered in alternate years (2004 for work published in 2003 and 2002).

Past winners include JM Coetzee (1982;1988) and Njabulo Ndebele (1986).

3) Articles on English in education and the teaching of English:

Considered in alternate years (2005 for work published in 2004 and 2003).

Past winners include Christa van de Walt (1995) and Andre Lemmer (1981).

4) Short stories in periodicals and short plays:

Considered in alternate years (2004 for work published in 2003 and 2002).

Past winners include Nadine Gordimer (1969) and Ivan Vladislavic (1994).

5) Poetry in periodicals:

Considered in alternate years (2005 for work published in 2004 and 2003).

Past winners include Sipho Sepamla (1977) and Tatumkulu Afrika (1991;1993).

OLIVE SCHREINER PRIZE

The Olive Schreiner Prize is sponsored the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and administered by the English Academy of Southern Africa.

The Prize is expressly intended as encouragement for a writer who has produced work of great promise, but cannot yet be regarded as an established novelist, short story writer, poet or playwright. It is awarded for original literary work in English written by a citizen of a Southern African country and published in Southern Africa.

The award is made annually in one of the following three categories (rotating in the order given):

(a) Poetry (2004): A volume of poems.

(b) Drama (2005): Plays of two or more acts (alternatively, two one-act plays) which have been published and/or performed in South Africa by a recognized theatre group or company (amateur or professional). Radio and television plays are also eligible.

(c) Prose (2006): This includes novels, collections of short stories, descriptive sketches and essays, and other forms of prose where the ‘creative’ element carries more weight than purely factual or informative content.

The Prize for a particular year and category is awarded on the basis of works published during the preceding three years. Thus the 1999 Olive Schreiner Prize for Drama was awarded for plays published and/or produced during the years 1996, 1997 and 1998. The entries are surveyed by a panel of adjudicators.

Past winners include Oswald Mtshali (1974), Kelwyn Sole (1989), Zakes Mda (1996;1997) and Antjie Krog (2000).

PERCY FITZPATRICK PRIZE

The Percy FitzPatrick Prize is sponsored by Media Tenor South Africa and is administered by the English Academy of Southern Africa.

The prize is designed to encourage the writing of books for children to attract them to the habit of reading, to give them enjoyment and also to stretch their horizons imaginatively. It is awarded for an original literary work in English published in Southern Africa and written by a person domiciled in Southern Africa at the time of publication.

The prize is awarded in every even-numbered year for work published during the two years preceding that in which the prize is awarded and the winner is chosen by a panel of adjudicators.

Past winners include Elana Bregin (2000) and Patricia Schonstein Pinnock (2002).

SOL PLAATJE PRIZE

The prize is awarded for excellence in translation of a literary text of at least 1 000 words (except in the case of poetry which is, of necessity, exempt from the length criterion) in one of the other official South African languages into English.

The English text must represent a reasonably accurate translation of the original, while standing as a well expressed literary text in and of itself. The translation must have been published in one of the two years preceding that in which entries for the award are invited.

The purpose of the prize is to encourage effective mutual understanding in our multilingual country. The 2007 winner was Michiel Heyns for his translation of Marlene van Niekerk’s novel, Agaat, into English.

Mission of the English Academy of Southern Africa

The English Academy is concerned with all forms and functions of English. It interests itself in English in education, promotes research and debate, organizes lectures, makes representations about language matters, rewards excellence and fosters the creative, critical and scholarly talent of users (and would-be users) of English in Southern Africa.

Membership is open to all persons and organizations identifying with these objectives.

INVITATION FOR ENTRIES FOR ENGLISH ACADEMY AWARDS IN 2009

Olive Schreiner Prize

The Olive Schreiner Prize is presented to honour new talent. It is conferred for excellence in prose, poetry and drama, and devoted to one of these categories each year. In 2009 it will be awarded for PROSE. The English Academy invites entries for the prize from publishers and/or authors who have published novels, short story collections and other descriptive (creative) essays during 2006, 2007 and 2008. More than one entry by the same author may be submitted. Works submitted must have been written by a resident of a Southern African country and published in Southern Africa.

Sol Plaatje Prize for Translation

The prize is awarded for excellence in translation of a literary text of at least 1 000 words (except in the case of poetry) in one of the other official South African languages into English. The English text must represent a reasonably accurate translation of the original, while standing as a well expressed literary text in and of itself. The translation must have been published in 2007 or 2008. One published copy of the original work and one published copy of the translation must be submitted.

Thomas Pringle Awards

The awards are for various achievements, attention being turned to different categories each year. Below are the areas for achievement which will be honoured in 2009:

* Reviews published in newspapers in 2009 (preferrably a portfolio of work)
* Poems published in journals and magazines in 2007 and 2008
* Articles on English Education published in journals in 2007 and 2008.

The English Academy of Southern Africa invites entries for these prizes from authors and editors of journals/newspapers.

Entrants are asked to submit three copies of each entry for all awards (except in the case of the Sol Plaatje Prize) to the Academy’s Administrative Officer at P O Box 124, Wits, 2050. Entries must be received by 31 May 2009. Works submitted will be acknowledged but cannot be returned.

Each winner receives a cash prize and a certificate.

For more information, please contact Naomi Nkealah on 011 717 9339 (weekdays 09:00-12:00) or at englishacademy@societies.wits.ac.za

Photo courtesy Rhodes University

 

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