Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Shortlists for the 2009/2010 University of Johannesburg Prizes for Creative Writing (English)

Kings of the WaterHigh Low In-betweenSmall Moving Parts

Ways of StayingNative NostalgiaSaracen at the GatesSleeper's Wake

U of JAlert! The University of Johannesburg has released its shortlists for this year’s UJ Prizes for Creative Writing (English).

As with last year’s prizes, the main award of R60 000 and the debut prize of R20 000 are open to all South African books published in English. That’s fiction, poetry, non-fiction, the works. Novels dominate this year, comprising each of the main award’s and half of the debut award’s shortlistees. Two works of non-fiction get a look in, however: Kevin Bloom‘s Ways of Staying and Jacob Dlamini’s Native Nostalgia. Honours, meanwhile, are essentially even among the publishers, with Penguin and Jacana just shading their rivals, placing two books each on the lists.

Last year’s winners of the English awards were Damon Galgut (main) and Chris Marnewick (debut). (For interest’s sake, Etienne van Heerden and Loftus Marais won the Afrikaans awards.) Three BOOK SA members are in the running this year: Bloom, Imraan Coovadia and Alistair Morgan.

Without further ado, the shorlists:

Shortlist: University of Jonannesburg Prize for Creative Writing (for books published in 2009) Main Award

Shortlist: University of Johannesburg Prize for Creative Writing (for books published in 2009) Debut Award

Winners will be announced next month. Good luck to all, and especially to BOOK SA members!


Press release from the University of Johannesburg

University of Johannesburg’s prizes for creative writing in English

In 2006, the University of Johannesburg instituted two prizes for Creative Writing in English:

The UJ Prize for the best creative work in English; and
The UJ Prize for the best creative debut work in English.

The value of the prizes is:

The UJ Prize: R60 000
The UJ Debut Prize: R20 000


The UJ Prize is awarded to the writer of the best original creative work in English published in the previous calendar year. The UJ Debut Prize is awarded to the writer of the best original creative debut work in English published in the previous calendar year.

The prize-winners will be announced in May and the prizes awarded later in the year.

The selection panel

The selection panel comprised the following seven members:

Four members of the Department of English, UJ
Two academics from other universities
One member from the media industry or publishing

For the adjudication of the 2008 prizes the panel was as follows:

Four members from the Department of English at the University of Johannesburg
Karen Scherzinger
Craig MacKenzie
Ronit Frenkel
Thabo Tsehloane

One member of media industry or writer
Leon De Kock – Wits Academic (Head of school SLLS) and writer

Two academics from other institutions:
David Medalie (UP, English Dept)
Ashlee Neser (Wits, Wiser)


We decided not to link the prizes to a specific genre. This may make the evaluation more difficult in the sense that, for example, a volume of poetry, a novel and a biographical work must be measured against one another, but the idea was to open the prize to as many forms of creative writing as possible.



Please register or log in to comment