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Craig Higginson and Terry Westby-Nunn Win the 2011/2012 University of Johannesburg Prizes

Alert! Craig Higginson and Terry Westby-Nunn have been announced as the winners of this year’s University of Johannesburg Creative Writing prizes.

Craig HigginsonThe Landscape PainterThe Sea of Wise InsectsTerry Westby-Nunn

Higginson was awarded the main prize of R65 000 for The Landscape Painter, while Westby-Nunn scooped the UJ Debut Prize of of R25 000 for The Sea of Wise Insects. They were up against some tough competition, as you can see from the shortlists.

Last year’s prizes went to Ivan Vladislavic for Double Negative and Shaida Kazie Ali for Not a Fairytale.

Higginson and Westby-Nunn will receive their awards at a prize-giving ceremony in August. Congratulations to both!

~ ~ ~

Press release:

The University of Johannesburg Prize for South African Writing in English 2011.

The University of Johannesburg is pleased to announce the winners of its annual literary award:

The main prize of R65 000 is awarded to Craig Higginson for The Landscape Painter.

The debut prize of R25 000 is awarded to Terry Westby-Nunn for The Sea of Wise Insects.

A formal prize giving ceremony will be held at a function in August 2012.

Publishers who wish to submit entries for the UJ prize for 2012 should contact Prof Ronit Frenkel (

Background information

The prizes are not linked to a specific genre. This may make the evaluation more challenging 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 is to open the prize to as many forms of creative writing as possible.

Approximately 70 works were submitted this year, from which the following books were selected for the shortlist:


The Lazarus Effect (HJ Golakai)
Onion Tears (Shubnum Khan)
The Sea of Wise Insects (Terry Westby-Nunn)

Main Prize

Home-making for the Down-at-Heart (Finuala Dowling)
Lost Ground (Michiel Heyns)
The Landscape Painter (Craig Higginson)

The adjudication panel comprised the following judges:

Karen Scherzinger (UJ)
Craig MacKenzie (UJ)
Ronit Frenkel (UJ)
Jane Starfield (UJ)
Jane Rosenthal (book critic for the Mail & Guardian)
Betty Govinden (UKZN)
Chris Thurman (Wits)


Book details

Image courtesy USACBI


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    June 8th, 2012 @09:52 #

    Huge congratulations to Craig and Terry.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    June 8th, 2012 @09:55 #


  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Liesl</a>
    June 8th, 2012 @10:54 #

    Brilliant news! Well done, Terry and Craig.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    June 8th, 2012 @12:26 #

    Cartwheel City here in Noordhoek! Ecstatic for Terry, who worked so hard on this, and bore the thousand arrows of editing with great fortitude. Haven't read Craig's book yet, but his Last Summer was exceptionally fine.

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 8th, 2012 @15:13 #

    Hearty congrats to the winners :)


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