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M-Net Literary Awards Suspended Indefinitely

Alert! The prestigious M-Net Literary Awards are no more. Hettie Scholtz, convener of the Awards, sent out a letter yesterday, relaying the news.

The M-Net Literary Awards were open to submissions in all the official languages of South Africa, with prize money of R50 000 per category. There will be no M-Net Literary Awards in 2014, Scholtz said.

Onse vadersThe Institute for Taxi PoetryGa Ke ModisaThe Book of War

This follows after Naspers also culled newspaper supplements My Tyd and By, two publications that did much to promote South African literature.

According Scholtz’s letter, M-Net is re-evaluating its corporate projects, but wants to continue investing in “all nature of stories”. M-Net are expected to make a statement about their decision today.

The M-Net Literary Awards were won last year by Imraan Coovadia for The Institute for Taxi Poetry (English), Ingrid Winterbach for Die aanspraak van lewende wesens (Afrikaans), Matthew Jabulani Mngadi for Bayeza Abanqobi (African languages), Sabata-mpho Mokae for Ga Ke Modisa (Setswana), July Innocent Mtsweni for Inzinto Zyaphenduka (Ndebele), NM Mphaphuli for Mbofho dza Malofha (Tshivenda). The debut prize, which was awarded for the first time last year, went to James Whyle for The Book of War. The film category was shared by Sabata-mpho Mokae and Karin Brynard for Onse Vaders.

Brynard and other writers expressed their disappointment about the move on Twitter:

Hettie Scholtz, sameroeper van die M-Net Literêre Toekennings, het vandag ’n brief aan Suid-Afrikaanse uitgewers gestuur waarin sy hulle meedeel dat M-Net besluit om die M-Net Literêre Toekennings na 22 jaar op te skort. Daar sal geen literêre toekennings wees in 2014 nie.

JOHANNESBURG. – Vir die eerste keer in omtrent twee dekades gaan M-Net vanjaar nie literêre toekennings doen nie.

Uitgewers het dié nuus gister uit ’n brief van Hettie Scholtz, sameroeper van die M-Net- literêre toekennings, verneem. Scholtz het gesê daar was heelwat navrae (oor die sperdatum) en sy was genoop om te reageer.

What do you think of the M-Net Awards suspension? Let us know on Facebook here!

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Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    February 6th, 2014 @09:15 #

    A stunning development - very bad news for SA Lit indeed.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    February 6th, 2014 @19:09 #

    You should speak to Frederik de Jager, he wrote a lovely post on FB re Hettie Scholz, who was the moving force behind the awards. See what he says.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    February 7th, 2014 @21:45 #

    Very bad news indeed. One of the only prizes for writing in all official languages. *sad face*


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