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Shortlists for the 2013/2014 University of Johannesburg Prizes for South African Writing in English

 
Alert! More books than usual have made it onto the shortlists for this year’s University of Johannesburg Prizes, signifying the quality of English South African writing published in 2013. The value of the prizes have also increased from R65 000 for the Main Prize to R75 000 and R25 000 for the Debut Prize to R30 000 this year.

Four books have been nominated in the Main Prize category, including Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls, which was also recently shortlisted for the 2014 Sunday Times Fiction Prize. Previous UJ Prize shortlists have consisted of three books, but this year Beukes will compete for the coveted UJ Main Prize with Zakes Mda (Sculptors of Mapungubwe) as well as fellow Books LIVE members Steven Boykey Sidley (Stepping Out) and Rachel Zadok (Sister-sister).

A longer shortlist of four books has also been announced for the Debut Prize, including Dominique Botha’s False River and Claire Robertson’s The Spiral House – both of which are finalists for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize. They are joined on the list by CA Davids (The Blacks of Cape Town) and Perfect Hlongwane (Jozi: A Novel).

The UJ Prizes are awarded to the writers of the “best original creative South African work in English published in the previous calendar year” and are not restricted to a specific genre. Interestingly, though, this year sees eight novels being shortlisted.

The winners will be announced on Friday, 6 June and the prizes will be presented at a gala ceremony later in the year. Best of luck to all the shortlisted authors!

Press release

Some exciting names are on the 2013 shortlist for the UJ Prizes for South African Writing in English. The shortlist has been compiled from approximately 70 submitted works.

The panel of seven adjudicators has agreed on a shortlist of possible winners:

The Shining GirlsThe Sculptors of MapungubweStepping OutSister-Sister

Main Prize

Lauren Beukes, The Shining Girls (Umuzi)
Zakes Mda, The Sculptors of Mapungubwe (Kwela)
Steven Boykey Sidley, Stepping Out (Picador)
Rachel Zadok, Sister Sister (Kwela)

False RiverThe Blacks of Cape TownJoziThe Spiral House

Debut Prize

Dominique Botha, False River (Umuzi)
CA Davids, The Blacks of Cape Town (Modjaji)
Perfect Hlongwane, Jozi: A Novel (UKZN Press)
Claire Robertson, The Spiral House (Umuzi)

The prize winners will be announced on Friday and the prizes will be presented at a gala ceremony later in the year.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

In 2006, the University of Johannesburg instituted two prizes:

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: R75 000
The UJ Debut Prize: R30 000

Requirements:

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

The selection panel

The selection panel comprises 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 2013 prizes the panel was as follows:

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

One member of media industry or writer
Chris Thurman (Wits)

Two academics from other institutions:
Etienne Terblanche (NWU)
Chris Ouma (UCT)

Genre

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.

Ends

Book details

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Image courtesy SA Study

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    June 4th, 2014 @17:20 #
     
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    What happy-making shortlists! Congratulations to all.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.iansutherland.net" rel="nofollow">Ian Sutherland</a>
    Ian Sutherland
    June 20th, 2014 @10:52 #
     
    Top

    Hi Helen, how does one contact you regarding a developmental edit, assuming you have capacity at the moment? Regards, Ian

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    June 20th, 2014 @23:26 #
     
    Top

    Hi Ian, your link is broken, so I can't respond to you privately. Alas, I have no capacity, as you put it. If you're on Facebook, you can message me letting me know what genre you're writing in so I can suggest appropriate alternatives.

    Bottom

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