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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

2017 Caine Prize for African Writing judging panel announced

2016 Caine Prize for African Writing judging panel announced


The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other StoriesLusaka Punk and Other StoriesThe Gonjon Pin and Other Stories10 Years of the Caine Prize for African WritingA Memory This Size and Other StoriesThe Caine Prize Anthology 2009: Work in Progress and Other Stories

Alert! The five judges for the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing were announced in London recently.

The Caine Prize is awarded for a short story by an African writer published in English. Previous winners include Zambian author Namwali Serpell, Sudan’s Leila Aboulela, Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina, South African Henrietta Rose-Innes and Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo. This year’s winner was South African author Lidudumalingani for his story, “Memories We Lost”.

Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley, Chair of the 2016 judging panel, said the following about Lidudumalingani’s winning story: “This is a troubling piece, depicting the great love between two young siblings in a beautifully drawn Eastern Cape. Multi-layered, and gracefully narrated, this short story leaves the reader full of sympathy and wonder at the plight of its protagonists.”

The 2017 judging panel will be chaired by award-winning author, poet and editor Nii Ayikwei Parkes. The panel will consist of the 2007 Caine Prize winner Monica Arac de Nyeko, Professor Ricardo Ortiz, author and human rights activist Ghazi Gheblawi and Dr Ranka Primorac.

Parkes said he is “ecstatic” to have been asked to chair the panel and to work with “this incredible assembly of judges”. “I have been a consumer of fiction from Africa for close to four decades, revelling in its range, its humour, its insights and dynamic linguistic palette,” he said.

Parkes added: “There is, of course, the selfish pleasure, as an editor, of getting a first look at some of the finest writing coming from the continent and its foreign branches.”

Press release:

The Caine Prize for African Writing has announced the five judges for the 2017 Prize. The panel will be chaired by Nii Ayikwei Parkes, award-winning author, poet and editor. He will be joined by the 2007 Caine Prize winner, Monica Arac de Nyeko; accomplished author and Chair of the English Department at Georgetown University, Professor Ricardo Ortiz; Libyan author and human rights campaigner, Ghazi Gheblawi; and distinguished African literary scholar, Dr Ranka Primorac.

The 2017 Chair of Judges, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, said: “I have been a consumer of fiction from Africa for close to four decades, revelling in its range, its humour, its insights and dynamic linguistic palette. So, I am ecstatic to be asked to chair the panel for this year’s Caine Prize and look forward to working with this incredible assembly of judges. There is, of course, the selfish pleasure, as an editor, of getting a first look at some of the finest writing coming from the continent and its foreign branches.”

The deadline for submissions to the 2017 Caine Prize is 31 January, 2017. Publishers are encouraged to submit qualifying stories in good time. Submissions are welcome year round and late submissions will be entered into the competition for the following year.

The judging panel will meet in May to determine which entries will make the shortlist. An announcement confirming the shortlist will be made in mid-May.

For the first time in the 18-year history of the Caine Prize, the award will be announced on Monday, 3 July, at Senate House, London, in collaboration with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), which is celebrating its centenary.

“Memories We Lost” by South African author Lidudumalingani won the 2016 Prize and is included in the Caine Prize 2016 anthology, The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things, published by New Internationalist in the UK and supplied as a print-ready PDF to several African co-publishers.

Commenting on “Memories We Lost”, Chair of the 2016 judging panel, Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley, said: “This is a troubling piece, depicting the great love between two young siblings in a beautifully drawn Eastern Cape. Multi-layered, and gracefully narrated, this short story leaves the reader full of sympathy and wonder at the plight of its protagonists.”


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  • The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other Stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2016 by Caine Prize
    EAN: 9781566560160
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Abubakar Adam Ibrahim awarded $100,000 Nigeria Prize for Literature in glittering ceremony

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim awarded $100,000 Nigeria Literature Prize in glittering ceremony

Season of Crimson BlossomsAbubakar Adam Ibrahim: The man, his dreams and prize

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, who emerged from Nigeria’s generation of “intellectual terrorists”, recently won the Nigeria Prize for Literature. The award ceremony in Abuja was nothing short of grand – Michael Jimoh was there

Soon after the Swedish Academy delighted Nigerians with news that Wole Soyinka had won the Nobel Prize in Literature in October 1986, a national tragedy followed to dampen whatever excitement there was to savour of that historic feat. Dele Giwa, a stylish journalist and one of the founding editors of Newswatch, was letter-bombed. His demise, Soyinka later mourned, turned “the euphoria of the Nobel Prize into ashes in our mouths”.

When Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, winner of the 2016 edition of the Nigeria Prize for Literature, met and spoke with the press on Friday, November 25 in a clinically-clean, modest meeting room at the Protea Hotel, Maryland, Lagos, he briefly experienced the same emotional low as his senior colleague 30 years ago. His father, the one person he would have wished to be around to share this one unique moment with him, had died eight months before. In recounting it, Ibrahim’s voice became understandably low, his mien more pensive; a few journalistic heads drooped on shoulders, an expression of collective grief shown to individuals in moments of distress.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim awarded $100,000 Nigeria Literature Prize in glittering ceremony


But four days later, on Tuesday, November 29, this time in Abuja, at the NAF Conference Centre in Kado, part of the Federal Capital Territory, there was no such emotion. Instead, there was celebration, celebration and recognition of an achiever. It was a mood of unpunctuated happiness from the moment MC Richmond Osuji took up the microphone to start off the public presentation of the award to Ibrahim mid-morning. The location was ideal, a quiet and easily accessible part of Abuja, with ample parking and uniformed security on guard from start to finish. The decorated tables with real white roses could have made anyone conclude that a wedding reception was about to begin.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim awarded $100,000 Nigeria Literature Prize in glittering ceremony


Indeed, there was a union – not of man and woman, but of business and literature. And the result of that joint effort was evident before all by way of large posters in the lobby and in the hall: A medium shot of Ibrahim welcomed guests, his winning novel, Season of Crimson Blossoms, published by Lagos-based Parresia Publishers, beside him with the sponsor’s logo, a stylised NLNG, in smaller letters at the top.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim awarded $100,000 Nigeria Literature Prize in glittering ceremony


Season of Crimson Blossoms is Ibrahim’s first novel and won the gas company’s $100,000 prize easily, trouncing 171 other entries by Nigerian authors home and abroad. In its tradition, NLNG had come all the way from Port Harcourt to honour the laureate publicly at a venue of his own choosing.

Though he was schooled and once lived in Jos, Ibrahim has resided and worked in Abuja these past years, where he is Arts Editor of Daily Trust. Fortyish with a contemplative look reminding one of F Scott Fitzgerald’s brooding visage in one of his rare sober moments, Ibrahim has said that nothing took him to writing, “I grew into it. The only thing that came naturally to me, almost as natural as breathing, was writing.”

From that first love, the Mass Communication graduate from the University of Jos has never looked back. A collection of short stories and a novel later, Ibrahim has, in the words of an acquaintance, “consistently developed himself”.

At various times an electrician and a football wannabe, he never deviated from his avowed métier. If anything, he has lived the dream of writing, thus bringing to reality what the incomparable Frenchman of American history, Henry David Thoreau, once said of dreams. “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined,” Thoreau mused centuries ago, “he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

The gathering of literati, diplomats, company execs, politicians and common folk in Abuja that Tuesday morning confirmed Ibrahim’s “success unexpected in common hours”.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim awarded $100,000 Nigeria Literature Prize in glittering ceremony


The ceremony was scheduled to begin at 10pm, but the capacious hall was packed to the rafters in no time, and late arrivals had only standing space. After a mandatory frisk by security at the entrance, guests arrived in pairs and in groups or alone, filled the chairs, most of the women in hijab setting off their well-defined faces, the men in babban riga with caps caved in on one side. Female children with beaded hair and lale-designed hands complemented the northern ambience of the event.

“This is the first time a writer from northern Nigeria is winning the prize,” a longtime resident of Abuja, and president of Association of Nigerian Authors, Denja Abdullahi told me. To Abdullahi, therefore, Ibrahim’s prize is “an affirmation of so many writers in the north who have been writing without the opportunity of promotion.”

Abdullahi’s veiled comment alludes to the fact that writers in the north get far less traction than their southern counterparts whose proximity to Lagos, culture capital of Nigeria, gives them more exposure and publicity. However, the presentation more than made up for whatever publicity mileage Ibrahim may have been denied in the press. It was the most attended and most high profile literary event in recent memory in the Federal Capital Territory.

The MD of NLNG, Tony Attah, led a retinue of senior staff, including Dr Kudo Eresia-Eke, the GM External Relations. Dr Bola Afolabi, Group General Manager of the gas company, represented the GMD of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru. The British High Commissioner, Peter Arkwright, sat all through the event, just as two diplomats from the US and Spain did. Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed filled in for the Federal Government, calling Ibrahim “my friend” several times even though he may only have heard of him days before. It helped no more when, in his well-delivered acceptance speech, the laureate swiped at the Federal Government, declaring that “no civilisation or people achieve anything without imagination. The dire state of the Nigerian nation is a testament to this fact. We are not only conditioned to abhor imagination and creativity but to stifle it.”

Ibrahim’s creative spirit was momentarily stifled some time in Jos where, after a sectarian clash in 2008, his house was razed – along with all his books. Despite that, his dedication to writing only got stronger. “He is particular about his craft,” Mallam Denja Abdullahi recalls of the author.

The president of the writers’ body insists he is not surprised Ibrahim won the most prestigious literary award in Africa. Equally not taken unawares is the laureate’s younger sibling, Abdulkadri Adam Ibrahim.

Anyone could easily mistake him for the writer, the same visage and height, and even build. Abdulkadri has followed his sibling’s writing career closely, right from the beginning. “I wouldn’t say this is a surprise because he has been winning other competitions before. I had my fingers crossed that he was going to win and when it came, I wasn’t surprised.”

The winning entry itself, Season of Crimson Blues, published by Parresia Books under the competent headship of Azafi Omoluabi-Ogosi and Richard Ali, is a riveting love tango between a notorious, dope-dealing, hard-eyed criminal, Hassan “Reza” Babale, and a middle-aged widow, Hajiya Binta Zubairu. Though these two dominate the story, others come alive with the realism of Flaubertian characters. Mallam Haruna, a comical figure dying of suffocating jealousy, is one.

He it was, burdened by unrequited love, who hastened to Munkaila, son of Binta, with gossip about his mother’s fornication with a loathed neighbourhood crook. From then on, nothing could avert the tragedy that wound around Binta’s family like a soiled turban.

Ibrahim has a mastery of language and he deploys it expertly. In one scene, the author describes Reza and Binta, spent after making love: “the lovers lay on the bed watching the ceiling fan turning, slicing the air like an indolent scythe”. In another passage, we read of “memories eddying in little swirls around” Binta’s mind.

Season of Crimson Blossoms comes across as one of those ancient oriental tales by moonlight, complete with djinns, fragrances, incense and perfumes, sometimes used to cover up the “objectionable stench of fornication clinging” to the long-suffering widow.

It is not for nothing that the panel of judges wowed with deserved praise for Ibrahim’s novel. By a unanimous decision, they plumped for Ibrahim’s gripping tale of romance and tragedy.

“The novel moves from its evocative and passionate first sentence,” the Professor Dan Izebvaye-led panel of adjudicators commented, “through a web of anxious moments to a tragic and painful conclusion with hardly a moment of respite”.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim awarded $100,000 Nigeria Literature Prize in glittering ceremony


Ibrahim comes from a generation of writers who senior journalist and writer Uzor Maxim Uzoatu classifies as “intellectual terrorists”. All of them are graduates of the University of Jos or have association with the city of Jos – the Helon Habilas, Obi Nwakanmas, Tony Kans, Dave Njokus, Richard Alis and others. So formidable is their intellectual prowess, it is said, that a UJ grad is almost always likely to win in a literary competition in Nigeria. At one time in a national poetry competition in the same year, Habila and Kan came first and third respectively.

Now teaching at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, Habila was the first Nigerian to win the Caine Prize for African Fiction, after Aboulela, a Sudanese writer and the first African to be so honoured. Ibrahim himself has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize. He has won the BBC African Performance Prize as well as the Amatu Braide Prize for Prose. And now, the Nigeria Prize for Literature.

Tony Attah put it aptly for both the winner and the sponsoring company in his speech as the number one man in the NLNG gas company. “With respect to the prize, wherever possible, it has been the tradition to celebrate the winner of the Nigeria Prize for Literature in the author’s homestead. By so doing, we believe that we bring the celebration to the people who contributed to making this author, to those who helped shape the experiences and personality of the winner, and to the place where his creativity was fueled. In addition to that, how best could we give today’s celebration its peculiar flavour other than to have it with family and friends of both the winner and Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas.”

The highlight of the presentation came much later, when Kudo Eresia-Eke asked to recognise the mother of the author. As she stood up, wearing a brown hijab, Ibrahim strolled dramatically from the stage for a long embrace with his mother. The ovation was loudest at this time. His wife also got an ovation, the woman who stood by the author all the way through.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim awarded $100,000 Nigeria Literature Prize in glittering ceremony


For every seated guest, young and old, man and woman, literate or not, there was a copy of Ibrahim’s novel gifted by the gas company as a gift, some with Ibrahim’s autograph. Giving out copies of winning entries is a long-standing tradition of NLNG. At a similar reception two years ago in Lagos, Tade Ipadeola’s poem, The Sahara Testaments, was passed out freely to guests.

The reason, according to Eresia-Eke, is for educational purposes. “For anyone serious about building people, whether ordinary individuals or communities or nations, the most important gift is education because it is what makes the individual, he becomes master of his own destiny … education is extremely important to us because a people denied education is a people denied all rights.”

Michael Jimoh is a Nigerian journalist living in Lagos. He has worked with some of the major newspapers in Nigeria but now freelances.

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Winners of the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction announced

Winners of the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction announced
WaterTerra IncognitaFeast, Famine and Potluck

Alert! “A Door Ajar” by Sibongile Fisher has won the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction.

TJ Benson is first runner-up for his story “Tea”, and Megan Ross is second runner-up for “Farang”.

Winners of the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction announced


The R10 000 Short Story Day Africa Prize – the continent’s most prestigious prize for an original piece of short fiction – is awarded annually to an African writer or African person living in the diaspora.

Previous winners of the prize are Okwiri Oduor from Kenya for “My Father’s Head” (2013), which went on to win the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing, Diane Awerbuck for “Leatherman” (2014) and Cat Hellisen for “The Worme Bridge” (2015).

Read more from Short Story Day Africa:

She grabbed the wailing infant and threw it against the wall.

“A Door Ajar” by Sibongile Fisher has won the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction. Fisher’s story, which centers around two sisters trying to escape a gruesome family custom, explores the conflict between tradition and modernity. The raw energy of the writing impressed the judging panel, who were unanimous in their decision. It is the fourth speculative short story written by a woman to scoop the R10 000 prize, which was first won in 2013 by Kenyan Okwiri Oduor, who went on to win the following year’s Caine Prize for African Writing.

She is Tiv and knows no English.

“Tea”, TJ Benson’s love story in the time of exploitation, is first runner-up. Benson uses the relationship between a Nigerian girl and a German boy, who are thrown together in the worst of circumstances, to investigate what makes us different, and whether it is more important than what makes us the same.

A cross the road from my childhood home is a stretch of ordinary

“Farang” by Megan Ross is second runner-up. Ross uses her considered prose to tell a story about the end of naivety, exoticism and otherness. Set in Thailand, “Farang” is part travelogue, part coming-of-age tale, and beautifully encapsulates the awkward space one occupies in being an outsider in another country.

The judging panel, chaired by Sindiwe Magona, called the longlist of 21 stories “outstanding”, adding that all the stories deserve to be published.

The Prize, started in 2012, is worth R10 000, with second and third place cash prizes of R2 000 and R1 000 respectively. The 21 longlisted stories are collected in Migrations: New Short Fiction from Africa, edited by Efemia Chela, Bongani Kona and Helen Moffett, due for release in January 2017.

Many thanks to the judges, Sindiwe Magona, HJ Golakai and Tendai Huchu for their time and consideration; prize sponsors Generation Africa, the Miles Morland Foundation and Books LIVE; volunteer readers across the globe who helped us sort through the entries; our publishing partners and advisors, New Internationalist and Modjaji Books; Worldreader for sponsoring the editing mentorship; and all our project sponsors, a full list of whom are available on our sponsor page.

Last, but not least, many thanks to the Short Story Day Africa board and team.


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2016 Morland Writing Scholarship shortlist announced

The Gonjon Pin and Other StoriesFeast, Famine and PotluckIncredible JourneyStationsThe Myth of This Is That We're All in This TogetherThe Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other Stories
Mr. and Mrs. DoctorSeason of Crimson BlossomsSaturday's ShadowsReading the Ceiling


Alert! The Miles Morland Foundation has announced the shortlist for the 2016 Morland Writing Scholarships.

There are four South Africans on the shortlist this year: Amy Heydenrych, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, Nick Mulgrew and Bryony Rheam.

Of the 22 names, 11 are from Nigeria, four from South Africa, two each from Somalia and Kenya, and one each from Gambia, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.

There are two Caine Prize winners on the list, 2016 winner Lidudumalingani and 2014 winner Okwiri Oduor.

Lidudumalingani was also awarded the 2015 Short.Sharp.Stories Judges’ Choice Runner-Up Award.

Mulgrew is deputy chair of Short Story Day Africa and the man behind uHlanga Press, and has had a productive 2016, publishing both a collection of short stories and a poetry collection.

Bryony Rheam had a short story featured in Where to Now? Short Stories from Zimbabwe in 2011, and her debut novel This September Sun was published in 2012.

Other published authors on the list include Julie Iromuanya, whose debut Mr. and Mrs. Doctor has just been longlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature; Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, who recently won the $100,000 Nigeria Prize for Literature for his debut, Season of Crimson Blossoms; Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of Saturday’s Shadows, who was also shortlisted last year; and Dayo Forster, whose debut Reading the Ceiling was published in 2008.

Miles Morland says: “The standard of the shortlist is always high but this year we had an even greater depth of talent than before, making the choosing of a shortlist particularly difficult.

“We had over 500 entries, up from 385 last year and they came from 37 countries, compared with 27 last year. We have two Caine Prize winners on it, and a number of writers who have received global recognition. We are pleased also to have writers early in their career who show terrific promise.

“We have been blown away by the talent, imagination, energy, and humour that characterises African writing. Our only disappointment is that, although we had a number of non-fiction submissions, only one made it to the short list. We are actively trying to encourage non-fiction, Africans telling Africa’s story.”

This year’s judging panel is Ellah Wakatama Allfrey (Zimbabwe, chair), Femi Terry (Sierra Leone) and Muthoni Garland (Kenya). The judges will meet on 12 December to select the five 2016 scholars. The winners’ names will be announced shortly afterwards.

The scholars each receive £18,000 (about R310,000), paid over the course of a year, to allow them to take time off to write the book they have proposed.

2016 Morland Writing Scholarships shortlist

Abdul Adan – Somalia
Jekwu Anyaegbuna – Nigeria
Ayesha Harruna Attah – Ghana
Rotimi Babatunde – Nigeria
Dayo Forster – Gambia
Amy Heydenrych – South Africa
Abubakar Ibrahim – Nigeria
Nneoma Ike-Njoku – Nigeria
Julie Iromuanya – Nigeria
Hamse Ismail – Somalia
William Ifeanyi Moore – Nigeria
Lidudumalingani Mqombothi – South Africa
Nick Mulgrew – South Africa
Otosirieze Obi-Young – Nigeria
Okwiri Oduor – Kenya
Adeola Oeyemi – Nigeria
Olawale Olayemi – Nigeria
Troy Onyango – Kenya
Mary Ononokpono – Nigeria
Koye Oyedeji – Nigeria
Bryony Rheam – South Africa
Sandisile Tshuma – Zimbabwe

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Call for entries: University of Johannesburg Prize for South African Writing in English

The Dream HouseSigns for an ExhibitionHunger Eats a ManRachel’s BlueThe Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself

The University of Johannesburg Prize for South African Writing in English is now open for the submission of works published in 2016.

The prize is open to works in any genre, in two categories: “main” and “debut”.

Entries close on 30 November, 2016.

See the press release for more details:

Please send your submissions (5 copies of each) to us by 30 November 2016. Second (and last date) for submission: 30 January 2017.

Works may be submitted in either or both of these categories:

  • UJ prize for South African Writing in English; and
  • UJ debut prize for South African Writing in English.

The value of the prizes is:

  • UJ Prize: R75 000
  • UJ Debut Prize: R30 000

The selection panel

The selection panel comprises the following five members:

  • Three members of the Department of English, UJ
  • Two academics from other universities; or one academic from another university and one member from the media industry or publishing


We do not 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 our intention is to open the prize to as many forms of writing as possible.
Please send all submissions to Mrs Nicole Moore at the address listed below:

  • By courier:

Nicole Moore
University of Johannesburg
English Dept
B-Ring 721
Kingsway Road
Auckland Park

  • By mail:

Nicole Moore
University of Johannesburg
English Dept
PO Box 526
Auckland Park 2006

Phone: 011-559-2063
Enquiries: Nicole Moore (


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By mail:

Nicole Moore
University of Johannesburg
English Dept
PO Box 526
Auckland Park 2006

Phone: 011-559-2063
Enquiries: Nicole Moore (


Related stories:

Book details

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2 South African authors win the 2016 Golden Baobab Prizes for African children’s books

2016 Golden Baobab Prize winners and shortlist announced

Alert! Golden Baobab has announced the winners of the 7th edition of the Golden Baobab Prize.

Established in July 2008, the Golden Baobab Prize is often referred to as the “African Newbery Prize”, and is a prestigious award in the African children’s literature industry. Its aim is to support the development of children’s books by African writers and illustrators.

2016 Golden Baobab Prize winners and shortlist announced

The Prize invites entries of unpublished stories and illustrations created by African citizens irrespective of age, race, or country of origin. The Prize is organized by Golden Baobab, a Ghana-based pan-African NGO dedicated to “creating a world filled with wonder and possibilities for children, one African story at a time”.

The organisation’s advisory board includes renowned authors Ama Ata Aidoo and Maya Ajmera.

The Golden Baobab Prize received over 150 stories from 11 African countries this year. Submissions were judged by a jury from diverse backgrounds who brought nearly 100 years of collective experience in children’s literature to the selection of the 2016 winners and finalists.

The winning stories of the 2016 Golden Baobab Prize are:

  • Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books: The Ama-zings! by Lori-Ann Preston (South Africa)
  • Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books: Kita and the Red, Dusty Road by Vennessa Scholtz (South Africa)

The winner of each Golden Baobab Prize receives a cash prize of US$5,000 (about R70,300) and a guaranteed publishing contract.

Those shortlisted were:

2016 Golden Baobab Prize winners and shortlist announced

The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books

  • Maya and the Finish Line by Ayo Oyeku (Nigeria)
  • Lights and Freedom by Khethiwe Mndawe (South Africa)

The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books

  • A Dark Night for Wishes by Kai Tuomi (South Africa)
  • Mr Cocka-Rocka-Roo by Lori-Ann Preston (South Africa)

Golden Baobab Executive Director Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum said:

For the past seven years, The Golden Baobab Prize has focused on delivering a quality annual literature prize that raises awareness about the need for more African literature for children. Now, the Prize is excited to enter a new phase where we will focus heavily on setting up more publishing partnerships and opportunities for our writers to get more African books into the hands of children. For the first time, this year’s winning stories are guaranteed a publishing contract. The longlist also receives publishing services from Golden Baobab that will connect their stories to leading African and international publishers.

Congratulations to the winners – and those shortlisted.

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Read an excerpt from Tammy Baikie’s Dinaane Debut Fiction Award-winning novel, Selling LipService

The 2016 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award and Kraak Writing Grant winners announced


This Fiction Friday, read an excerpt from Tammy Baikie’s “distinctively clever” novel, Selling LipService – the winner of the 2015/16 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award!

Formerly known as the European Union Literary Award, the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award was established in 2004 with the intention of sustaining locally written fiction. The award is open to unpublished English-language fiction manuscripts by debut writers. Last year’s winner was Andrew Miller for Dub Steps, which has just been longlisted for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Baikie is a translator who recently submitted her MA in Creative Writing. She was longlisted for the 2010/2011 Fish International Short Story Contest. Selling LipService will be published by Jacana Media, and is being launched as part of Exclusive Books’s Homebru campaign in June 2017.

Read the excerpt:

“If I was going to create a sort of secret language, why not sell the words to my classmates? That’s not so different to LipService is it? It’s a tried-and-tested business model. I was so proud of myself. There would be words for ordinary things like teachers (shirties) or parents (rent pairs) so they wouldn’t know when we were talking about them and words for things that just deserved to have a single expression, like ‘on an urchin quest’ (from questioner) referring to someone like my Dad who never sounded convinced by their own LipService. I could call my language ‘Wardsback’ because the words were roughly reversed versions of familiar ones and they pushed back at the old meanings the way wearing a woolly jumper back to front tugs at the throat and armpits.

Faith played with her hair for a long time when I told her about the idea and I felt like a piece of CheezPleez left in the sun – dry and curling at the edges and sweaty in the middle. She probably didn’t believe that any of my ideas could be buyonormative. But she couldn’t think of any reason to junk it and she got more and more excited about making money with absolutely no overheads.

I remember the first word I sold was ‘ox parade’ (from paradox) for when a grown-up’s LipService drift seemed to say one thing but you were pretty sure they meant another. Poppy, who smelled of condensed milk, bought it, which was surprising because she was really quiet. I wrote the words and their definitions on old LipService patch backings, folded them up and put them in a jar. The customer stuck a hand in and pulled one out. Faith insisted that we charge a minimal once-off subscription per user over and above the original buyer.

‘Who cares about that?’ I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be lexicool if the other kids used my words? And besides how would we ever keep track of who was allowed to use which words?’

‘That’s the genius of the haemorrhage and LipService, isn’t it? Built-in control. I’ll just have to work on an accounting system,’ replied Faith.

I didn’t know how her head, which was mine, could ever possibly hold all those columns and double entries. But I needed her approval so that I could tell myself that I wasn’t doing anything Selling LipService wrong.

I hadn’t been sure if Poppy liked her word. Until I overheard her best friend whisper to her in a corridor, ‘Ms Marshal put on a real ox parade in there over contrabrand, what was she trying to say?’

‘Oh, who knows? The bull really had her by its horns,’ Poppy replied and they both tittered.

They were using my word! I had my gloves on but I was doused in the shiver and prickle of ginger ale, my skin goosed in a mimicry of the bubbles. There were more buyers every day after that, in fact I had a hard time thinking up enough words for all the kids that crowded around my table at lunch wanting to dip into the ‘gun jar’ (jargon). Some of them were duds but I thought quite a few were really great, like ‘lexity perp’ (from perplexity) for an adult whose LipService was complete gibberish, ‘showman pros’ (from promotions) for kids who were already so into their chosen brand they made the rest of us look like flip-floppers and ‘get tarred’ (from targeted) referring to the kids who just couldn’t wrap their heads around brand awareness.

I even stopped missing the skin tastes. I could go almost a whole day without thinking about them until it came to the Turkish delight hour. With skin tastes, the hollow of my palate was the broom closet I escaped to, now Wardsback had made it the auditorium where I led the hordes in recitation. Each of my words echoed off all those other tongues. I was no longer a singularity; I was we, the multiplicity. I felt large, bigger than the other kids. And I was doing big things.

Previous winners:


Dub StepsThe Story of Anna P, as Told by HerselfKhalil's JourneyDeeper Than ColourSaracen at the Gates
Till We Can Keep An AnimalCoconutBitches' BrewIce in the LungsThe Silent Minaret

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2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature longlist announced – South Africans dominate again

2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature longlist announced – South Africans dominate again
Mr. and Mrs. DoctorThe YearningPiggy Boy's BluesThe PeculiarsBorn on a Tuesday

And After Many DaysDub StepsThe Seed ThiefNwelezelanga

Alert! The nine-book longlist for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature has been announced, with South African authors dominating again.

2016 Etisalat Prize longlist:

  • The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo (Pan Macmillan, South Africa)
  • Piggy Boy’s Blues by Nakhane Toure (BlackBird Books, imprint of Jacana Media, South Africa)
  • The Peculiars by Jen Thorpe (Penguin Random House, South Africa)
  • Dub Steps by Andrew Miller (Jacana Media, South Africa)


The announcement was made by Helon Habila, chair of the 2016 judging panel. The longlist is made up of entries from first-time authors whose books were published in the past 24 months.

Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria Matthew Willsher praised the carefully moderated selection process, saying: “The novels in this year’s longlist represent a good number of African publishing companies. Each novel reflects a very interesting and dynamic perspective that will provoke intense conversations about different personal and societal issues.”

The judging panel will now three authors for the shortlist, which will be unveiled in December.

The Etisalat Prize for Literature is a Pan African prize that celebrates debut African writers of published fiction. Previous winners are Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo (2013), South Africa’s Songeziwe Mahlangu (2014) and Democratic Republic of Congo’s Fiston Mwanza Mujila (2015).

The winner of the 2016 Etisalat Prize will be announced in March 2017 and will receive £15,000 (about R265 000), an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen, and an Etisalat-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, to be mentored by renowned Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.

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2016 South African Literary Awards (SALAs) winners announced

Dit kom van ver afKarnaval en lentShirley, Goodness & MercyEggs to Lay, Chickens to HatchVry-Beyond TouchUnSettled and Other StoriesFlame in the SnowVlakwaterIt Might Get LoudBuys – ’n GrensromanSweet MedicineKamphoerAskari


Alert! The winners of this year’s South African Literary Awards (SALAs) have been announced.

The SALAs were founded in 2005 by the wRite associates and the Department of Arts and Culture, to celebrate literary excellence in all the languages of South Africa.

TT Cloete and Chris van Wyk were honoured with Posthumous Literary Awards, while Ingrid Winterbach and Johan Lenake received Lifetime Achievement Literary Awards.

The K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award – for writers under the age of 40 – is shared by Willem Anker and Panashe Chigumadzi.

The First-time Published Author Award is also shared this year, by Francois Smith and Jacob Dlamini.

The Literary Journalism Award, Creative Non-Fiction Award or South African National Poet Laureate Prize were not awarded this year.

See the full list of winners:

2016 South African Literary Awards (SALAs) winners

Posthumous Literary Awards:

TT Cloete, for his body of work
Chris van Wyk, for his body of work

Poetry Awards:

Gilbert Gibson, Vry
Arja Salafranca, Beyond Touch

Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award:

Sandra Hill, Unsettled and Other Stories

Literary Translators Award:

Leon de Kock & Karin Schimke, Flame in the Snow: The Love Letters of Andre Brink & Ingrid Jonker

Lifetime Achievement Literary Awards:

Ingrid Winterbach, for her body of work
Johan Lenake, for his body of work

K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Awards:

Willem Anker, Buys
Panashe Chigumadzi, Sweet Medicine

First-time Published Author Award:

Francois Smith, Kamphoer
Jacob Dlamini, Askari

Chairperson’s Award:

Gcina Mhlophe, for her body of work
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Skryf nou in vir die 2017 kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse en die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys

Aandag! Voorleggings word ingewag vir die 2017 kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse en die 2017 Jan Rabie-Rapportprys.

Die kykNET-Rapport Boekpryse word beskou as die Afrikaanse eweknie van die Sunday Times Literary Awards. Die organiseerders het onlangs ’n uitnodiging aan die publiek gerig vir inskrywings.

Die wenners van die 2016 kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse en die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys is in September vanjaar aangekondig tydens ’n spoggeleentheid in Kaapstad. Hulle was:

BrandwaterkomDonker stroom’n Goeie dag vir boomklimWonderboom


  • Brandwaterkom deur Alexander Strachan (Tafelberg) – kykNET-Rapport Boekprys, Fiksie
  • Donker stroom: Eugène Marais en die Anglo-Boereoorlog deur Carel van der Merwe (Tafelberg) – kykNET-Rapport Boekprys, Niefiksie
  • ’n Goeie dag vir boomklim deur Jaco Jacobs (LAPA) – kykNET-Rapport Boekprys, Film
  • Wonderboom deur Lien Botha (Queillerie) – Jan Rabie-Rapportprys

Boeke wat tussen 1 Januarie 2016 en 31 Desember 2016 gepubliseer is kan in aanmerking kom vir die pryse. Lees die persverklaring vir meer inligting:

Voorleggings ingewag vir groot Afrikaanse boekpryse
Skryf nou in vir kykNET-Rapport, Jan Rabie-Rapport

Voorleggings word ingewag vir die 2017 kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse en die 2017 Jan Rabie-Rapportprys vir die beste debuutroman in Afrikaans.

Die kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse word toegeken in die volgende kategorieë:

  • Beste Afrikaanse volwasse roman (R200 000)
  • Beste Afrikaanse niefiksie-boek (R200 000)
  • Afrikaanse roman of niefiksie-boek met die meeste filmiese potensiaal (R100 000)

Die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys, wat deur Rapport en Media24 Boeke geborg word, word jaarliks toegeken om nuwe skrywers van volwasse romans in Afrikaans aan te spoor om prosa van gehalte te lewer, nuwe stemme met belofte te ondersteun en vernuwing te erken. Dit beloop R35 000.

Slegs gepubliseerde boeke wat tussen 1 Januarie 2016 en 31 Desember 2016 verskyn het, kom in aanmerking vir hierdie pryse. Geen selfpublikasies word oorweeg nie.

Boeke moet oorspronklik in Afrikaans geskryf wees. Indien boeke gelyktydig in Afrikaans en Engels verskyn het, kom die Afrikaanse uitgawe in aanmerking, mits dit deur die skrywer self vertaal is. Geen vertalings of verwerkings van ander skrywers se werk word aanvaar nie.

Inskrywingsvorms en volledige riglyne is beskikbaar by die twee sameroepers.


Voltooide inskrywingsvorms sowel as agt eksemplare van elke boek moet die sameroeper bereik voor of op die sperdatum van 11 November 2016. Boeke wat ná dié datum verskyn, moet apart versend word.

Adres waarheen boeke versend moet word per koerier:

kykNET-Rapport Boekpryse
p/a Hettie Scholtz
la Clémence 128
021 880 2030/084 583 0272
Rig alle navrae aan die sameroeper, Hettie Scholtz, by
Besoek ook vir meer inligting.


Die sluitingsdatum vir inskrywings is 8 Desember 2016. Die adres waarheen inskrywings vir die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys per koerier versend moet word, is:

Jan Rabie-Rapport-boekprys
p.a. Elzebet Stubbe
12de verdieping
Heerengracht 40
Rig asseblief alle navrae oor die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys aan Anita van Zyl:
Tel: 021 422 3350 / 083 709 6677
Faks: 086 649 8262


Voorleggings vir die kykNET-Rapportpryse vir boekresensent van die jaar sal vroeg in 2017 aangevra word. Navrae hieroor kan intussen aan Anita van Zyl gerig word.



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