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Call for submissions: queer African erotica authored by women

HOLAAfrica! – a website dedicated to publishing written, audio and visual material by queer African women – recently announced their call for submissions for an erotic anthology titled Dark Juices and Aphrodisiacs:

Erotica is a real thing, sexual sensual writing that makes you squirm in your seat; scenes that turn a cold lonely night into something steamy; maybe something to keep you company and give you that secret smile whilst waiting for a friend in a restaurant.

Mostly we want things that will turn people on. A lot. No pressure. A little something like this, or this.

We know writing a sex scene is hard so here is an article with some tips.

This is a call for submission to Dark Juices and Aphrodisiacs: An Erotic Anthology.

The anthology will be available online to download. There will also be hard copies available. And if your piece is selected to be part of the anthology you shall be paid $100 for your service to sexiness.

Enticed? Click here for more.

Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award and Anthology submissions open

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The Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) is thrilled to announce that submissions for the seventh annual Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award and Anthology will be open from 1 to 16 July 2017! This award and anthology are made possible through ongoing support and partnership with the European Union.

Up to three poems in any of South Africa’s official languages can be submitted via the online entry form that will be put up on the Jacana website on 1 July ( Entrants are encouraged to submit poems written in their mother tongue. Entries will close at 5 pm on Sunday, 16 July.

The work submitted is judged blind by a panel of four esteemed poets. As in previous years, a longlist of the best entries received will be published in volume 7 of the anthology. A shortlist of three poets is selected from the longlist, and those finalists will be invited to attend an event at the inaugural annual Nirox Foundation Word Festival in mid-October, where the winner will be announced and cash prizes awarded. The word festival will reverberate the themes around the award, and further question and express subjects exploring our troubled and uncertain times and the pursuit of ‘another way’.

Named after Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (1876–1932), the Award recognises the life and vision of this highly respected political and social activist. We always hope that it reveals the political and social attitudes of our time, and reflects the complex, nuanced and uncomfortable truths of life in South Africa, and thus, poems which reflect our current realities are warmly welcomed.

For more information, contact the Jacana Literary Foundation on

Win! Wen! Ukuwina!

Jonathan Ball Publishers are giving away four copies of the younger-reader edition of Michaela DePrince’s highly moving memoir, Hope in a Ballet Shoe. Beautifully and gently illustrated by Ella Okstad, the book is available in English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa. Visit our Facebook page to enter.

Ballerina DreamsBallerina Dreams

“One windy day, a magazine blew down the road. I reached out and caught it. A pretty picture of a woman was on the front cover of the magazine. She wore a short pink dress that stuck out around her in a circle. She looked very happy.”

At the age of three, Michaela DePrince found a photo of a ballerina that changed her life. She was living in an orphanage in Sierra Leone at the time, but was soon adopted by a family and brought to America. Michaela never forgot the photo of the dancer she once saw, and decided to make her dream of becoming a ballerina come true. She has been dancing ever since, and after a spell as a principal dancer in New York, now dances for the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam.

My Ballerina DroomMy Ballerina Droom

“Ek loer deur die verhooggordyn en sien die entoesiastiese gehoor. Hulle wag vir die ballerina om te verskyn. Die musiek begin. My hart klop vinnig van al die opwinding en dan vlieg ek op die verhoog. Die ballerina is ek!”

Michaela DePrince was ’n driejarige oorlogwesie in Sierra Leone toe sy op ’n dag ’n windverwaaide tydskrif optel met die foto van ’n glimlaggende ballerina op die voorblad. Daardie dag het haar obsessie met ballet begin. Sy het haarself daar en dan voorgeneem sy sou eendag ook so gelukkig soos die vrou op die foto wees.

Sy is kort daarna deur ’n Amerikaanse gesin aangeneem. Sy het egter nooit die foto van die ballerina vergeet nie. Toe haar nuwe ma bewus word van haar belangstelling in ballet het sy begin klasse neem.

Sedertdien het sy nog nooit ophou dans nie en vandag is sy ’n hoogs suksesvolle ballerina. ’n Storie wat enige jong meisie (of seun) sal inspireer om groot te droom.

* Die boek is die geïllustreerde kinderboekuitgawe van DePrince se roerende memoir, Hope in a Ballet Shoe. Die kleurvolle illustrasies is deur Ella Okstad.

Iphupho lomdansi we-BhaleyiIphupho lomdansi we-Bhaleyi

“Ngelinye ilanga elinomoya, iphepha likamagazini lapheshulwa ngumoya lehlisa umgwaqo phambi kwesango. Ngelula isandla ngalithatha. Isithombe esihle sowesifazane sasisoqwembeni lomagazini. Wayegqoke ilokwana elifishanyana elibukhwebezane elalivulekile lenza isiyingi esimzungezile. Wayebukeka ejabule kakhulu.”

Eneminyaka amithathu, uMichaela DePrince wathola isithombe somdansi we-bhaleyi esasizoguqula ukuphila kwakhe unomphelo. Ngaleyonkathi wayehlala endaweni ezintandaneni e-Sierra Leone, kodwa maduzane watholwa umndeni othile wayiswa eMelika.

Nakuba ekuqaleni wayengazi ukuthi i-bhaleyi iyini akasikhohlwanga isithombe somdansi we-bhaleyi ake wasibona. Wayefisa ukujabula njengalomdansi. Lapho umama owamtholayo ebona ukuzimisela kwakhe nge-bhaleyi, waqalisa ukumyisa ezifundweni ze-bhaleyi. Selokhu adansa kusuka lapho kuze kube manje.

UMichaela waqokwa njengomdansi osemqoka omncane kunabo bonke ku-Dance Theatre yase-Harlem. Manje udansa ne-Dutch National Ballet, inkampani ephezulu ye-bhaleyi yasemandulo.

UMichaela waba ngumlingisi oyinhloko ku-First Position, idokhumentari eyawina umklomelo. Usebonakale kaningi kuthelevishini kuhlanganise i-Dancing with the Stars ne-BBC News.
Ngo-2015, uhlelo lwethelevishini yase-Hollandi lwenza ukuthi uMichaela abonane okokuqala no-Magali Messac, umdansi we-bhaleyi owayesesithombeni.

AmaPhupha oMdanisi weBhaleyi

AmaPhupho oMdanisi weBhaleyi

“Ngenye imini eyayigqutha, kwawela imagazini endleleni phambi kwegeyithi. Ndayichola. Le magazini yayineqweqwe elinomfanekiso womama omhle. Wayenxibe ilokhwe epinki emfutshane. Wayekhangeleka onwabile.”

UMichaela DePrince wathi xa eneminyaka emithathu wachola ifoto yomdanisi webhaleyi. Loo foto yabutshintsha ubomi bakhe. Ngelo xesha wayehlala kwikhaya labantwana abangenabazali eSierra Leone. Kodwa wakhawuleza wathathwa lusapho oluthile lwamenza umntwana walo, lwaza waya kuhlala naye eMelika.

Nangona uMichaela wayeqale ngokungayazi ukuba yintoni ibhaleyi, zange ayilibale ifoto yomdanisi webhaleyi awayeyibone ebuncinaneni bakhe. Wayefuna ukonwaba njengaloo mdanisi. Umama wakhe wamsa kwizifundo zebhaleyi esakuqaphela indlela ayithanda ngayo. Yaba kukuqala kwakhe ukudanisa oko.

UMichaela wachongwa njengoyena mdanisi mncinane kwiDance Theatre of Harlem yaye ngoku udanisa neDutch National Ballet, eyona nkampani iphambili kwibhaleyi.

UMichaela uye wangumdanisi ophambili kwidotyhumentari eyaziwayo, iFirst Position. Ukhe wavela kwiTV amatyeli ngamatyeli, kuquka kwiDancing with the Stars, Good Morning America nakwiBBC News. Ngo-2014, iThe Times yamfaka kwi‘Top 25 Under 20’ uMichaela yaza iElle UK yamfaka kwi‘30 Under 30’.

Ngo-2015, inkqubo yeTV yesiDatshi iye yalungiselela ukuba uMichaela adibane okokuqala noMegali Messac, laa mdanisi webhaleyi wayembone efotweni.

Book details

Book Bites: 25 June 2017

Published in the Sunday Times

The Fall of the House of WildeThe Fall of the House of Wilde
Emer O’Sullivan (Bloomsbury)
Book real
This biography on one of the 19th century’s most prolific playwright’s family history is an engaging account of a generation’s demise. O’Sullivan covers the Wilde genealogy from 1758 – the year in which Oscar Wilde’s physician father, William, was commemorated with a plaque for his contribution to medicine, archaeology and folkore. We’re also introduced to his brother Willie, and his mother, Jane. O’Sullivan’s account of William’s sexual assault charges, Jane’s anguish following the charges, and the family’s fall into ill-repute is an engrossing, empathetic and eloquent read. The book brims with dates, names, letters and photos, and a comprehensive introduction to Irish history, yet O’Sullivan’s prose never reads as a dull textbook. – Mila de Villiers @mila_se_kind


Julie Buntin (Picador)
Book buff
“Tell me what you can’t forget, and I’ll tell you who you are” – so begins a tale of teenage friendship and addiction. Cat looks back on her year in Michigan, where as a girl of 15 she meets glamorous and wild Marlena. The story contains echoes of Carolyn Forche’s poem As Children Together and Beatrice Sparks’ Go Ask Alice. But Buntin brings a fresh take on rural America, land of isolation and Trump supporters. This is where prescription drugs and meth have infiltrated the crumbling remains of the white working class. Lonely and floundering, the teens hold each other up and drag each other down. Some, like Cat, do grow up and escape, but the scars and memories will follow them wherever they go. – Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

The Roanoke Girl
The Roanoke Girls
Amy Engel, Hodder & Stoughton
Book fling
After her mother committed suicide when she was 15 years old, Lane Roanoke went to live with her grandparents and cousin Allegra. More than a decade later, and somewhat lost in Los Angeles, Lane gets a call from her grandfather to say Allegra has gone missing. Lane returns to her grandparents but now must face the dark secret that made her leave so many years ago. This novel will have you read until the very end in just one sitting. – Jessica Levitt @jesslevitt
Book details

Call for submissions: 2017/8 Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology

The Jacana Literary Foundation recently released their press release calling for submissions for the 2017/8 Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology:

The Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) and the Other Foundation are pleased to announce that submissions for the second annual Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology for 2017/8 are now open.

Created in honour of the late activist Gerald Kraak’s extraordinary legacy of supporting human rights, this award advances his contribution to building a world that is safe and welcoming to all. The unique award calls for multi-layered, brave and stirring African voices that represent a new wave of fresh storytelling, one that provokes thought on the topics of gender, social justice and sexuality.

Submissions will be accepted until 24 July 2017, and will be open to the following genres:

Journalism / magazine reporting
Scholarly articles in academic journals and book chapters / extracts
Social media / blog writings and contributions

Only the very best work submitted will be short-listed and published in the anthology, with the winners announced in 2018 at an awards ceremony hosted by the Other Foundation. A cash prize of R25 000 will be awarded to the author of the winning piece. The JLF will partner with publishers throughout the African continent in order to disseminate the work as widely as possible.

Gerald Kraak (1956–2014) was a passionate champion of social justice, an anti-apartheid activist and the head of the Atlantic Philanthropies’ Reconciliation and Human Rights Programme in South Africa. He authored two books, including the European Union Literary Award-winning Ice in the Lungs (Jacana, 2005), which explores South African politics, and directed a documentary on gay conscripts in the apartheid army. He will be remembered for being kind and generous, delightfully irreverent and deeply committed to realising an equal and just society for all. His unfinished novel, Shadow Play, posthumously completed by Alison Lowry, was published by Jacana Media in May 2017.

Read more here.

Pride and Prejudice

Book details

  • Pride and Prejudice: The Gerald Kraak Anthology African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality
    EAN: 9781431425181
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!


Ice in the Lungs


Shadow Play

Call for submissions for "Tomorrow I'll be Twenty" Competition now open

AFREADA and Africa Writes are currently hosting the “Tomorrow I’ll be Twenty” Competition, which invites writers to take the first line of Congolese author Alain Mabanckou’s short story “Tomorrow I’ll be Twenty” and continue the story.

Writers wishing to participate must submit a 500-word short story, building on the first line of Congolese author Alain Mabanckou’s “Tomorrow I’ll be Twenty”.

Told from the perspective of 10-year-old Michel living in Pointe Noire, Congo, the story begins:

In this country, a boss should always be bald and have a big belly. My uncle isn’t bald, he hasn’t got a big belly, and you don’t realise, the first time you see him, that he’s the actual boss of a big office in the centre of town…

According to Africa Writes, “the rules are simple: … open a Word Document and continue the story.”

Click here for the submission guidelines.

Black Moses

Book details