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Applications for ANFASA Grant Scheme for Authors now open

ANFASA, the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa, announces the next round of the grant scheme to benefit authors of academic and general non-fiction works

What is a “general non-fiction work”? Just as an example, it could be a biography or an autobiography; a history of a town or a region or a religion; a book about music or sport or theatre; a political or social analysis; an account of everyday life in a township; a book about nursing, or cooking, or fashion, or fishes, or traditional medicines, or cars – those are just a few of the many topics supported by the ANFASA grant scheme in the past.

If you are currently working on a scholarly or a general non-fiction work, you are eligible to apply. However, although we accept applications from authors whether or not they are ANFASA members, only ANFASA members may actually receive an award. The grants are intended to provide a sum of around R20 000 to R25 000 to be used for an author to “buy time” – to take leave, for instance, and devote herself or himself to writing; or to travel in order to conduct research. The grants are for research and writing and do not cover the cost of publishing the manuscript.

An independent committee will assess the applications and select the most deserving. The selection committee aims to offer awards to a wide-ranging group of authors and subjects, and the selection process will respect the need to treat new and experienced authors equally; to bear in mind authors writing in rural as well as urban locations; and to consider authors at all levels of education from the untutored to the degreed. The ANFASA grant scheme especially encourages writing by new authors. Applications for books written in all the official languages will be equally considered.

Go to to apply online or send an e-mail to The closing date for applications is 30 September, and the successful applications will be announced in December.

Win a copy of Ink - a beautifully illustrated picture book exploring a child's growing awareness of language

Ingrid Mennen’s Ink is a picture book exploring a child’s growing awareness of language, books and reading.

The little girl Tinka becomes aware of words, language and writing. She names her family members one by one: her mum, her dad, her little brother Slip, sister Rosie and baby Jas. She draws a paper doll resembling a girl like herself on a sheet of newsprint. The paper doll is named “Ink”. With her body filled with words, Ink is the perfect companion for Tinka.

Tinka introduces her new friend to all her favourite story books, because, “A book is like a friend, with the best stories to tell”.

Thought-provoking and captivating, this picture book will appeal to young readers 4+, while adult readers will find pleasure in the simple, yet sensitive illustrations.

If you would like to win a copy of this singular book, visit our Facebook page and comment on the competition post.

Ingrid Mennen is an author of picture books including One Round Moon and a Star For Me (illustrated by Niki Daly) and Ben and the Whales. Ingrid lives in Newlands, Cape Town, with her husband. They have three grown-up children. Ink is her second book in collaboration with Irene, her eldest daughter, as illustrator.

Irene Berg is the eldest daughter of author Ingrid Mennen. She studied music in Stellenbosch and Frankfurt am Main and now she works in Germany as a musician and teacher and lives close to the Rhine with her husband, a violinist. Mother and daughter worked together on Ben and the Whales in 2012. Ink is their second book together.

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Wen ’n kopie van Ink - ’n pragtig geïllustreerde boek wat ’n kind se bewusmaking van taal verken

Tinka word bewus van woorde en taal, boeke en lees.

Sy teken haarself af op ‘n vel koerantpapier. Nou het sy ‘n maat en sy noem haar “Ink”.

Met haar lyf vol woorde, is Ink die perfekte maat vir Tinka. Sy neem Ink na haar kamer om haar beste boeke vir haar te wys, want “‘n boek is soos ‘n maat, met die beste stories om te vertel”.

‘n Meesleurende en diepsinnige prenteboek vir lesers 4+ wat ook volwasse lesers se verbeelding sal aangryp.

Indien jy ‘n kopie van hierdie besonderse boek wil wen, besoek ons Facebook-blad en skryf in deur kommentaar te lewer op die kompetisie-berig.

Ingrid Mennen is ‘n skrywer van prenteboeke vir kinders, waarvan sommige in verskeie tale gepubliseer is. Sy studeer Afrikaanse en Engelse Letterkunde, Kunsgeskiedenis en Museumkunde (UP, US en UK). Ingrid woon in Nuweland, Kaapstad, saam met haar man. Hulle het drie volwasse kinders. Ben en die walvisse en Ink is saam met haar oudste dogter, illustreerder Irene Berg, geskep. Ben en die walvisse is bekroon met die M.E.R.-prys vir geïllustreerde kinderboek 2013 en die Tienie Hollowaymedalje vir Kleuterliteratuur 2015.

Irene Berg is ‘n vryskut-illustreerder en musiekonderwyser, oorspronklik van Kaapstad, en woon en werk tans in Mannheim, Duitsland. Na musiekstudies aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch en die Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kuns in Frankfurt am Main, voltooi sy ‘n kursus in grafiese ontwerp. Haar eerste twee prenteboeke, Ben en die walvisse (2012) en Ink (2016), is geskep in samewerking met haar ma, skrywer Ingrid Mennen.


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.

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