Alert! The 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is open for entries, and budding writers are invited to join the “250 Words a Day” challenge to complete their novel by the closing date.
Paige Nick, author, Sunday Times columnist and advertising copywriter, says: “Writing a whole book can feel daunting, but anyone can write just 250 words a day, right?”
Nick is part of the team of published authors acting as mentors for the “250 Words a Day” campaign. Others include Futhi Ntshingila, Fanie Viljoen, Sicelo Kula, Kagiso Lesego Molope and Rachel Zadok.
Published authors have also been sharing valuable writing advice and glimpses into their working life on the page, including Lauren Beukes, Richard de Nooy, Khaya Dlanga and Iain Thomas.
The Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is presented in six categories: Afrikaans, English, Nguni languages, Sotho languages, Tshivenda and Xitsonga, with two prizes in each category, Gold (R12,000) and Silver (R6,000).
Submitted work should be suitable for young readers (between 12 and 18 years) and at least 25,000 words.
The closing date for entries is 7 October, 2016 – so get writing!
2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature launched alongside “250 Words a Day” campaign
Entries for the 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature are now open!
However, writing a whole book can be daunting …
Elena Meyer, senior sponsorships manager at Sanlam, says: “As Wealthsmiths, we have a deep understanding and respect for what it takes to turn 26 alphabetic letters into something that can make you cry, scared or make you love. A process that talks to commitment and determination, yet achievable for any person that has a love for the word.
“It is from this understanding that our campaign of ’250 Words a Day’ was born. We want this competition to be accessible not only to established authors, but also to young and upcoming writers.”
By joining the “250 Words a Day” campaign on Facebook, entrants will have access to a panel of renowned and established authors who will act as writing mentors. Would-be authors are encouraged to write 250 words every day. If they commit to this, they should have a manuscript ready to submit by the closing date. Not only will advice, inspiration and helpful writing tips be offered, but mentors will also read segments of manuscripts and respond to writers with useful feedback. Mentors include among others Paige Nick, Cat Hellisen, Fanie Viljoen, Redi Tlhabi and Kagiso Lesego.
According to Michelle Cooper, publisher of children and young adult fiction at Tafelberg, the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is vital in finding and developing new talent and to create literature of high quality for readers between 12 and 18 years of age: “We are excited about the 250 Words a Day campaign and are looking forward to discovering talented new writing voices!”
The Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature was launched in 1980 and is awarded every second year. It is open to entries in all 11 official languages. Gold and silver prizes are awarded in the categories for African languages (Tshivenda, Xitsonga and Nguni & Sotho languages), Afrikaans and English.
A panel of readers will compile a shortlist of 18 manuscripts which will then be judged by representatives from the educational and trade book sector, librarians and academics. Manuscripts are judged anonymously so that debut writers are able to compete with established authors.
Over the years around 78 novels that were awarded the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature have been prescribed as setwork books in schools, while some have even been made into films — Lien se lankstaanskoene by Derick van der Walt and Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom written by Marita van der Vyver.
The total prize money amounts to R54,000: R12,000 for the winner (gold) and R6,000 for the runner-up (silver) in each category.
The prize-winning books will be available in bookshops and in ebook format. The closing date for entries is 7 October, 2016.
To join the “250 Words a Day” campaign, visit http://bit.ly/SanlamYouth
Download the entry form at www.nb.co.za/Sanlam
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