Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Academic and Non-Fiction Authors' Association of South Africa announces grants scheme

ANFASA, the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors' Association of South Africa, announces the start of a ground-breaking Grants Scheme to benefit South African authors of academic, educational and general non-fiction works.

The Grants Scheme owes its existence to the generosity of the Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Association, Kopinor and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In the first year of the three-year scheme, ANFASA will be able to make up to ten awards of approximately R25 000 each. This sum of money would enable an author to take leave, for instance, and devote herself or himself to the writing or the preparation of a manuscript, or to travel, or to undertake research.

The ultimate objective of the scheme is to develop writing and knowledge production in South Africa and to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality non-fiction works, especially by young authors.

An independent Grants Committee will be set up to determine criteria and select the successful candidates. At this point, however, the only criterion that has been set is that applicants for awards should be members of ANFASA.

ANFASA's mission is to promote the recognition and fair remuneration of authors, and respect for their rights, and to facilitate the creation, publication and dissemination of quality works by both published and aspiring authors.

Applications for grants will open in mid-year, and an announcement will be made at the Cape Town Book Fair, 16-19 June 2007, and in the media.

ANFASA Dedicated to empowering authors

ANFASA membership application forms may be obtained by sending an e-mail to The membership fee is R50 per annum.

Monica Seeber, Director: ANFASA

Friday, March 23, 2007

*New* poetry: the night at gloria’s by Abbey Khambule

Abbey Khambule is a Johannesburg resident, born in 1981 in Warmbath North West, raised and schooled in Cyverskuil, Atteridgeville, Pretoria and later Alexandra Township. He grew up aspiring to be a well known painter but in recent years has lost himself to poetry. He is studying towards a BA in Creative Writing and makes a living working for a law firm in Sandton.

the night at gloria’s by Abbey Khambule

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Call for submissions: South Africa/South U.S.A.: An Anthology of Poetry, Prose, Essays, and Images

Deadline for Submissions: April 15, 2007
Publication Date: June 1, 2007

This anthology will be a compilation of contemporary writing reporting the struggles, victories and dual past and destiny of blacks in South Africa and blacks in the South USA. We will look at the correlation between the contemporary lives of black South African post apartheid and blacks living in the American South post Jim Crow.

Through their work, writers from South Africa and southern USA will engage in a discussion about the Historical and contemporary lives of people whose struggles have defeated Jim Crow and apartheid (SA + USA). The work will include reflection on the interior life of those peoples during the past struggles; the current conditions post apartheid and their aspirations for a new future. Theses works will include poetry, essays and short fiction. We are looking for a broad range of writing and views.

We are interested in a contemporary look at the similarities in the lives of South Africa - post-apartheid and South USA - post slavery—health, education, education, arts, politics, leadership, AIDS, etc.

Submission Guidelines for South Africa/South USA:

-- all manuscripts submitted electronically must be submitted in the body [of an email] - no attachments will be accepted—this includes photos and cartoons
--Submissions accepted by mail, email, on CD or diskette
-- Original poems up to 5 pages with no more than one poem per page. Single-spaced.
-- Other submissions up to 700 words. Special length submissions will be considered for exceptional ideas or styles. Double-spaced.
-- Bound by a single clip: no folders, notebooks, etc.
-- Title page with name, address, phone number, 25 word bio, and email address if available
-- Payment is in 2 copies
-- Deadline: April 15, 2007
-- For notification, enclose only a letter-size self-addressed, stamped envelope.
-- All manuscripts will be recycled.
-- Final judge: Editorial Committee

Editorial Committee: Michael Simanga, Alice Lovelace, Walter Kefuoe Chakela, Felton Eaddy, Marc Fitten, Robert Earl Price, Malkia M'Buzi Moore

Mail or email submissions to:
South Africa/South USA Anthology
Attention: Alice Lovelace
American Friends Service Committee
92 Piedmont Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30303

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Centre for the Book calls for 25 best South African books for 2007 Cape Town International Book Fair

The Centre for the Book is asking the book community to participate in this fun book promotion activity. What are the recent South African books that you have loved? Books that you feel capture something of what South Africa is like now?

You don’t have to send us a full list of 25 books - send us the names of your favourite five or six, or even one or two!

You can choose from any genre including children’s books, poetry, fiction, non-fiction -- guidebooks, cookery books, biographies, memoirs, and so on. We will display the chosen books at the Book Fair and a lucky participant will win all 25 books.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Native Commissioner wins Africa region: Best Book Commonwealth prize

Penguin Books South Africa has announced that Shaun Johnson has been awarded the 2007 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book: Africa Region for The Native Commissioner.

Mr Johnson has responded to receiving the award as follows:

This is the most wonderful thing that could have happened with this book. I am still absorbing the news, but my first feeling is one of enormous encouragement to get writing all those other novels I keep talking about! I am really grateful to the very many people who have urged me along this road, especially Penguin and now of course the Commonwealth judges *

Alison Lowry, the Chief Executive Officer of Penguin Books South Africa, has commented:

We believed from the start that in Shaun Johnson's The Native Commissioner we had found an extraordinarily powerful new voice in South African literary fiction. This has been borne out not only through strong sales and excellent reviews but now in winning the Commonwealth Prize: Africa Region, through a literary award that gives this book and its author international recognition. Penguin is delighted by the news that this is the book to represent our country and our continent in Jamaica later this year.

The Native Commissioner will now enter the final stage of the competition, where an international judging panel will meet in Jamaica to decide the overall winners of the 21st Commonwealth Writers Prize. The announcement of the overall Best Book and Best First Book will take place at the Calabash International Literary Festival at Treasure Beach on 27 May 2007.

The Commonwealth Writers Prize, an international award for outstanding fiction awarded annually, aims to reward the best in Commonwealth fiction written in English, by both established and new writers, and to take their work to a wider audience. The objectives of the prize are to promote new voices, reward achievement, encourage wider readership and greater literacy, thereby increasing appreciation of different cultures and building understanding between cultures.

An increasingly valued and sought-after award for fiction, the prize is presented annually by the Commonwealth Foundation, an intergovernmental body working to help civil society organisations promote democracy, development and cultural understanding in Commonwealth countries.

Shaun Johnson's The Native Commissioner will be out in paperback in May 2007.

Coconut by Kopano Matlwa wins third annual European Union Literary Award

The third annual European Union Literary Award for a South African best first novel was held at the Goethe-Institut on March 15. The winner, Kopano Matlwa, a 21-year-old medical student at the University of Cape Town, won with her first novel Coconut.

As winner, Kopano receives R25 000; a publishing contract with Jacana Media; an opportunity for international promotion through attending the Frankfurt International Book Fair; and her book Coconut will form part of the Exclusive Books Homebru promotion. Kopano will attend the Cape Town International Book Fair in June this year.

An exciting young voice has emerged that reflects the idiosyncratic nature of our young democracy. Coconut is a story that deals with growing up as a black child in a white world. It is the story of black youth who grow up in white neighbourhoods, go to private schools and have white friends. As is the case with any child, all that these children want is to grow, to be loved; but most importantly, to fit in. Fitting in, however, comes at the cost of one’s blackness - too white for black, and too black for white.

This year's jury - Fred Khumalo, Prof Bheki Peterson and Darryl Accone - were asked to read 42 novels. To ensure fairness, authors’ identities were kept from the jury. Kopano’s novel was a unanimous choice.

The jury gave this citation:

“Narrated from a teenager’s perspective, Kopano Matlwa’s Coconut is an audacious, lyrical and compassionate tale. It explores the grey, in-between, intimate experiences and dilemmas of a young girl who, like the society around her, is undergoing changes that call old boundaries, comforts and certitudes into question.”

The runners-up included:

Carey-Ann Jackson for Gorgon
Hazel Frankel for Counting Sleeping Beauties
Ian Campbell-Gillies for Hopetown
Ruben Mowszowski for Time of Bees

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Maxine Case winner of Commonwealth Writers’ Prize – Africa region in category Best First Book

Kwela Books has announced that Maxine Case has been selected as the winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize – Africa region in the category Best First Book for her debut novel, All We Have Left Unsaid.

Case will now go on to compete against the winners in the other six Commonwealth regions: Europe, Canada, the Caribbean, South Asia, South-East Asia and the South Pacific. The overall winners are to be announced at the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica on 27 May, 2007.

This is the first time that Kwela Books has made it onto the short-list for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the first time in five years that a novel published by a South African publisher has been chosen as winner in either of the two prize categories.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Writers’ Network Blog - Advice, information and resources for South African writers

How can I get my novel published?
I have written several poems and would like to publish them.
Do you know of a good writing coach?
How do I go about self-publishing?
I would like to join a writers’ group.

The Books e-group and the Writers’ Network at the Centre for the Book receive numerous queries about all aspects of writing. In a bid to answer all questions comprehensively, and to make resources available for writers we have started the Writers’ Network Blog. As queries are answered we will list them under the FAQ (frequently asked questions) category, and so the blog will be very much a work in progress!

As well as answering queries, we will post items of general interest to writers, and provide links to writing-related sites.

Visit the blog at

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

*New* poetry: My Country, My Home by Rethabile Masilomole

Rethabile Masilo is a native of Lesotho living and working in Paris, France. Mr. Masilo enjoys reading and writing poetry. He runs two blogs, Poéfrika: and Sotho: , and is also co-editor of a literary magazine, Canopic Jar: . He is married and has two children.

My Country, My Home by Rethabile Masilo

First appeared in Ascent Aspirations Magazine

Invitation to coffee morning with Emma van der Vliet, author of Past Imperfect

Between the Covers is hosting a Coffee Morning for Emma van der Vliet whose debut novel Past Imperfect has recently been published. The morning will take place on Thursday 22nd March at Leinster Hall, 7 Weltevreden Street, Gardens. The time will be 10 for 10.30 am and the cost will be R55.00 per head. To book please contact either Ester Richards at 021 671 4358/083 700 6443 or Gail van Niekerk on 021 761 2834/ 083 316 3127.

Metro FM firing up a new book-club slot

Metro FM will have a new Book-Club Slot from the 5th of April 2007 - every Thursday morning at 10h40.

We would appreciate your assistance with review and give-away copies, as well as book events and news when it comes to your authors.

WEEK1: Children’s Books/ Book-events and news

WEEK2: African/ Diaspora Books/ Book-events and news

WEEK3: Countrywide Bookclub - in this week we shall have a Metro FM Listener chat about a book they are reading with a Metro FM Personality review as well.

WEEK4: Book of interest- whatever interesting book that is out at the moment / basically anything goes for this week - we could be looking at whatever topic or issue looking at the industry.


Ntosh Ntlokwana
9-12 Producer: Metro FM
t. 011 714 3032
c. 0736328969

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

EU Literary Award 2008 invites submissions

This award is open to South African writers resident in South Africa.

Award consists of:
• R 25 000
• Manuscript will be published in English by Jacana
• Trip to an international literary festival

What to submit:
• A first, unpublished work of fiction in English (or translations of other South African languages into English providing the work has not been published in other languages)
• The recommended length is between 60 000 and 100 000 words
• One hard copy, A4, typed (1.5 space, 12 point font, margins), securely bound
• One page summary of the novel
• One page biography of the author including e-mail and telephone contact details


Send clearly marked as follows:
EU Literary Award
PO Box 2004



What not to submit:
• An unpublished novel if you are a published novelist. Published novelists may not enter this competition, even under pseudonyms.
• Published authors of short stories; plays or poetry may enter their first novels
• Entrants are strongly advised to ensure that manuscripts are submitted in their final, publishable form. Due to publishing production considerations, no drafts will be considered
• Memoirs
• Short Stories
• History, Geography or other non-fictional books

The decision of the Jury will be final. No correspondence will be entered into.

Queries can be directed to: Karabo Kgoleng: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it or phone +27 (11) 628 3212.

Regarding the use of English: Although there are many languages spoken in the countries of the EU, English is the only language that South Africa and the EU have in common. Similarly, it is impossible for all the judges to be fluent in all the South African languages so entries in languages other than English will not be considered

The winning manuscript will be published in May 2008 and will be promoted as part of Exclusive Books Homebru campaign.