Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Wasafiri New Writing Prize launched

£300 will be awarded to the winner of each category and their work will be published in Wasafiri.

Renowned worldwide for featuring some of the best and brightest new talent, Wasafiri is launching a New Writing Prize as part of its 25th birthday celebrations. In the words of acclaimed author Jackie Kay, ‘Wasafiri holds it all together, the past and the future. It is vigorous, searching and stimulating’. Since Wasafiri was first published in 1984, it has consistently aimed to shift the contours of established literary canons and remapped the borders of international contemporary writing, creating new imaginative spaces and publishing some of the most promising new literary voices.

The competition is open to anyone worldwide who has not published a complete book. We are looking for creative submissions in one of three categories: Poetry, Fiction or Life Writing. Simply incorporate the theme of ‘25’ somewhere in your piece, fill in the entry form and send it to us with your entry fee of UK Sterling £5.00.

The closing date is 30 June 2009. Entrants who are visually impaired or who are prevented from typing through disability can enter stories on audio CD. How to enter For more information about Wasafiri visit our website at Judges Susheila Nasta (Chair) Editor of Wasafiri and Professor of Modern Literature at the Open University Margaret Busby Writer, editor, critic and broadcaster, former publisher and founder of Allison and Busby Mimi Khalvati Award-winning poet, Wasafiri Board member and founder of the Poetry School Blake Morrison Writer, poet and Professor of Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

South Africa to revive literary classics in indigenous languages

The Department of Arts and Culture has tasked the National Library of South Africa to reprint literary classics in indigenous languages to help preserve the country's heritage.

Launching the Reprint of South African Literary Classics Project on Tuesday, Minister of Arts and Culture, Pallo Jordan said publishing literature in indigenous languages was self-evidently an area with the greatest potential.

Significantly, he said, the project was part of the government-wide campaign to promote the culture of reading and writing in indigenous languages, thereby reducing illiteracy.

"It is our fervent hope that its [the project] impact will be to inspire emergent writers and even those who might have given up owing to the discouraging environment of the past, to come forward with their works," Minister Jordan said.

At the launch, the minister announced that 27 titles had already been reprinted including the works of authors such as poet laureate Samuel Mqhayi, writer Sibusiso Nyembezi, M.L Bopape, S.P. Lekaba, T.N. Maumela and others.

These titles, he said, will be available in public libraries and booksellers nationally.

The minister explained that by reprinting these classic works, the country will rediscover the capacity of exploring and expressing the broadest human experiences, the profoundest human emotions and wisdom in the indigenous African languages.

He hoped that in the future schools would use these classics as part of their syllabus.

"We envisage that our school system will very soon become aware of these republished classics and that many, otherwise lost to memory, will once again be prescribed as part of the school syllabus.

"The library system, otherwise starved for literature in the indigenous languages, will now have this resource to draw on," the minister said.

He said as a nation South Africa is in earnest about an African Renaissance, adding that it must entail the rediscovery of African genius, African achievements and the dissemination of the best works of the African imagination.

"The literature that has been produced by the story-tellers and writers in indigenous languages are essentially and no different from that in any other in these respects, but what is specific to it is the environment in which the tales unfold."

The minister indicated that the classic literary works reveal and wrestle with the very same human frailties, foibles, idiosyncrasies and human robustness found in other literatures.

"If no one else wishes to preserve these works, we as South Africans have a responsibility to our nation and humanity to ensure that they survive into the future," he said. - BuaNews

Commonwealth Writers’ Prize: Africa Region

Kwela Books is proud to announce that two of our titles have been short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize: Africa Region. Beauty’s Gift (novel) by Sindiwe Magona has been short-listed in the category Best Book. Porcupine by Jane Bennett (short stories) has been short-listed in the category Best First Book.

Friday, February 13, 2009

*New* non-fiction. Chip Off The Old Block: The Human Personality Shape Hypothesis by Evans Kinyua

Many studies have been done to classify human beings and human behavior using physical attributes and temperament. Such studies have shed light on what differentiates the physiological appearance as well as the behavior of different people. Often these studies have grouped people in certain specific categories, where one is either or, or a mixture of the various attributes. Evans Kinyua offers an additional study and classifies human beings according to characteristics or innate being.

Evans Kinyua studied commerce at the University of Nairobi and also holds a postgraduate diploma in marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK). He is the author of Flight From Fate.

Chip Off The Old Block by Evans Kinya

Thursday, February 05, 2009

SA PEN announces finalists for 2009 PEN/Studzinski Literary Award

The South African Centre of International PEN (SA PEN) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2009 PEN/Studzinski Literary Award.

The award for original short stories in English by African authors attracted an unprecedented 827 entries, 625 of which met with the rules of entry. Just under 200 stories were longlisted, and 34 stories were chosen as finalists by the PEN Editorial Board comprising Shaun Johnson (Chair), Anthony Fleischer, Justin Fox, Harry Garuba, Alistair King and Mary Watson. Nobel Laureate JM Coetzee is currently judging the shortlisted stories and will choose the winners of the first (£5 000), second (£3 000) and third (£2 000) prizes. The winners will be announced in May 2009. (Details regarding the announcement will be posted on in due course.) The finalists’ stories will be included in an anthology of new writing from Africa to be published later this year.

The writers and their stories to have been selected as finalists for the Pen/Studzinski Literary Award 2009 are:

Ken Barris – The life of Worm

Nadia Davids – The visit

Ceridwen Dovey – Survival mechanisms

Joan du Toit – An informed decision

Graham Ellis – No match for Fanie Smith

Rosemund J Handler – Strident night

Jeanne Hromnik – Love In troubled times

Karen Jayes – Where he will leave his shoes

Suzanne Jordaan – Beulah

Bobby Jordan – Metalhead and Situation Orange

Chisanga Kabinga – Display cabinet

Ken N Kamoche – A kiss in Nanjing

Yvette Kruger – What I wore

Lauri Kubuitsile – Pulani’s eyes

Beatrice Lamwaka – The star in my camp

Jennifer Lean – To each his own

Irene McCartney – Pauline’s ghost

Jenna Mervis – The lives of dogs

Kirsten Miller – Only in art

NoViolet Mkha Bulawayo – Snapshots

Wame Molefhe – Rainbow-coloured dreams

Natasha Moodley – Spirit of Madala

Isabella Morris – Bluette

Kyne Nislev Bernstorff – The last supper

Naomi Nkealah – In the name of peace

Maik Nwosu – In Leopardville

Tolu Ogunlesi – River Falling

Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi – Area boy rescue

Andrew Salomon – A visit to Dr Mamba

Alex Smith – Soulmates

Dineke Volschenk – Glorious wounds

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers – Keeping everything the same

Hayet Z – Flypapered days

The PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Award has replaced the HSBC/SA PEN Literary Award and aims to encourage new creative writing in Africa. It is open to all citizens of African countries writing in English, and offers talented writers on the continent an exciting opportunity to develop or launch a literary career.