2018 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award shortlist announced – discovering new South African literary talent

The Jacana Literary Foundation has announced the shortlisted finalists for the 2018 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award!

For the past 14 years, first as the European Union Literary Award and now as the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award, the prize has unearthed great new South African literary talent.

Dinaane aims to promote new southern African fiction that speaks to both a local and international audience. It encourages new writers and new readers by publishing material which would likely otherwise not have been selected – for purely commercial reasons – by local publishers of literature.

The winner is awarded R35,000 and publication by Jacana Media, and the winning title is supported by Exclusive Books.

Entries were judged blind by a panel comprising David Medalie (chair), Rehana Rossouw and Songeziwe Mahlangu.

In alphabetical order, the following manuscripts have been shortlisted:

  • Legacy of a Rain Queen: The Eagle’s Martial by Sophia Tao
  • Not to Mention by Vivian de Klerk
  • The Mourning Bird by Mubanga Kalimamukwento

The overall winner will be announced at an award ceremony next month in partnership with the University of Johannesburg Library.

The JLF will also present the Kraak Writing Award, with the winning writer selected from the runners-up. The grant is valued at R25,000 and dedicated to the memory of Gerald Kraak. It will offer the recipient mentoring and intensive coaching from an editor/publishing expert, enabling the author to refine and develop their work further.

Judging panel

Chair of the panel, David Medalie, is an award-winning writer and has many years’ experience teaching creative writing. He is a short story writer, novelist and anthologist. His publications include two collections of short stories, The Shooting of the Christmas Cows (1990, David Philip) and The Mistress’s Dog (2010, Picador Africa/ Pan Macmillan) and a novel, The Shadow Follows(2006, Picador Africa/Pan Macmillan). He has edited two anthologies of South African short stories, Encounters (1998) and Recognition (2017), both published by Wits University Press. Medalie’s writing has won or been shortlisted for a number of literary awards.

Rehana Rossouw was born and is rooted in Cape Town, but is currently in self-imposed exile in Johannesburg. She has been a journalist for three decades and has also taught journalism and creative writing. She has a master’s in creative writing from Wits University. What Will People Say?, her debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature and won the 2017 Humanities and Social Sciences Award in the category of single-authored fiction. Her second novel, New Times, was also released in 2017.

Songeziwe Mahlangu was born in Alice in 1985. He matriculated from Dale College, in King William’s Town, and went on to do a business science degree at the University of Cape Town. He returned to university to do a master’s degree in creative writing at Rhodes, Grahamstown in 2011. Penumbra, his debut novel, is the end result of that degree. Penumbra was shortlisted for the 2014 Sunday Times Fiction Prize and won the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Categories Fiction South Africa

Tags Awards David Medalie Dinaane Debut Fiction Award Jacana Literary Foundation Legacy of a Rain Queen Mubanga Kalimamukwento News Not to Mention Rehana Rossouw Songeziwe Mahlangu Sophia Tao The Mourning Bird Vivian de Klerk

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