The Dinaane Debut Fiction Award call for submissions

If you are an aspiring author and want the chance to get published, then this is the opportunity you have been waiting for.

For the past 15 years, first as the European Union Literary Award and now as The Dinaane Debut Fiction Award, this platform has unearthed great new literary talent within South Africa and now within southern African countries. The Jacana Literary Foundation welcomes submissions that demonstrate innovative and unique writing.

Submissions will be open from 1 April 2019 to 31 May 2019.

The shortlist will be announced in February 2020. The overall winner will receive R35,000 and will be published by Jacana Media. The winning manuscript will be part of the Exclusive Books Homebru campaign in June 2020.

The JLF will also present the Kraak Writing Award, dedicated to the memory of Gerald Kraak. The recipient of this award will receive a three-month intensive mentorship from a published author, editor, or a publishing expert, enabling the author to refine and develop their work still further.


  • The JLF welcomes the exploration of languages capturing the multilingual landscape in South Africa and the world; nevertheless, the entries must be primarily in English.
  • Only permanent residents or citizens of South Africa and other southern African countries may apply.
  • Authors must not have had a work of fiction (novel or novella) published prior to the award.
  • An electronic copy of the manuscript, along with a short biography (100 words or less) and author details should be submitted to Jacana Media via the website.
  • Only electronic copies of the author’s biography are accepted.
  • In addition, three printed copies of the manuscript must be sent to Jacana Media:

The Dinaane Debut Fiction Award
c/o Jacana Media
10 Orange Street
Auckland Park
South Africa

  • The award is judged blind, so hard-copy manuscripts that feature the author’s name or details by which they may be identified, will be disqualified. The hard-copy manuscript should be marked with the title of the work only.
  • No hard copies will be returned to the author.
  • Incomplete entries will be disqualified.
  • There will judges feedback on winners and shortlisted entries only.
  • Manuscripts should be a minimum of 40,000 words in length. Short stories do not qualify.
  • Submissions must have been authored by one person. Co-authored pieces or works of collaboration do not qualify.
  • Any entries which secure a publishing deal before the shortlist has been confirmed must be withdrawn by the author.

Enquiries can be directed to: awards@jacana.co.za.

Previous winners of the European Union Literary Award

  • The Mourning Bird by Mubanga Kalimamukwento (2018)
  • Selling LipService by Tammy Baikie (2016)
  • Dubsteps by Andrew Miller (2014)
  • The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself by Penny Busetto (2013)
  • Khalil’s Journey by Ashraf Kagee (2011/12)
  • Deeper than Colour by James Clelland (2010)
  • Saracen at the Gates by Zinaid Meeran (2009)
  • Till We Can Keep an Animal by Megan Voysey-Braig (2008)
  • Coconut by Kopano Matlwa (2007)
  • Bitches’ Brew by Fred Khumalo and Ice in the Lungs by Gerald Kraak (2005)
  • The Silent Minaret by Ishtiyaq Shukri (2004)

Categories Fiction South Africa

Tags Awards Dinaane Debut Fiction Award Gerald Kraak Award Gerald Kraak Prize Homebru Jacana Literary Foundation Jacana Media Kraak Writing Award News

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