The Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) is pleased to announce that the European Union Literary Award will from now on be known as the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award. The EU Literary Award has been administered by Jacana for the past ten years with generous support from various European Union member-states and partners. The Dinaane Debut Fiction Award will now be administered by the JLF.
With the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award the JLF hopes to build on the excellent reputation of the EU Literary Award and will continue to foster vibrant new South African writing talent. Kopano Matlwa, winner of the EU Award in 2007 with Coconut, has been translated into Swedish and Dutch, with a French translation currently underway, and Coconut is a set work at schools across South Africa. Fred Khumalo’s follow-up to his award-winning novel Bitches’ Brew, Seven Steps to Heaven, has been prescribed as a set work at UNISA.
As a result of the EU Literary Award, previously unpublished writers now have careers as novelists. The most recent winner of the EU Literary Award was Penny Busetto for her novel The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself, published in April 2014.
The newly launched Dinaane Award is, like its predecessor, open to unpublished English-language manuscripts by debut writers. In renaming the award and moving into a new era, we wanted to find a word which connotes the many strands of conversation which weave into the common language of fiction. The word ‘dinaane’ in Setswana means ‘telling our stories to one another’, a name which we hope is evocative, accurate and simple.
The deadline for the first Dinaane Award is 1 September 2014. The winning manuscript will be published by Jacana Media in 2015 and the winner awarded a R35 000 prize. The Dinaane Award continues to be supported by Exclusive Books and their Homebru campaign.