There is a new exciting book prize for debut novelists living in the SADC region! The Dinaane Debut Fiction Award is open to unpublished, English-language, fiction manuscripts by debut writers.
The winning author will receive a cash prize of R35,000 at an awards ceremony, and a publishing deal with Jacana Media.
And according to their press release— “The distribution of the award-winning book is supported by Exclusive Books through inclusion of the title in one of their annual sales campaigns” — which is quite cool! The deadline for all submissions is the 29th of February 2016.
The prize is being run by the Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) located in South Africa. According to their website, JLF “is a not-for-profit organisation which seeks to promote and foster excellent writing from South and Southern Africa through a number of initiatives”. The Dinaane Debut Fiction Award is one of the ways. Other initiatives include the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award which started in 2011.
The Dinaane Debut Fiction Award was formerly called the European Union Literary Award and was only open to novels from South African writers.
The new prize has spread its net wider and is accepting submissions from the SADC region. Past winners of the European Union Literary Award include: Kopano Matlwa for her novel Coconut, Penny Busetto for her novel The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself, and Fred Khumalo’s novel Bitches’ Brew, among others. Many of these debut writers have gone on to successful careers after being given that extra push with their first novel that this prize provided.
The award is only open to novels in English by authors who have not had a novel or novella published previously— debut authors. The submissions will be judged anonymously by a panel of three judges, so they must have no identifying information on them.
Any manuscript with your name on it will be automatically disqualified. The rules are below and a little bit tricky. You must submit your manuscript and author bio (separate documents) online with their online entry form. But then you
The Official Rules:
Submissions are open to English works of fiction only. Only permanent residents or citizens of the following countries may apply:
Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Authors must not have had a work of fiction (novel or novella) published prior to the award.
The award is judged blind, so manuscripts which feature the author’s name or details, by which they may be identified, will be disqualified. The manuscript should be marked with the title of the work only.
An electronic copy of the manuscript, along with a short biography (100 words or less) and author details should be submitted to Jacana Media through the entry form online (www.jacana.co.za/dinaane-debut-fiction-awrd-entry-form)
Only electronic copies of the author’s biography are accepted. In addition, TWO printed copies of the manuscript must be sent to Jacana Media, addressed to: The Dinaane Debut Fiction Award, c/o Jacana Media, 10 Orange Street, Sunnyside, Auckland Park, 2092, Johannesburg
Incomplete entries will be disqualified.
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.
Entries close at 5pm on 29 February – for all entries, both the electronic submission and two printed manuscripts must have reached us by this time. I hope to see lots of submissions from Botswana- best of luck!