[The JRB Daily] 2018 South African Literary Awards shortlists revealed—and new Poet Laureate to be announced

The 2018 South African Literary Awards shortlists have been announced, with nominees including Malebo Sephodi, Nick Mulgrew, Kelwyn Sole and Rehana Rossouw.

Now in their thirteenth year, the SALAs are awarded annually by the wRite Associates and the Department of Arts and Culture to celebrate literary excellence in all the languages of South Africa.

This year, twenty-three authors have been shortlisted, from a total of just under two hundred submissions. Two additional award categories have been announced in 2018: the Novel Award and the Children’s Literature Award.

The winners will be announced on 6 November 2018 at Unisa. Following the passing of Keorapetse Kgositsile, the new National Poet Laureate will also be announced at the ceremony.

Morakabe Seakhoa, SALA project director, says: ‘We are excited that South African literature continues to flourish, with many young writers coming into the scene, sharing platforms with their more established and experienced counterparts.’

However, Seakhoa also expressed concern that ‘we still see less and less of works written in African languages’.

The awards will be followed by the sixth Africa Century International African Writers Conference, which will take place from 6–7 November. The International African Writers Day Lecture will be delivered by Professor Kwesi Kwaa Prah, the founder of the Centre for Advanced Studies of African Societies in South Africa.


2018 South African Literary Awards shortlists

Category: First-time Published Author Award

AuthorBook titleLanguage
Celesté FritzeVerlorenkopAfrikaans
Malebo SephodiMiss BehaveEnglish

Category: Creative Non-fiction Award

AuthorBook titleLanguage
Deon MaasMelk die heilige koeie: Van baarde en banting tot Zupta and zolAfrikaans
Jurgen SchadebergThe Way I See ItEnglish

Category: K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award

No shortlist

Category: Poetry Award

Book titleLanguage
Johan MyburgUittogboekAfrikaans
Kelwyn SoleWalking, FallingEnglish

Category: Literary Translators Award

AuthorBook titleLanguage
Jeff Opland and Peter MtuzeUmoya Wembongi: Collected Poems 1922–1935) by John SoliloisiXhosa to English
Jeff Opland and Peter MtuzeIziganeko Zesizwe: Occasional Poems (1900–1943) by SEK MqhayiisiXhosa to English

Category: Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award

AuthorBook titleLanguage
Nick MulgrewThe First Law of SadnessEnglish
Nicole Jaekel StraussAs in die mondAfrikaans

Category: Novel Award

AuthorBook titleLanguage
Dan Sleigh1795Afrikaans
Rehana RossouwNew TimesEnglish

Category: Children’s Literature Award

Marilyn J HonikmanThere Should Have Been FiveEnglish
Jaco JacobsDaar is nie ʼn krokodil in hierdie boek nieAfrikaans
Jaco JacobsMoenie hierdie boek eet nie!Afrikaans
Marita van der VyverAl wat ek weetAfrikaans

Category: Posthumous Literary Award

To be announced at the award ceremony

Category: Literary Journalism Award

To be announced at the award ceremony

Category: Lifetime Achievement Literary Award

AuthorBook titleLanguage
Hermann GiliomeeBody of workAfrikaans
Ronnie KasrilsBody of workEnglish

Category: Chairperson’s Award

To be announced at the award ceremony

Category: National Poet Laureate

To be announced at the award ceremony


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