[The JRB Daily] Lesego Rampolokeng and Barbara Boswell win the UJ Prizes for South African Writing

The winners have been announced for the University of Johannesburg Prizes for South African Writing in English for works published in 2017.

Lesego Rampolokeng has won the Main Prize for his novel Bird-Monk Seding (Deep South Publishers), and Barbara Boswell has been awarded the Debut Prize for her novel Grace (Modjaji Books).

Rampolokeng wins prize money of R75,000, while Boswell receives R35,000. A formal prize-giving ceremony will be held later in the year.

The UJ prizes are not linked to a specific genre, and this year over sixty works of fiction, poetry, short stories, essays and biography were under consideration.

A formal prize-giving ceremony will be held at a function later in the year.

The UJ Prize shortlists were:

Main Prize

  • Dancing the Death Drill by Fred Khumalo
  • Bird-Monk Seding by Lesego Rampolokeng
  • New Times by Rehana Rossouw
  • The Inside-Out Man by Fred Strydom

Debut Prize

  • Grace by Barbara Boswell
  • Killing Karoline by Sara-Jayne King

Last year Nthikeng Mohlele won the Main Prize for his novel Pleasure (Picador Africa), while Mohale Mashigo was awarded the Debut Prize for her novel The Yearning (Picador Africa).

Previous winners include Craig Higginson, Eliza Kentridge, Nkosinathi Sithole, Zakes Mda, Penny Busetto, Lauren Beukes, Dominique Botha, Ken Barris and Steven Boykey Sidley.

The adjudication panel this year was:

  • Sikhumbuzo Mngadi (UJ)
  • Ronit Frenkel (UJ)
  • Danyela Demir (UJ)
  • Rebecca Fasselt (UP)
  • Bridget Grogan (UJ)
  • Nyasha Mboti (UJ)
  • Thabo Tsehloane (UJ)

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