The shortlists for the annual University of Johannesburg Prizes for South African Writing in English have been announced.
The 2022 edition of the award celebrates works published in 2021.
Unlike most literary awards, the UJ Prizes are not linked to a specific genre, as, according to the organisers, the idea is to ‘open the prize to as many forms of creative writing as possible’.
‘This may make the evaluation more challenging,’ the prize organisers say, ‘in the sense that, for example, a volume of poetry, a novel and a biographical work must be measured against one another, but the idea is to open the prize to as many forms of creative writing as possible.’
The UJ Main Prize winner will receive R70,000, while the UJ Debut Prize comes with prize money of R35,000.
Approximately sixty books were submitted for the prize this year.
The winners will be announced this week.
2022 UJ Main Prize shortlist
- The Lost Language of the Soul by Mandla Langa
- Wayfarers’ Hymns by Zakes Mda
- By the Fading Light by Ashraf Kagee
2022 UJ Debut Prize shortlist
- Suitcase of Memory by A’Eysha Kassiem
- If You Save Me by Lisa-Anne Julien
- Junx by Tshidiso Moletsane
This year’s adjudication panel is:
- Sikhumbuzo Mngadi (chair)
- Ronit Frenkel (coordinator)
- Thabo Tsehloane
- Minesh Dass
- Marzia Milazzo
- Rebecca Fasselt
Last year’s UJ Main Prize winner was Jacob Dlamini, for Safari Nation, while the UJ Debut Prize was shared between Rešoketšwe Manenzhe, for Scatterlings, and Jamil F Khan, for Khamr: The Making of a Waterslams.
The winners of the 2022 UJ Prizes for Creative Writing in isiZulu, Creative Writing in Sesotho sa Leboa, and Literary Translation were also recently announced.
Ntombenhle Protasia Dlamini and Khanyelihle Mnguni were named joint winners of the 2022 UJ Main Prize for Creative Writing in isiZulu, with a monetary value of R70,000, Dlamini for her poetry collection Zinoju Zulu and Mnguni for his short story collection Kusazoba Mnandi.
Sandile Ngwenya was announced as the winner of the 2022 Debut Prize for Creative Writing in isiZulu, with a monetary value of R35,000, for his debut novel Imali Yezipoki, which also won a 2021 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature: Gold.
Nomusa Sibiya from UJ’s Multilingual Language Services Office was the coordinator of the isiZulu prizes. She also served on the panel of adjudicators, along with Dr Brenda Bokaba and CW Mthembu.
The joint winners of the 2022 UJ Debut Prize for Creative Writing in Sesotho sa Leboa, with a monetary value of R35,000, were Kholofelo Thaba, for the poetry collection Sedibeng sa Komelelo, and Mahlatsi Maqwenjo, for the novel Bohlale bjo foufetšego.
Moroamofo Leshilo from UJ’s Multilingual Language Services Office was the coordinator of the Sesotho sa Leboa prize. He also served on the panel of adjudicators, along with Nthabi B Malatji and Maropeng Maponya.
SJ Naudé was named the winner of the 2022 UJ Prize for Literary Translation, with a monetary value of R50,000, for the self-translation of his short story collection Dol heuning into English as Mad Honey.
Prof. Marné Pienaar acted as the coordinator of the translation prizes, and together with Corné Johl and Prof. Michiel Heyns served on the panel of adjudicators.
Finally, the winner of the 2022 Sesotho sa Leboa Main Prize, with a monetary value of R70,000, was Ditsakauma Tša Marumo by PM Mashilo and MT Masha.
The prizes are administered by the University of Johannesburg Multilingual Language Services Office.