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New book prize to assist Black South African authors

The Achmat Dangor Legacy Project and Leseding La Dinaledi Foundation announced the launch of a new book prize aimed at supporting Black South African authors who are currently working on their second manuscript.

The prize is designed to provide these writers with concentrated time and space to complete their manuscript, by offering them a writing residency, a cash stipend, and final editing of their complete book.

The book prize was announced on Wednesday. Source: Supplied.
The book prize was announced on Wednesday. Source: Supplied.

Named in honour of acclaimed South African author Achmat Dangor, who used his literary works to explore the themes of apartheid, race, and identity, the prize aims to continue his legacy by supporting and promoting South African literature. The project will be managed by the Leseding La Dinaledi Foundation, led by Thabiso Mahlape, the founder of Blackbird Books.

Luxury prize

The winner of the book prize will receive a three-month writing residency at the Nirox Foundation, which includes a luxurious two-bedroom double-story house with a large double-volume studio, mezzanine workspace, lounge, dining, and entertainment facility, and a separate self-contained two-bedroom cottage overlooking the water.

The residency also includes fully serviced amenities such as meals and Wi-Fi, as well as access to the Sculpture Park’s 30-hectare garden and on-site restaurant. The prize will also include a R45,000 cash prize and R30,000 worth of editing to help the winner complete their next manuscript and publish their book.

The Book Prize is open to all published African authors who are currently working on their second manuscript. Submissions for the prize will be open from June to July 2023, and the winner will be announced in October 2023. The writing residency will take place from April to June 2024.

Inspiring through literature

Authors who would like to enter the Book Prize should submit three chapters of their second manuscript as well as a short bio and a synopsis of said work to Black Bird Books before the end of July.

Thabiso Mahlape, managing partner of the project, said, “We aim to further support writers by providing them with the necessary tools and space to create. We endeavour to be a platform that is a promoter for exploring new perspectives, initiating conversations, and inspiring the community through literature.”

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