Dinaane Debut Fiction Award and Kraak Writing Grant winners 2019 announced

The winners of the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award and Kraak Writing Grant 2019 have been announced!

13 March 2019 - 10:29

The Jacana Literary Foundation, in partnership with Exclusive Books, is delighted to announce the winner of the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award 2019.

Congratulations to Mubanga Kalimamukwento, she will receive a R35 000 cash prize and publication of her book, The Mourning Bird, by Jacana Media.

This title will be available in the Exclusive Books’ Homebru Campaign in June 2019.

“From the very first page one is struck by how self-assured the writing is, by the fact that the writer never feels the need to strain for effect or over-explicate the issues involved. The depiction is both unflinching and subtle.” – David Medalie (head judge)

The Kraak Writing Grant went to Vivian de Klerk, author of Not to Mention. The grant is valued at R25 000 and is dedicated to the memory of Gerald Kraak.

It offers the recipient mentoring and intensive coaching from Alison Lowry, editor, publishing expert and writer, enabling the author to refine and develop their work still further.

“I have had a dip into [Not to Mention] and I think there might be something rather wonderful there. I shall look forward to working with the author in due course.” – Alison Lowry (mentor to the Gerald Kraak Writing Grant winner)

Sophia Tao (Legacy of a Rain Queen – The Eagles Marshall) narrowly missed being awarded for her exceptionally well-written and creative manuscript. We have no doubt that her work will be picked up for publication, so keep an eye out!

“The Dinaane Award was formerly known as the EU Literary Award. In 2018 it was revived under a new name and it seemed to me, from the number of entries and level of interest, that it gained a new energy. It drew more than seventy entries. A significant development is that the award was opened for the first time to writers from the SADC countries; consequently, the submissions included novels from, amongst others, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana.” – David Medalie (head judge)

The aim of these awards is to ensure that great southern African fiction continues to be published, by making possible new literature that may otherwise not have come about – not because of its merits, but because of the market forces that constrain us all in the book world.

If you entered your manuscript, showed an interest or if you buy these books, you are keeping local fiction alive – the JLF thanks you!

About The Mourning Bird

The Mourning Bird is the story of a Zambian street kid turned prostitute, told through the eyes of Chimuka Grace Mwiya. Following the deaths of her parents from AIDS and suicide, Chimuka is forced to live on the street and later resorts to prostitution as a way to survive. It is set in the 1990s, Lusaka, and explores the Zambian psyche in times of death, political instability, economic change and growth. Her experiences expose the paradox that is Zambia. A country that boldly declares itself as a Christian nation and hub of peace and yet neglects the children who stand witness to decades of poor political decisions that led to increased unemployment, a failing health system and the unspoken stigma lived by victims of HIV.

Mubanga Kalimamukwento is a criminal lawyer from Zambia. She has been writing stories since she was 10 years old as a way of coping with the grief of losing her mother at a young age. She is a single mother of two boys and a fellow of the Young African Leadership Initiative (2017) and the prestigious Hubert Humphrey Fellowship (2018/2019).

Are you an unpublished writer of fiction? Don’t let the chance to be the next winner of the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award pass you by. Entries for the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award 2020 will be opening in April 2019. Follow us on social media for the latest updates and visit our website for more information on how to enter.