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Boeke | Books > Kennisgewings | Notices

Introducing the Jacana Literary Foundation


2011-08-10

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Jacana Media is proud and excited to announce the formation of the Jacana Literary Foundation. 

The Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) seeks to promote and foster excellent writing from South and southern Africa, and to advance the writing of fiction in the region through a number of initiatives, one of which would be creative writing workshops. Through the generous seed-funding of MAGI (the Multi-Agency Grants Initiative), the JLF will be able to publish fiction that may not be easily marketable for one reason or another. Locally published fiction has been particularly hard hit by the current trend of supermarket bookselling, and this endeavour will allow Jacana the opportunity to continue to publish what we like, and support the concept of bibliodiversity. We realise that it is through the reading and writing of fiction that the truths of our lives are best told. The JLF will donate books to various organisations, focusing on prisons, the South African Police Service, hospitals and clinics. The JLF is a not-for-profit organisation.

The award which was formerly known as the European Union Literary Award, awarded annually for best first novel in South Africa, will now be known as the Jacana Literary Award and will be administered from within the JLF.

The inaugural Sol Plaatje Poetry Award supported by the European Union will also be administered through the JLF.

The late Zimbabwean writer Yvonne Vera remembered her first attempts at writing. As a young girl picking cotton with her grandmother, she took a twig and experimented with writing by scratching words on her skin. In setting up the JLF, we are inspired by Vera's need to read and to write, and experience both as a human desire. We will be announcing an editorial advisory board in due course.

Titles to be published under the auspices of the JLF this year include:

  • Siphiwo Mahala – African Delights
  • Zinaid Meeran – Tanuki Ichiban
  • Hazel Frankel – Illuminating Love
  • Thando Mgcolozana – Hear Me Alone
  • Tuelo Gabonewe – Planet Savage
  • Liesl Jobson – Edge of the Pot
  • Mark Thornton – Kid Moses
  • Richard de Nooy – The Big Stick

The JLF is also pleased to announce that the first title to receive funding from the foundation is Zombie and The Moon: More Tales from the Shaman's Record by Peter Merrington.