Dinaane Debut Fiction Award

Entries closed as of 31 May 2017. The shortlist will be announced mid-November 2017.
Non-fiction takes the lion’s share of sales of books made in South Africa, with fiction limited to a very small percentage of all sales of locally published books. Many locally published novels sell just a few hundred copies, making it difficult for publishers to recoup the costs of publication from sales.

Sometimes wonderful, illuminating and challenging fiction doesn’t get published because publishers are more and more constrained by market forces. It is heart-breaking to silence these voices, as fiction is the one genre where the heartbeat of southern Africa is documented in an uncensored manner. We cannot allow it to disappear.

Accordingly, Dinaane, the only award of its kind, aims to promote new southern African fiction that speaks to both a local and international audience. It encourages new writers and new readers by publishing material which would likely otherwise not have been selected – for purely commercial reasons – by local publishers of literature. 

The winning title is supported by Exclusive Books.

Winners of the European Union Literary Award include:

  • Dubsteps by Andrew Miller (2014)
  • The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself by Penny Busetto (2013)
  • Khalil’s Journey by Ashraf Kagee (2011/12)
  • Deeper than Colour by James Clelland (2010)
  • Saracen at the Gates by Zinaid Meeran (2009)
  • Till We Can Keep an Animal by Megan Voysey-Braig (2008)
  • Coconut by Kopano Matlwa (2007)
  • Bitches’ Brew by Fred Khumalo and Ice in the Lungs by Gerald Kraak (2005)
  • The Silent Minaret by Ishtiyaq Shukri (2004)
The Dinaane Debut Fiction Award and Kraak Writing Grant winners for 2016
2016 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award.

Winner – Selling LipService

Runner Up – No Word Like Home

Runner Up – The Last Stop

2016 Kraak Writing Grant

Winner – Braids and Migraines



• Submissions will be open from the 1 April 2017 to 31 May 2017. 

• We welcome innovative writing and the exploration of languages capturing the multilingual landscape in South Africa and the world; nevertheless, the entries must be primarily in English. 

• Only permanent residents or citizens of South Africa may apply. 

• Authors must not have had a work of fiction (novel or novella) published prior to the award. 

• The award is judged blind, so manuscripts that feature the author’s name or details by which they may be identified will be disqualified. The manuscript should be marked with the title of the work only. 

• An electronic copy of the manuscript, along with a short biography (100 words or less) and author details should be submitted to Jacana Media via our website. 

• In addition, three printed copies of the manuscript must be sent to Jacana Media, addressed to: 









• Please use a font size of 12, Times New Roman and 1.5 spacing (no other formal formatting is required).

• Also insert page numbers.

• Please bind all three hard copies that you submit to us and print back to back.

• Incomplete entries will be disqualified.

• Manuscripts should be a minimum of 40 000 words in length. Short stories do not qualify. Submissions must have been authored

   by one person. Co-authored pieces or works of collaboration do not qualify.

• Any entries that secure a publishing deal before the shortlist has been confirmed must be withdrawn by the author.


Results 1 - 9 of 9

Selling LipService

Selling LipService, Tammy Baikie’s remarkable debut novel, was the winner of the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award in 2016. Daring in scope and...

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Dub Steps

Winner of the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award for 2015

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The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself

The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself is a sparse disturbing novel reflecting the past, present and future of a woman, Anna P, who lives on an...

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Khalil's Journey

Ashraf Kagee, winner of the seventh annual European Union Literary Award, evokes the richly-textured beauty of everyday life of the last century’s...

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Till We Can Keep an Animal

Till We Can Keep an Animal is about a middle-aged woman who is attacked, raped and murdered in her home by armed robbers. The novel is written from...

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Deeper Than Colour

Thematically, Deeper than Colour explores the wide gulf between our view of ourselves, how we are seen by others, and the dispassionate images seen...

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Saracen at the Gates

Saracen at the Gates is a wildly revolutionary tale that is as raucously hilarious as it is bitterly sad, with a satirical edge that finds easy...

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Ice in the Lungs

Ice in the Lungs scrutinises moral quandaries in apartheid South Africa in a dazzling array of meticulous detail and hidden truths complicated by...

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European Union Literary Award Winner 2006. Coconut is a story that deals with growing up as a black child in a white world. It is the story of black...

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