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Introducing the Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF)

Jacana Literary Foundation

The Zombie and the MoonJacana has just announced the formation of the not-for-profit Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) with the aim of promoting greater bibliodiversity in South African fiction. Through generous seed-funding from the Multi-Agency Grants Initiative (MAGI), Jacana will continue to live up to its motto of “we publish what we like”.

Other changes include the renaming of the European Union Literary Award to the Jacana Literary Award. The first title to receive funding from the Jacana Literary Foundation is Zombie and the Moon by Peter Merrington. Look out for more exciting forthcoming titles, as mentioned in the press release:

Press release

Jacana Media is proud and excited to announce the formation of the Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF). The 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 hit hard 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:

The JLF is pleased to announce the first title that will receive funding from this foundation: Zombie and the Moon: More Tales from the Shaman’s Record by Peter Merrington. Zombie and the Moon will be launched at Kalk Bay Books on 5 August at 18:00 for 18:30


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Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    August 4th, 2011 @22:01 #

    This is fantastic news. I have managed to get my sticky editorial paws on four (maybe even five) of these MSS, and am having the most wonderful time. Am greedy: casting covetous looks at Liesl's MS as well...

    Anyway, to tantalise you, Thando's absolutely unique and funny and moving novella (about the true paternity of Jesus, but I will say no more) is being proofed, and I am currently elbow-deep in Siphiwo Mahala's wry and humane short stories, his tribute to Can Themba. Oh I love my job.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    August 5th, 2011 @09:31 #

    Sounds great. Jacana seems to be putting money where the mouths are and helping find solutions to the perceived problems in South African writing.

    I'm particularly excited to see Richard de Nooy's book on that list - we've been teased too long!

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    August 5th, 2011 @11:31 #

    I hope your patience is richly rewarded, Louis!

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    August 5th, 2011 @11:47 #

    Fabulous news! What a brilliant idea. Good for you, Jacana and for all the writers.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Liesl</a>
    August 6th, 2011 @16:23 #

    Delighted to be in such excellent authorial company!


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