Penguin Books South Africa Announces a New Literary Award

Penguin Books announced today a new literary award for writers from the African continent. The Penguin Prize for African Writing has two categories: a previously unpublished full-length work of adult fiction and one of non-fiction. The prize in each category will be R50 000 and a publishing contract with Penguin Books South Africa, with worldwide distribution via Penguin Group companies.

Penguin South Africa's CEO Alison Lowry commented, "Although this prize does not exclude established authors, we believe that there are new writers from Africa for whom Penguin can provide a platform, and in so doing we hope to reflect and showcase the diversity of voices on our continent both at home and abroad."

Books to be considered for the non-fiction award will be serious narratives that examine and explore African issues and experiences for both local and international audiences in an engaging, thought provoking and enlightening way.

For the fiction prize the judges will be looking for novels of freshness and originality that represent the finest examples of contemporary fiction out of Africa.

Penguin's Chairman and Chief Executive, John Makinson said, "As we approach the end of our second decade of publishing in South Africa, it is exciting to be able to look ahead to the next phase of the company's development. The Penguin Prize for African Writing will give us opportunities to reach new readers across Africa and bring talented and important writers to the attention of book lovers around the world."

Submissions for both categories are now open, and close on the 30th of January 2010. The shortlist will be announced in April 2010 and the final prizes will be awarded in September 2010.

See these documents for the fiction and non-fiction prize criteria:

Penguin Prize for African Writing - Fiction Criteria

Penguin Prize for African Writing - Non-fiction Criteria

For further information, or to interview Penguin's CEO Alison Lowry or Publisher Louise Grantham please contact Tracey McDonald on +27 11 327 3550 or