Achmat Dangor Literary Prize Winner Announced

Johannesburg – The Achmat Dangor Legacy Project and Leseding La Dinaledi Foundation are excited to announce the winner of the prestigious Achmat Dangor Literary Prize, dedicated to honouring Black South African authors, is. The prize, established in honour of acclaimed South African author Achmat Dangor, aims to uplift and recognize outstanding contributions to literature.

After a rigorous selection process, Laila Manack has been chosen from a pool of talented submissions Laila Manack is an accomplished author known for her debut novel, “Sisters of the Circus,” published by Penguin Random House. Born with a syndrome affecting her hearing in one ear, Laila’s unique perspective enriches her storytelling, offering a mature approach that intertwines moral questioning throughout her narratives. Laila has also been featured as a participant at literary events such as the Franschhoek Literary Festival, further establishing her presence in the literary community. Her dedication to the craft is evident, and her impact on the literary scene continues to grow, captivating audiences with her thought-provoking storytelling.

“Laila has demonstrated exceptional literary prowess, embodying the spirit of Achmat Dangor’s legacy and we are excited to work with her on her new novel” says Thabiso Mahlape managing partner of the project. “This achievement marks a significant milestone in promoting diversity and inclusivity in the literary world, echoing the principles championed by Achmat Dangor throughout his illustrious career.”

The Achmat Dangor Literary Prize not only celebrates Laila but also highlights the importance of supporting and amplifying voices from underrepresented communities which is expected to have a profound impact on her career and the broader literary landscape.

For more information on the Book Prize Contact: Leseding La Dinaledi Foundation +27 (0) 12 012 5860

The Achmat Dangor Literary Prize

The Achmat Dangor Legacy Project and Leseding La Dinaledi Foundation are excited to announce the launch of a new book prize aimed at supporting black South African authors who are currently working on their second manuscript. The prize is designed to provide these writers with concentrated time and space to complete their manuscript, by offering them a writing residency, a cash stipend, and final editing of their complete book.

Named in honour of acclaimed South African author Achmat Dangor, who used his literary works to explore the themes of apartheid, race, and identity, the prize aims to continue his legacy by supporting and promoting South African literature. The project will be managed by the Leseding La Dinaledi Foundation, led by Thabiso Mahlape, the founder of Blackbird Books.

The winner of the book prize will receive a three-month writing residency at the Nirox Foundation, which includes a luxurious two-bedroom double-story house with a large double-volume studio, mezzanine workspace, lounge, dining, and entertainment facility, and a separate self-contained 2-bedroom cottage overlooking the water. The residency also includes fully serviced amenities such as meals and Wi-Fi, as well as access to the Sculpture Park’s 30-hectare garden and on-site restaurant. The prize will also include a R45,000 cash prize and R30,000 worth of editing to help the winner complete their next manuscript and publish their book.

The Book Prize is open to all published African authors who are currently working on their second manuscript. Submissions for the prize will be open from June to July 2023, and the winner will be announced in October 2023. The writing residency will take place from April to June 2024.

Authors who would like to enter the Book Prize should submit three chapters of their second manuscript  as well as a short bio and a synopsis of said work to before the 31st July 2023

Thabiso Mahlape, managing partner of the project, said, “We aim to further support writers by providing them with the necessary tools and space to create. We endeavour to be a platform that is a promoter for exploring new perspectives, initiating conversations, and inspiring the community through literature.”