Thursday, October 27, 2011

langa means sun

I am back in Botswana - first email I get is a memo from the meteorological services telling me I should look forward to temperatures of up to 41 degrees Celsius. I want the sun and a bit of shine but methinks this a tad too much. If nothing gives I might actually have to consider sunscreen and those floppy hats you have to wear with a summer-dress...

Random piece of information there is a place called Mpumalanga in South Africa I'm told it means place of the sun/where the sun comes from. I wonder whether it is in anyway linked to my tribe the baKalanga might explain why my family name is Dema (which means black) and why just about everybody I'm related to is a shade of sunloved brown.

But I digress as part of the Poetry Africa on tour showcase I've been in Malawi, Zimbabwe and all over South Africa for last two weeks and then some, immersed in words however its too hot to blog coherently so I'll upload some pics from the tour soon and let them do the talking

Call for entries: Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Call for entries: Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize
Commonwealth Writers – a world of new fiction

The Commonwealth Foundation has made the call for entries for the new Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The prizes are part of a new initiative, Commonwealth Writers, an online hub to inspire, inform and create a community of writers from all over the world. Together with the prizes, Commonwealth Writers unearths, develops and promotes the best new fiction from across the Commonwealth. Awarded for best first book, the Commonwealth Book Prize is open to writers who have had their first novel (full length work of fiction) published between 1 January and 31 December 2011. Regional winners receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives £10,000. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2000-5000 words). Regional winners receive £1,000 and the overall winner receives £5,000. The winners will be announced in June 2012.

Chair of the Commonwealth Book Prize, Margaret Busby said “The significance of a prize such as this becomes greater with each year. It is vital to encourage and celebrate the talent of newly emerging novelists whose words have the potential to inspire and enrich the entire literary world. Searching out and promoting the best first books of fiction internationally is a serious task, a great honour and a wonderful challenge.”

Chair of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, Bernardine Evaristo said “This wonderful prize will turn the spotlight on the increasingly popular short story form and aims to support and encourage short story writers worldwide.”

As one of the Commonwealth Foundation’s culture programmes, Commonwealth Writers works in partnership with international literary organisations, the wider cultural industries and civil society to help writers develop their craft. Commonwealth Writers is a forum where members can debate the future of publishing, get advice from established authors and ask questions of our writer in residence.

Commonwealth Foundation Director, Danny Sriskandarajah said “As one of the Commonwealth Foundation’s flagship projects, I’m delighted that we’re putting the prizes firmly on the contemporary map of new writing and launching a dedicated Commonwealth Writers website to extend our global reach.”

Commonwealth Foundation
Marlborough House
Pall Mall
London SW1Y 5HY
United Kingdom

Web: or you can also visit the writers association of botswana (wabo) blog for the rules