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2008 CITIZEN BOOK PRIZE (article first published : 2008-03-10)

The year 2007 saw the launch of the Citizen Book Prize in association with 30° South Publishers, the first book prize in South Africa to be voted for by the reading public. The competition is a great way to discover new talent and find out what the public wants to read.

“As a young South African publisher, 30° South Publishers wanted to offer unpublished South African writers a chance to have their work published as well as expanding the public’s awareness of the wealth of undiscovered writing talent in South Africa,” says Kerrin Cocks of 30° South Publishers. “As a result, we have partnered with The Citizen in South Africa’s first ever book prize to be chosen by the reading public. We believe that The Citizen is the perfect media partner for the prize as it is very representative of the South African reading public.

“The response to the competition far exceeded our expectations for its inaugural year,” continues Kerrin Cocks, “and the decision to turn it into an annual event was therefore an easy one. The synopses we received were as diverse as the authors submitting them with a fascinating array of plot, setting, genre, style and storyline. However, the winning title, Home Affairs, by Bree O’Mara had an overwhelmingly clear majority win.

The 2008 competition was recently launched by CitiVibe editor, Bruce Dennill, and details on this year’s competition will appear shortly in Thursday editions of Citivibe, The Citizen’s leisure and entertainment section. Entries close on April 30. All budding authors are invited to put together a synopsis of their manuscript and to send it into 30° South Publishers as soon as possible. Address details can be found at www.30degreessouth.co.za

Each Thursday for 10 weeks starting in May, Citivibe will publish one 500-word synopsis from a shortlist. The reading public can then vote for it, with voting for each entry only be open for one week starting on the Thursday it is featured in the paper. This allows the same amount of voting time and exposure for each author and encourages the public to actively participate in the competition on a week-by-week basis. The voting is done on a grading system and at the end of the 10 weeks, the votes are tallied and the winner announced.

The winner receives: R10,000 cash courtesy of The Citizen as well as a writing course to the value of R4,500 courtesy of The Write Co. Their manuscript will also be published by 30° South Publishers in time for Christmas 2008 and their book will also be submitted for the 2009 Exclusive Books Homebru promotion.




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