Since its inception in 1980, the prestigious Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature has consistently rewarded work of outstanding quality, becoming a trusted brand among both the general book-buying public and the educational sector.
Prizes worth R75 000 are up for grabs and prize-winning authors will get their books published by Tafelberg Publishers, catapulting their writing career to the next level.
Write a Young Adult novel in just 26 weeks.
Find out about past winners and their novels.
Check out some photos from the event.
What are you waiting for? Get writing.
Writing a whole book can feel daunting, but anyone can write just 250 words a day, right?
If you feel like you have a Young Adult book in you, but don’t know where to start, join us for #250WordsADay. Like the Sanlam Youth Literature Prize page on Facebook, and we’ll guide you through the process with tips and inspiration from published authors. If you stick to our guidelines, you should have your manuscript finished in 26 weeks – hopefully in time to enter the Sanlam Youth Literature Prize in September, offering R75 000 in prizes.
Here are a few of our most recent winners and the novels that got them recognised.
Blue is not a colour is a family drama in three parts. The Vorster’s home life is a circus. But there is nothing funny or amazing about it. Their clown faces laugh in shades of blue after the terrible accident three years before. Sisters Vicky and Regina have become accustomed to fend for themselves, until their father decides to step back into his role as head of the household. He has had enough of the useless government, the dire state of the national rugby team and the never-ending drought. Blou is nie ‘n kleur nie is sixteenyear-old Vicky’s account of a family drowning in suburban angst and other emotional baggage.
Carin Krahtz was born in Pretoria and attended high school on the East Rand. She completed a Journalism degree at the University of Stellenbosch and worked in the publishing industry in Cape Town for several years before moving back to Gauteng. While working as corporate journalist she started writing children’s books. This prompted a return to academia: she completed a Masters degree in Afrikaans and Dutch at UCT in 2000, as well as a teaching qualification from Unisa. She has been working as a teacher in Centurion for almost 15 years. She is married and has two daughters.
Lucy, a 16-year-old girl from New York, is recovering from a recent, traumatic experience. She joins her father at the fictional Barclay Bay, on South Africa's west coast, where she slowly makes sense of her ordeal. But Lucy cannot help but also be affected by the characters around her, including that of Hap, an early ancestor who lived in the area, and whose experiences Lucy, in a state of heightened emotion and perception, seems to sense. .
Lesley Beake has published almost 80 books. All her stories are set in Africa and are rich in African imagery and landscape. Lesley also has a wide portfolio of travel writing, radio broadcasting and website work. She currently manages and edits a website for San communities at www.kalaharipeoples.net.
A riveting story of love, betrayal, jealousy, cyber bullying and growing up in the social media era. Imibala Yothando (The Colours of Love) explores love in all of its shades, ranging from lightness and purity to the darker shades of jealousy. Sinenhlanhla, the daughter of a famous Maskandi musician, is navigating being the new girl in school. Sinenhlanhla is ambitious and excels at Maths and swimming. She has no time for all the admirers she has attracted at her new school. Among the many admirers are Mzekezeke, who has been chosen to represent the school at the Maths Olympiad in Cape Town with her and is too shy to declare his feelings, and Bhejasi, the school bad boy and skhothane. After being spurned by Sinenhlanhla, Bhajasi manages to get hold of private photos of her that he spreads on social media in an effort to humiliate her. Will this destroy Sinenhlanhla's life, or is she strong enough to overcome something so terrible?
Dumisani Hlatswayo lives in Somerset East. He writes poetry, short stories, novels and drama in isiZulu and English. He was inspired to write by writers such as NG Sibiya, DBZ Ntuli, MM Masondo and CT Msimang. In 2012 he was a finalist for the Maskew Millar Longman Literature Awards.
Peet Rautenbach is Algoa High's head boy. Intelligent and talented in art, music and debating, great things are expected of him. He is the apple of his parents' eye and can't put a foot wrong. But Peet has a dark secret: his obsession with a teacher, Miss Scarlett R Reynolds. Could she be reciprocating? It's a dangerous path, and it could cost him his life.
Jan Vermeulen hails from Namibia. His first adult novel was published in 1998 after completing a creative writing course. His first youth novel, Geraamtes dra nie klere nie, won a Sanlam Prize in 2000. Jan and his wife Diana live in Despatch, Eastern Cape Province.
“I am different,” I say. “I’m from the Margins.”
Ever since I was about twelve, there’s been this feeling that comes to me sometimes that I’m supposed to be somewhere else, living another life, that I’m not me, or that I’m meant to be someone other than who I am.
In a future age labelled the Prosperity, Jabz rounds up a motley gang of adventure seekers to travel with him
to the mountain of his vision. They don’t realise they’re expendable – their only purpose to fund the journey
in Jabz’s old Quantum bus. But none of them has ventured into the Wildlands before. Are the rumours
of wild people and savage animals true? And perhaps Jabz isn’t the only one keeping secrets . . .
Jayne Bauling's YA novels have been awarded the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa and the Maskew Miller Longman Literature Award. Her Sanlam Prize winner Dreaming of Light is prescribed for Gr 11 FAL by the DBE. She lives in White River, Mpumalanga Province.
Mamello and her parents paint a pretty picture of household harmony for their community, but their household is far from perfect. Mamello’s parents mistreat her.and don’t allow her to go to school. All Mamello desires is to go to school and one day study towards becoming a human rights lawyer. Mamello is a South African Cinderella story of a young woman’s courage and perseverance to achieve her dream.
Lebohang Pheko comes from Meloding township in Virginia, Free State Province. Mamello is her first published novel.
If you think you’ve got what it takes, here are some important dates you’ll want to remember.
2019 entries opens
7 November 2017
2019 entries close
5 October 2018
Prize money pool
For more information please visit www.tafelberg.com/Sanlam
Check out what went down at the last Sanlam Youth Literature Prize.
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The Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature