UJ Prize

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This is a reminder that the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Prize for South African Writing (UJ Prize) is now open for submisions for books published in 2023. The first announcement was made in November 2023, and entries will close on 29 February 2024.

The UJ Prize was established in 2006 for South African writers regardless of whether they have connection with the university or not. The latest winners are C.A. Davids (Main Prize) who received a cash prize of R75 000 for her novel, How to Be a Revolutionary (2022) and Pulane Mlilo Mpondo (Debut Prize), who received R45 000 for her novel, Things My Mother Left Me (2022). Previous winners include Mandla Langa, Jacob Dlamini, Rešoketšwe Manenzhe, Gabeba Baderoon, and Zakes Mda, among others.

The UJ Prize is open to books published in English language and has two categories: the Main Prize and the Debut Prize. Publishers must specify whether they are entering for the Main Prize or the Debut Prize. The winning entry will join the illustrious list of prominent authors who have won the prize since its establishment in 2006.


The UJ Prize not genre specific – publishers can submit novels, short story collections, volumes of poetry, biographies or any form of creative fiction and non-fiction books. Our intention is to be as inclusive as possible and open opportunities to a wide variety of books with literary merit. We trust our panel of judges to do a fair and thorough evaluation of submitted texts and select the best books.

Important dates

  • Only books published in 2023 (1 January to 31 December 2023) may be entered.
  • The closing date for submissions is 29 February 2024
  • The shortlist will be announced not later than 31 August 2024

Not Qualifying Entries

The UJ Prize does not accept entries that are:

  • Unpublished manuscripts or self-published books
  • Books translated into English by someone other than the author
  • Not written by a South African author
  • Not published during the 2023 calendar year

How to submit

Publishers are required to submit seven (7) copies of each title that they want to enter for the award along with the attached UJ Prize Entry Form. The UJ Prize Entry Form must be signed by both the publisher and the author and enclosed in the same package with the submitted books. Publishers who wish to submit entries for the UJ prize for works published in 2023 should send all submissions to the address below:

By courier

Ms Dikeledi Seranyane

University of Johannesburg
English Department
B-Ring 713
Kingsway Road
Auckland Park

Tel. 011-5592063

Closing Date

The Closing date for submissions for the 2023 is 29 February 2024.

For media enquiries and more information, please contact the UJ Prize coordinator, Dr Siphiwo Mahala via email: siphiwom@uj.ac.za


Download documents

Entry Forms