Call For Entries | 2018 Ingrid Jonker Prize For English Poetry

Publishers or self-published poets in South Africa are invited to submit three copies of any English poetry debut published in 2016 or 2017 for the 2018 edition of Ingrid Jonker poetry Prize.

The Ingrid Jonker Prize is awarded in alternate years to the best debut collections in English or Afrikaans. The winner receives a cash prize dependant on the interest accumulated in an account originally established for this purpose.

Closing Date for Submission:
The closing date for submission of entries is Wednesday 31st January, 2018.
Entries should be accompanied by a cover letter with the contact details of the publisher and poet, as well as a declaration that the submission is the poet’s first collection of poetry published with an ISBN.

General rules and regulations
During her “second funeral” in July 1965, friends of the young and beloved poet Ingrid Jonker decided to honour her memory with a prize for debut poets. Writers and friends contributed money, and a publisher and writers donated all income from the books In Memoriam, Ingrid Jonker and Die Sestigers. Thus was the Ingrid Jonker prize instituted.
  1. The prize is awarded alternately for a debut volume of poetry in English and a debut volume of poetry in Afrikaans, the two languages in which Ingrid Jonker wrote. The prize can only be awarded to a volume with an ISBN published within the two years before the year of adjudication. In other words, only debuts published in 2016 and 2017 will be eligible for the 2018 Ingrid Jonker prize for Afrikaans Poetry.
  2.  No joint awards of the prize will be made and a poet can only be eligible for the award once.
  3.  Only first volumes of poetry published by a South African publisher will be considered.
  4. Only poets who have South African citizenship, or poets who are based in South Africa and have either permanent residency or refugee status, will be eligible for the Ingrid Jonker prize.
  5. A poet who has already published a volume of poetry in Afrikaans may not then submit a collection in English, and vice versa. Translations will not be eligible for the prize either. If, however, a writer has already published in other genres (prose or drama), and then publishes a first English or Afrikaans volume of poetry, he/she will be eligible for the Ingrid Jonker prize.
  6.  A volume that contains poems/texts in English and Afrikaans may be submitted. However, in such a case the publisher will have to decide whether the book is submitted for the English or Afrikaans award – a volume of poetry may be submitted once only.
  7.  A bilingual committee of five members (consisting of published poets writing in English and Afrikaans) meets whenever necessary. At least two of the five members should be English and two Afrikaans.
  8.  If a member of the committee resigns, the committee appoints another member. All the members of the committee have to be published poets.
  9. The committee appoints three judges. All the judges have to be published poets as well – the Ingrid Jonker prize is an award made by poets to poets.
  10.  All submissions for the prize are given gratis by the relevant publishers. Three copies of     each book must be submitted.
  11.  The adjudication takes place as early as possible after all the submissions have been received.
  12.  Each judge selects the three best volumes. Five points are awarded to the first choice, 3 points to the second choice and 1 point to the third choice.
  13.  Every judge must submit a brief report on the volume he or she selected as a winner.
  14.  The debut with the greatest number of points is declared the winner.
  15.  Up until the stage where the judges submit their points, the adjudication is done confidentially and individually. The judges are not allowed to have any discussions before their points have been awarded.
  16. In the unlikely event of a tie, the judges will be asked to vote between the two tied works.
  17.  If the works are not considered of high enough standard by the majority of judges (i.e. at least by two of the three), the prize will not be awarded.
  18.  If only one book is submitted, three judges will still be appointed. If the majority of judges decide the volume is of sufficient merit, the prize will be awarded.
  19.  The prize consists of a medal by the sculptor Bill Davis and the interest on the investment. The invested amount may be increased through donations at any time, but the prize should maintain its independent status. Sponsorships from institutions wishing to pursue commercial interests with their sponsorship are therefore not desirable.
  20.  The prize will be awarded at an appropriate public function.
How to Make Submission:
Entries should be sent for adjudication to:
Ingrid Jonker Prize Committee
c/o Finuala Dowling
Centre for Extra-Mural Studies
University of Cape Town
Private Bag|
Rondebosch 7701
Cape Town
For further information, contact Finuala Dowling, Convenor of the Ingrid Jonker Prize for English Poetry

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