Media Statement
Released by the wRite associates

This is a final reminder for the submission of nominations for the 16th South African Literary Awards.
The closing date is in three days’ time: 24H00, midnight on 7th May 2021.
Until this time, nominations may still be submitted through our online submissions platform on Responses to the submitted nominations are underway, the final date to release these is 14th May 2021. All submissions that came through will be responded to by this date.
All categories are open for public nominations, except for the following categories:
– The National Poet Laureate Prize
– The Lifetime Achievement Literary Award
– The Chairpersons Literary Award and
– The Local Poet Laureate Prize, a new edition which will only be open for submissions in 2022

Also exciting this year is the new category, the Regional Poet Laureate Prize, which will include the selection of the Provincial Poets Laureate SALA will be inaugurating on 7th November 2021, the AU-declared International African Writers’ Day. This is another milestone of the South African Literary Awards where provinces will also have a representation of the Poet Laureate.
“We are excited with the response received this year, 2021. Submissions came in in good numbers, we have even seen a slight improvement in the submission of African Languages and young writers. This shows that, with continued effort and relevant ways to developing and promoting literature and our languages, the battle for preserving and appreciating our languages and literature will be won eventually,” said Mr Morakabe Raks Seakhoa, the SALA Project Director and Managing Director of the wRite associates.
“We are also seeing a good number of First-time Published and Children’s Literature authors: this is encouraging and very exciting as, indeed, we need new voices in the field, and work targeting children so that they are cultivated and conscientised from an early age. The aim of the South African Literary Awards has always been to promote our languages, writers, writing and reading,” concluded Mr Seakhoa.

About the South African Literary Awards
SALA honours writing and writers in all official languages across the following 16 categories:
1. National Poet Laureate Prize (Not open for nomination)
2. Regional Poet Laureate Prize
3. Local Poet Laureate Prize (to be inaugurated in 2022)
4. Poetry Award,
5. Literary Translators Award,
6. Lifetime Achievement Literary Award,
7. Posthumous Literary Award,
8. Literary Journalism Award,
9. Novel Award
10. First-Time Published Author Award
11. k.Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award
12. Nadine Gordimer Short-story Award
13. Creative Non-Fiction Award
14. Chairperson’s Award
15. Children’s Literature Award
16. Youth Literature Award

The prestigious South African Literary Awards were founded in 2005 by the wRite associates, supported by the then national Department of Arts and Culture (now the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture), as a platform to honour authors, writers, poets and literary practitioners who made and continue to make a contribution in the literary landscape of South Africa.

To date, more than two hundred literary luminaries have been honoured (over the last fifteen years), amongst them Prof. J.J Moiloa, a Sesotho author of many books prescribed for many years in schools in South Africa and other countries; Prof. Ephraim Lesoro, a Sesotho poet of high standing, broadcaster, scholar and educator; Toek Blignaut, was an author of over 80 books and 200 short stories. As a journalist and magazine editor, she interviewed the late heart surgeon Christian Barnard and made the first interview with Rain Queen Mokope Modjadji; Dr Gubudla Malindzisa, multi-award winning novelist, short-story writer, essayist, literary translator, legal eagle, broadcaster, and an educator; Trevor Noah, a South African comedian, television host, producer, writer, political commentator, actor and the host of The Daily Show, an American satirical news program on Comedy Central; Fred Khumalo, author, journalist, editor, publisher, literary translator, and columnist; Marlise Joubert; Phumlani Pikoli; current National Poet Laureate, Prof Mongane Wally Serote; the late Miriam Tlali, the first African woman to publish a novel in English; the late Nobel Award winner, Nadine Gordimer; multi-award winning novelist Kgebetli Moele, literary journalists Phakama Mbonambi, Bongani Madondo and Sabata-Mpho Mokae; poet Kobus Moolman; book critics Karabo Kgoleng and Jenny Crwys-Williams; poet and author Ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza; short story writers Makhosazana Xaba and Reneilwe Malatji; scholars and prolific writers Zakes Mda, Mbulelo Mzamane, Ashraaf Kagee, Nhlanhla Maake, Imraan Coovadia; the late translator, poet, novelist and children’s writer Chris van Wyk; Lebohang Masango, also a children’s author, and many others.

The SALA 2021 Call For Submissions were issued on 14th January 2021 and closes on 7th May 2021.
The response to submitted nominations will run until 14th May 2021.
For more information on the submission criteria and nomination forms, please visit