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Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Deadline: Midnight on July 31, 2015

Entries for the fifth Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award for poetry in all 11 South African languages have opened. Entrants are encouraged to write in their mother tongue. All entries are judged blind. Previous entrants are encouraged to note that the rules have changed.

A maximum of three finalists will be invited to appear at a South African poetry festival. A cash prize of R10,000 will be divided among the winners. Selected works will be published in an annual anthology.

The closing date is midnight on July 31, 2015.

Only poems in the following languages will be accepted: Afrikaans, English, Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, Setswana, SiSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu. Entrants must be South African citizens permanently resident in South Africa.

Poems may not have appeared in any publication, online or in print, including personal blogs and social network sites. Poems that have appeared in password protected workshops are eligible.

Only three poems may be entered and each may not exceed 100 lines. Poets may enter in more than one language. Intertextuality must be appropriately attributed.

Entries may only be submitted via email to, with “Sol Plaatje” in the subject line.

Submit all three poems in one Word document – doc or docx files. No other files will be accepted. The file name should be the title of the first poem. The author’s name must not appear in the document or in the file name. Preferred fonts are Arial size 11, or Times New Roman size 12. No fancy fonts, borders or images may be included with entries. Handwritten entries are not eligible.

Poets must submit a covering letter in the body of their email with the titles of their poems and the language of their submission. This letter should include the poet’s full name, ID number, postal address and telephone number, as well as an author’s biography written in the 3rd person (maximum 100 words).

By entering the contest, poets declare that the entry is their original work and neither whole nor part of this entry has been used in any publication. Poets give permission for the publication of their poem without payment if selected for the annual anthology. Poets also give permission for their work to be translated into English for adjudication and publication purposes.

Any departure from the rules above will result in automatic disqualification.

The online submission form can be accessed at