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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Dark Poppy’s Demise shortlisted for M.E.R prize

I got a lovely little surprise for World Book Day today. BooksLive announced that my third novel for teens, Dark Poppy’s Demise, has been shortlisted for the M.E.R Prize.

The M.E.R Prize for South African youth literature is given by the Media24 Books Literary Awards. The winner will be announced some time in June to coincide with the Cape Town Book Fair.

I’m really pleased about the nomination. My first novel, The Goblet Club, was up for (and consequently won) the same award in 2008 and it opened up a lot of doors for me. It was incidentally around that time that I joined BookSA as a blogger and began to feel at home in the South African literary community. Quite apt that the M.E.R announcement came on the same day as the site’s fifth birthday. So happy birthday to Bookslive and thank you for helping me achieve my dream of becoming a writer.

I’m up against some stiff competition this year in the form of Lauri Kubuitsile’s Signed, Hopelessly in Love and Maya Fowler’s As jy n ster sien verskiet, which are both powerful novels. They are also surprisingly different.

As jy n ster sien verskiet is an Afrikaans novel about a fourteen year old Karoo girl who runs away to a service station after her brother dies of Aids. Signed, Hopelessly in Love, on the other hand, is set in Botswana and tells the story of Amo, who writes the Agony Aunt column for her school newspaper. My novel, Dark Poppy’s Demise, is a thriller about a girl who falls prey to a predator on Facebook.

I’m especially happy that its an all female short list this year. Local female writers are producing exceptionally good books for the youth. The Media 24 Awards only recognise novels published by Jonathan Ball or under the NB umbrella, but there are so many other titles out there that are fantastic.

Sarah Lotz and her daughter Savannah are the geniuses behind Lily Herne and the Deadlands series which is taking the country by storm; while Dorothy Dyer and Rosamund Haden write together as Sam Roth, and have just released their first collaboration, Time Twisters: Cape of Slaves with Penguin. Then there’s Cat Hellisen, whose debut fantasy novel When the Sea is Rising Red, is hitting our shores in May. Then there’s Edyth Bulbring whose Melly series is funny and smart and awesome. Alex Smith and Adeline Radloff are two of many female writers who have recently released youth novels. As you can see, the list is ENDLESS.

It’s a great time to be writer.

On that note, I would appreciate it enormously if you Liked my Facebook Page. Self promotion might seem tiresome, but its important to get your name out there, and its essential to sell books (especially in the YA arena where you’re going up against Stephanie Meyer and Suzanne Collins etc)


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    April 24th, 2012 @09:20 #

    Lovely, wonderful news Sally, congratulations. My fingers are crossed (I'll tell Elias to cross his too - if he can:).

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    April 24th, 2012 @10:11 #


  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    April 24th, 2012 @11:21 #

    Congrats! Wonderful to see such strong contenders, and youth lit flourishing like this. I wish you, Maya and Lauri could all somehow win.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Paige</a>
    April 24th, 2012 @13:09 #

    congrats. x

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Phillippa Yaa</a>
    Phillippa Yaa
    April 24th, 2012 @22:19 #

    go for it!


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