The awards will be preceded by the eighth Africa Century International African Writers Conference. The conference's International African Writers Day lecture will be delivered by Prof Mandla Makhanya, principal and vice-chancellor at the University of South Africa.

The conference's theme, 'Africa Writing in Tongues: Towards Social, Political, Heritage and Cultural Justice', intends to be in line with UNESCO's International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Now in its 14th year, the SALAs is awarded annually by the wRite Associates, in partnership with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, to celebrate literary excellence in all the languages of South Africa.

Morakabe Seakhoa, SALA project director, says, "The main aim of the South African Literary Awards is to pay tribute to South African writers who have distinguished themselves as groundbreaking producers and creators of literature."

"[It also] celebrates literary excellence in the depiction and sharing of South Africa's histories, value systems and philosophies and art as inscribed and preserved in all the languages of South Africa — particularly the official languages," adds Seakhoa.

The SALAs aims to be the most prestigious and respected literary accolades in the South African literary landscape. It intends to not only acknowledging established authors but to be a platform to budding writers through the First-time Published Author Award category.

The SALAs has also expanded its categories to include Children's and Youth Literature categories. The move was intended to encourage acknowledgment of writers writing for children, while it encourages reading and appreciation of literature from an early age.

"More work is still to be done though to cultivate more writing in our African languages," concludes Seakhoa.

2019 Shortlist:

12. Posthumous Literary Award
To be announced at the awards ceremony

13. Chairperson's Award
To be announced at the awards ceremony

For more information, or to register, visit You can also follow the SALAs on Facebook or on Twitter.