Competition for New Writing Set in Johannesburg

UJ Arts & Culture and the Johannesburg Institute for Advance Study (JIAS) at the University of Johannesburg are launching a writing competition.

Short form writing in any language that expresses experiences of Johannesburg’s public spaces are eligible. Submissions should be maximum 4000 words in length, with no minimum word limit, and can be fiction or non-fiction in any literary form including poetry, prose, play or a film script. Authors from all age groups are welcome but must be previously unpublished. The writing should describe, discuss or be set in a specific public space somewhere in greater Johannesburg (please click here for the map with all relevant areas).

Three entries will be selected by a panel for cash prizes of R2000 each. One work will be chosen to be paired alongside an excerpt from an established literary work set in Johannesburg, with both texts being used as inspiration for a site-specific public performance to be produced by UJ Arts & Culture in May 2023. Funding dependent, a selection of entries may in due course be published in book form.

To submit, fill in the online application form available here.

The closing deadline for submissions is midnight (South African Standard Time) 30 November 2022. No late submission will be considered. For more information, please visit and/or


About UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts.

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA ( offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The Faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.

About the Johannesburg Institute for Advance Study (JIAS)

The Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) is an institute based at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Although only launched in May 2015 as the first fully-fledged institute for advanced learning in Gauteng, South Africa’s economic and political heartland, JIAS has grown to be one of the leading institutes of its kind based in the African continent. Its purpose is to promote advanced research in the humanities and natural sciences, beyond the regular teaching and research activities at institutions of higher learning.

JIAS aims to create the conditions in which scholars can deliver cutting-edge interdisciplinary thought and research at the highest academic level. This is done by reaching beyond the regular teaching and research routines of contemporary higher education, and by encouraging collaborative scholarly cooperation in both the humanities and natural sciences.