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30 Degrees South

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Announcing The Citizen Book Prize Winner

Bree O'Mara30 Degrees South Publishers is pleased to announced that the winning title in The Citizen Book Prize inaugural competition is Home Affairs, by Bree O’Mara.

Here’s how The Citizen reported the story last week: Meet Our Winner!

Established in association with 30 Degrees South, The Citizen Book Prize was for first-time authors who had written novels with a South African theme – and the winner was chosen by The Citizen‘s and other readers through an easy, interactive and fun online voting system.

A short synopsis of the winning title and author biography follows:

Synopsis of Home Affairs
In the Underberg village of Hillman, population 237, (it would have been 238 except Dewaldt “Pompies” van Niekerk, the mayor, was not at home at the time of the last census; he was apparently seeing to some rather pressing matters concerning one of the town’s citizens that evening), something has disturbed the peace that has hitherto prevailed in the hilltop hamlet. Situated 199½km from Durban (the extra ½km being of critical importance when you wish to distance yourself from city folk), the little dorp of Hillman is having an identity crisis. A debate is raging about whether or not to change the name of the town in line with current political trends. Embroiled in a hotbed of infighting and political one-upmanship, the town becomes a dorp divided. When a rumour goes round that wealthy developers are coming to Hillman to build a Sun City-style resort on the mountain, the town is thrown into chaos as word spreads that Hillman has been earmarked for transformation on a grand scale. Newspaper reporters from as far as Pietermaritzburg and Estcourt descend en masse, and the townsfolk of Hillman have to choose between progress and prosperity or self-preservation.

About Bree O’Mara
Bree O’Mara was born in Durban to Irish parents. She started out life in the theatre and performed for all four performing arts councils. Leaving South Africa in 1992 she went to live in the Middle East. She was soon offered a job as an art director, going on to become a producer of 35mm television commercials and documentaries, writing copy and scripts all over the Gulf and Middle Eastern region. Since then Bree has lived and worked in broadcast and print media in Canada, the United States and England. In 2004 she left the UK for Tanzania, where she lived for a year with the Maasai, working for a small charity. She now lives with her husband in the North West Province. Her favourite authors are Joanne Harris, PJ O’Rourke, Tobias Wolff and Stephen Fry.

O’Mara winner receives: R10 000 cash courtesy of The Citizen; her manuscript will be published by 30° South Publishers in time for Christmas 2007; a writing course to the value of R4 500, courtesy of Amanda Patterson of The Write Company. Further, her book will be submitted for the 2008 Exclusive Books Homebru promotion.

Due to the popularity of the competition, we have decided to make it an annual event and we look forward to seeing it grow year by year!

Photo courtesy Headspark


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