Want to know where to find the best up-and-coming heavyweight writers in South Africa? You’d do a lot worse that starting your search at Prufrock Magazine, a quarterly digital and print publication which has been going for just over a year now and never fails to impress with its collections of short stories, poetry and creative pieces.

The nearest analogy I can think of is the ground-breaking McSweeney‘s in the US – a home to all sorts of clever and experimental writings, and a great platform for writers to launch careers from.

Prufrock is cheap too. For R100 a year you currently get four issues of around 70 pages each – packed with the kind of dense thinky-text that any coffee table would be honoured to house. For the good folk at Prufrock, however, this isn’t enough. They want to go bi-monthly and feature even more creative souls from all corners of South African culture.

To do so, it’s turned to local Kickstarter-style crowdfunding site Thundafund, where it raised R10 000 in just under two weeks to hit its first major goal.

It’s looking for another R5 000 or so to top up a further R10 000 grant provided by the World Design Capital fund, and to find out why it’s something worth backing I caught up with founder Helen Sullivan. I asked her which articles from the first three issue have been the most successful so far?

“There was a wonderfully warm response to Oscar Masinyana’s ‘Kwakuseparadesi,’ the story of the author’s childhood home in Umzimkulu,” says Sullivan, “Which was written in the Xhosa, Zulu and Bhaca amalgam spoken there. Rosa Lyster, who writes for every issue, has a lot of fans. She’s so far written about dogs and picnics in books, Narnia, and the year she was 25. Tannie Evita (aka Pieter Dirk-Uys) has also written for Prufrock.”

And who does she tip for the future?

“It’s between three for best up and coming writer,” she says, “15-year-old Mvelo Dhlamini, Rosa Lyster and Oscar Masinyana – who will be joining our editorial team in July. As far as author of a real live book – I’d say Songeziwe Mahlangu, who wrote ‘Penumbra,’ and who has published three poems with us.”

So there you go. Prufrock. Cheap. Awesome. Experimental. Online – well worth heading over to Thundafund to support it.

[Image – Prufrock Magazine]


Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.