RHODES University masters student Sabata-mpho Mokae's novel, Ga ke Modisa, has been shortlisted for the 2013 M-Net Literary Awards.
Mokae is completing his MA in creative writing at Rhodes, where his thesis is a novella in English.
Ga ke Modisa (I am not my brother's keeper) was launched last year by Geko Publishing to considerable critical acclaim.
He says of being included in the shortlist: "This means a lot to me, especially when you consider this is my very first attempt at writing something long in my mother tongue.
"Before I wrote this novel, I had been writing solely in English and never thought that I could write in Setswana.
"The reception by the reading public was a pleasant surprise. This short-listing feels like a major achievement."
Mokae works for a Kimberley newspaper as a sub-editor, columnist and book reviewer.
In 2011 he won the South African Literary Award for literary journalism.
His previous books are a biography The Story of Sol T Plaatje and a book of poems Escaping Trauma.
Brian Willan, author of Sol Plaatje: South African Nationalist, described Mokae's biography as "a superbly written and very accessible account of Plaatje's life".
The M-Net Literary Awards winner will be announced on September 20. The Rhodes MA in Creative Writing 2014 – full- and part-time – is open for applications. Go to www.ru.ac.za/isea/courses/ mainwriting/