Writers, professional or aspiring, have until the end of this month to enter Short Story Day Africa competition.
The story must be between 3 000 and 5 000 words on the theme of ‘migrations’ and must be accompanied by the writer’s 100-word biography. The winner gets N$10 000.
The Goethe-Institut Namibia recently held a workshop as part of the short story competition in which 12 selected participants completed a set of activities to develop their short story writing skills and have the African continent tell its stories.
Workshop participant Rodney Gariseb says the workshop has inspired him greatly. “I was a straight-A learner and my parents thought that I was going to study medicine or engineering but I felt that my imaginative mind had too many ideas to waste. This workshop has helped me to organise those ideas and put them on paper. Writing is nothing new to me.” The third-year student at the University of Namibia majoring in English says the topic of migration was well presented. “I enjoyed doing the poems because they all alluded to migration and nostalgia, which are definitely two topics that I think I will incorporate into my entry for the competition but also other stories in the future.”
Workshop participant Mimi Mwiya says she writes as a hobby and this workshop helped her to achieve the discipline required to write. “I am from the Zambezi Region and the topic of migration is something that I can relate to as I can trace my heritage to Zambia and Botswana but writing about it was not easy. This workshop has helped me to enforce the discipline and organise the ideas in my mind to put them on paper.” She adds that she now feels like a professional writer. “I don’t know what it means to be an African writer but I do now know what it means and how to put it on paper. This workshop has calmed down my mind, it created images and had me do some introspection to be inspired to write. I am looking forward to entering the competition.”
Celebrated on 21 June since inception in 2011, Short Story Day Africa aims to reclaim and revive story-telling, something that is part of African cultures since the beginning of time and through which ways of life, traditions, myths and important pieces of African history have been passed from generation to generation.