Short Story Day Africa 2013 : 21st June

Short Story Day Africa brings together writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, teachers and school children from all over the globe to write, submit, read, workshop and discuss stories – and to foster the love of reading and writing African fiction.

When Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie addressed the TED Conference in 2009, she spoke of the danger of the single story, a distorted, one-dimensional view of Africa that sees the continent through a prism of war, disease, poverty, starvation and corruption. Short Story Day Africa has established a day – 21st June, the shortest day or night of the year – on which to celebrate the diversity of Africa’s voices and tell you who we really are; what we love; love to eat, read, write about. We want to bring you the scents on our street corners and the gossip from our neighbours, and to let you listen to strains of the music that get us dancing. Short Story Day Africa exists because we have something to tell the world. About us. In our own voices.

What’s New?
The project is in its third year and has grown substantially since 2011. We continue to have the support of the African writing community, and more writers are reaching out and holding workshops to share their knowledge. We’ve partnered with Worldreader and Paperight to bring out a Kids anthology comprising the best of their efforts, as well as an adult collection of fifteen stories harvested from the entries into our Feast, Famine and Potluck writing competition. Thus bringing us closer to one of our aims: to give writers – established and emerging, young and old – a platform for their work.

The Impact
Literacy! By running competitions and workshops in schools and beyond, we foster a love of writing that leads to a love of reading. Perhaps we inspire the next Chimamanda. Also, we hope, the promotion of African fiction as we like to tell it.

Where We Are
Follow us on Twitter @shortstoryAFR and on Facebook : Short Story Day Africa

The support we’ve garnered from the writing community and beyond is evident in our prize sponsorships. 2013 prizes are sponsored by BooksLive, NB Publishers, All About Writing, Erotica sensation Helena S. Paige, Louis Greenberg, SL Grey, The Caine Prize, Modjaji Books, Botsotso and Heart & Soul Photography.

See website for full details of competitions.

Feast, Famine & Potluck (over 18) – Original unpublished stories, in any genre, inspired by our theme. 1st Prize R2000 + Writing course plus Word count: 3000 – 5000 words. Deadline 30th June 2013.

• Fairy tales, Myths & Legends Reimagined (17 and under) – Take any fairy tale, myth, fable or legend and reimagine it. Parents and teachers can download workshop packs from the website. Great fiction titles to be won in all categories. Age 9 and under, 900 words or less; Ages 10-13, 500-1200 words, Ages 14-17, 500-1200 words. Deadline 15th July 2013.

Spine Stories (All ages) – Assemble a story from the titles on your book shelf. Snap a pic. Twitpic it @benrwms @shortstoryAFR with hashtags #shortstorydayafrica #spinestory .
Ends 30th June 2013.

Story Submissions
In the month of June we will publish short stories from some of Africa’s most talented writers. Stories will simultaneously be published across Worldreader Mobile to over half a million readers, giving writers the opportunity to grow their fanbase. See website for submission guidelines.

Who is behind Short Story Day Africa?

Rachel Zadok was raised in Johannesburg. In 2001, she escaped a career in advertising to become a writer, which she describes as being a little like running away to join the circus without the safety net. In 2005, she was a runner-up in the Richard & Judy How to Get Published Competition and her first novel, Gem Squash Tokoloshe, was published by Pan Macmillan later that year. Gem Squash Tokoloshe went on to be shortlisted for The Whitbread First Novel Award and The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and longlisted for the IMPAC award. She launched Short Story Day Africa in 2011, an initiative to highlight African fiction. Her writing has appeared in the Observer, The Jewish Chronicle, The Independent and, the 2012 Caine Prize Anthology. Rachel’s second novel, Sister-Sister (Kwela Books) was published in April 2013. She lives in Cape Town with her husband and daughter, and occasionally blogs.
Tiah Marie Beautement is the author of the novel Moons Don’t Go to Venus. Shorter works have appeared in various publications, including two anthologies: The Edge of Things and Wisdom Has a Voice. She lives on the Garden Route with her husband, two children, Orwell the dog and five chickens all named Eva.

Colleen Higgs is a writer and a publisher. She launched Modjaji Books (, an independent press for southern African women writers, in 2007. She has two published collections of poems, Halfborn Woman (2004) and Lava Lamp Poems (2011). In 2012, her first collection of short stories, Looking for Trouble was published. She lives in Cape Town with her daughter.

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