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 only through a prism of war, disease, poverty, starvation and corruption. Short Story Day Africa has established a day, 21st June – the shortest day 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, the gossip from our neighbours, let you listen to strains of the music we dance to.
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 foster the love of reading and writing African fiction. Because we have something to tell the world. About us. In our own voices.
Rachel Zadok was born in Tel Aviv and raised in Johannesburg. She has a National Diploma in Fine Arts. 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. She is the author of two novels: Gem Squash Tokoloshe (2005), shortlisted for The Whitbread First Novel Award and The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and longlisted for the IMPAC Award; and Sister-Sister (2013), shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Prize and The Herman Charles Bosman Prize, and longlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award. She lives in Cape Town with her husband and daughter.
Born in Jelenia Góra, Poland, Karina M. Szczurek lived in Austria, the United States and Wales, before finding a home in South Africa. She is the author of Truer than Fiction: Nadine Gordimer Writing Post-Apartheid South Africa (2008), Invisible Others (2014) and The Fifth Mrs Brink (2017), and she is the editor of Touch: Stories of Contact (2009), Encounters with André Brink (2010), Contrary: Critical Responses to the Novels of André Brink(with Willie Burger, 2013), Water: New Short Fiction from Africa (with Nick Mulgrew, 2015), Misplaced and Other Stories: New Short Fiction from African Kids (2017, with Catherine Shepherd), and most recently, You Make Me Possible: The Love Letters of Karina M. Szczurek and André Brink (2018). Her play for young adults, A Change of Mind, won the MML Literature Award in the Category English Drama in 2012. She also writes short stories, essays, and poetry. In 2018, she received the Thomas Pringle Award for her book reviewing. She is a proud board member of PEN SA and SSDA.
Jason Mykl Snyman currently serves on the board of Short Story Day Africa and as the Fiction Editor for Expound magazine. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including New Contrast, Jalada Africa, Bloody Parchment, Kalahari Review, Helios Quarterly, The Examined Life Review, Expound and more.
Mary Watson is a lapsed academic from Cape Town now living on the west coast of Ireland. Her books include Moss (2004), a collection of connected short stories, The Cutting Room (2013),The Wren Hunt (2018) and the The Wickerlight (2019).
Helen Moffett is an author, editor, academic and activist. She lives in Cape Town and has published university textbooks, numerous academic pieces, a treasury of landscape writings (Lovely Beyond Any Singing), a cricket book (with the late Bob Woolmer and Tim Noakes), an animal charity anthology (Stray, with Diane Awerbuck), the Girl Walks Inerotica series (with Paige Nick and Sarah Lotz), two poetry collections (Strange Fruit and Prunings), a history of Rape Crisis (Cape Town), and a book of conserving water, 101 Water Wise Ways. She loves collaborations and is passionate about the Short Story Day Africa project.
Lizzy Attree has a PhD from SOAS, University of London, on “The Literary Responses to HIV and AIDS from South Africa and Zimbabwe from 1990-2005”. Her collection of interviews with the first African writers to write about HIV and AIDS from Zimbabwe and South Africa was published in 2010 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, and is entitled Blood on the Page. In 2010 she was Visiting Lecturer in the English Department at Rhodes University in South Africa. She taught African literature at Kings College London in 2015 as a temporary Lecturer and hopes to teach again in the future. She was the Director of the Caine Prize from 2014-2018 and is the co-founder of the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize. She sits on the Writivism Board of Trustees and has acted as a judge for Re-Imaged Folktales online. She is the Producer of 'Thinking Outside the Penalty Box' (an African Footballers project funded be Arts Council England) and a freelance writer, reviewer and critic.
PAYING IT FORWARD
Short Story Day Africa is a non-profit organisation that relies on the generosity of the African writing community for skills and funding.
If you'd like to offer up your skills, we're always on the look out for editors, proofreaders, illustrators, book designers, web designers, etc. If you’d like to promote us via your media outlet, exposure is always useful. If you're a writer and want to donate a story, please do so via one of our annual competitions.