2014 YA & Kids competition winners

Winners of the YA Category*:

  • 1st Place – Kaya Oosthuizen, Pheonix
  • 2nd Place – Carla Lott, Megeni Kutua
  • 3rd Place – Lesego Pulamoeng, Patiko and Pajoko

Thank you to all the YA writers for your patience.

Winners of 10-13 Category:

  • Léanna B, The Magic Gorah
  • Bianca M, The Sparkly Dragon of Drakensberg
  • Kiera H, No Ordinary Rock

Winners of the 9 & Under Category:

  • Kyra Z, Our Time Traveling Parents are Gone!
  • Samuel H, Sir Alfred and the Golden Arrow
  • Tara DP, The Pig that had no Ears

Well done to all the writers who entered this year. Reminder: If you entered and didn’t meet your writing goal, don’t despair. You write by reading and writing and reading and writing… over and over again. Writers are people who don’t give up.

Huge thanks our judges for all their hard work: Lauri Kubuitsile, Dorothy Dyer, Beatrice Lamwaka, Elizabeth Wood, Sean Fraser, Kathryn Torres, Lauren Beukes, Bwesigye Mwesigire & Yewande Omotoso.

Many thanks to all our sponsors!

2014 Young Adult competition shortlist

Short Story Day Africa's 2014 children’s entries have been incredibly strong. What a privilege it will be to take these stories and create an anthology. While our entrants eagerly wait to hear the names of the winners and those being published, we give you our 2014 YA shortlist. The six stories are, in no particular order:

  • "When Hearts Remain True"
  • "Mgeni Kutua"
  • "Patiko and Pajoko"
  • "Phoenix"
  • "Smell of a Fire Lily"
  • "An Unexpected Tale from Tanzania"

Congratulations to all our shortlisted authors. To the rest of our entrants, please hang on for a few more weeks for the full list of winners and to-be-published writers.

Terra Incognita competition longlist

2014 is Short Story Day Africa's year of speculative fiction. Speculative fiction gives writers a way to discuss issues without wheeling out the tropes and the poverty porn and the Oxfam goats.

Earlier this year we sent out a call for all your fantasy, sci-fi, horror, alternative history and magical realism, just about anything that fell into spec fic genre. The theme, Terra Incognita, asked writers to take us into unknown places, break moulds, rethink the way we tell our stories.

The call for entries was answered by 104 writers, not all of whom paid attention to the genre specifications or theme. After those were axed, (sorry people, we were very specific) we were left with 94 eligible stories. Over a period of one month, a team of dedicated readers whittled away at the entries, sending us their comments and a rating out of 10. Each entry was read by two readers, which sometimes led to vastly disparate opinions on the same story, which led to rereading, arguing and discussion at SSDA HQ. Many of the stories ended up being read by three, and sometimes, four readers.

And then there were 36.

As curator of the project, I hunkered beneath my duvet over the weekend and read until my eyes bled. I took tea breaks when my capacity for judging quality from a quantity of words, words, words faltered. And then there were twenty-one, which seemed like a good number, but I still wasn't sure. So, I reached out to a few trusty souls and asked them to lend me their eyes again.

And so, I present a list of eighteen* – some polished and professional, some rough diamonds – that will make up this year's anthology.

1.  Gail Dendy 
2. Diane Awerbuck 
3. Sylvia Schlettwein 
4. Chinelo Onwualu 
5. Mary Okon Ononokpono 
6. Phillip Steyn  
7. Dilman Dila 
8. Pwaangulongii Benrawangya 
9. Kerstin Hall 
10. Toby Bennett 

11. Cat Hellisen 
12. Jekwu Ozoemene 
13. Brendan Ward 
14. Sarah Jane Woodward 
15. Sese Yane 
16. Mishka Hoosen 
17. Jason Mykl Snyman 
18. Nick Mulgrew

While we begin our work with the eighteen writers to get these stories publication ready, they will pass through the hands of Richard de Nooy (a.k.a. Judge Dread), Jared Shurin (a.k.a. Pornokitsch) and Samuel Kolawole (a.k.a. The Godfather), who will whittle them down to five or six. That shortlist will be handed over to Nnedi Okorafor who will pick the final winners.

None of this would have been possible without the wonderful people who gave up their time to help us read. A special thank you goes out to:

Susan Newham Blake; Beatrice Lamwaka; Maya Fowler; Dave de Burgh; Gail Schimmel; Sheryl Kavin; Sharon Tshipa; Tiah Beautement; Rahala Xenopolous; Judy Smee Dixon; Iain Thomas; Carine Englebrecht; Summaya Lee; Aoife Lennon-Ritchie; Karen Jennings; Henrietta Rose-Innes; Bontle Senne; Bronwyn Stewart; Ayesha Kajee; Dominique Phoeleli; Margot Bertelsmann; Lisa Lazarus; Nerine Dorman.

Congratulations to all the writers who made the list.

* As the reading and judging process are blind, we are releasing only the names of the writers and not the titles of the stories.

Feast, Famine & Potluck: The Winners

After difficult deliberations, Petina Gappah has chosen the winners of our Feast, Famine and Potluck short story competition. 

1st Place: "My Father's Head" by Okwiri Odour (Kenya)
2nd Place: "Choke" by Jayne Bauling (South Africa)
3rd Place: "Chicken" by Efemia Chela (Ghana/Zambia)

Short Story Day Africa is grateful to the support of the writing community of Africa, and especially to BooksLive, All About Writing, Helena S. Paige, The Caine Prize for African Writing, Modjaji Books and Botsotso for sponsoring the prizes.

Also to Petina Gappah, Isabella Morris, Consuelo Roland and Novuyo Rosa-Tshuma for generously giving their time and love of the craft to judge the competition. Buy their books, they're wonderful and we can all learn a lot from their work.

Special thanks to our team of readers, whose names can now be revealed without fear of reprisal. Tiah Beautement, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Diane Awerbuck, Karina Magdalena Szczurek-Brink, Alé Steyn, Na'eemah Masoet, Sheryl Kavin, Lindsay van Rensburg and Casey B Dolan.

And to all the writers who entered this year a big thank you. We hope you'll continue writing and submitting to competitions and publishers. There is so much talent, we wish we had the resources to work with all of you.