WRITING FOR THE DIGITAL AGE
With the Commonwealth Games wrapped up, attention turns from athletes to writers in the fourth annual instalment of the International Flash Fiction Competition, which brings together the work of writers from across the Commonwealth.
Last year, the competition attracted just under 23 000 entries from across the globe, providing an immense public platform for fresh, alternative literature.
The competition focuses on micro literature – telling a powerful story in very few words (perfect for the digital age).
The works can be written in a number of languages that reflect the dominant ones in the various diasporas.
This is an important step considering the dominance of Englishmedium writing and its shadow over mother tongue writing.
But besides getting the opportunity to share new work with the world, the winner of the competition will also walk away with a cash prize of $20 000 (R215 000).
Considering that entry is free and that the other best stories still earn $2 000, it’s totally worth entering.
South Africa is in the spotlight this year and the slogan for this instalment of the competition is Mandela: Words and Concord.
This is not to say that copious readings of Tata’s story will help things along at all.
But it can’t hurt to know a little about the man behind the competition’s mantra.
Last year’s top honours went to an Argentinian writer called Armando Macchia, whose story, titled The Sniper, underwent serious scrutiny by a judging panel before it was named the winner.
Although an Egyptian writer took home the prize for Arabic writing, one can’t help but hope that more African writers will pop up on the winners list this year.
Want to enter the competition? Go to commonwealthwriters.org