WRIT­ING FOR THE DIG­I­TAL AGE

CityPress - - Opportunity index - – Binwe Ade­bayo

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

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