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Short sto­ries for Africa

There is a lot hap­pen­ing with re­gard to the pro­mo­tion of African short sto­ries. And so it should be, given that it is this genre that’s un­lock­ing ca­reers for more and more writ­ers on the con­ti­nent. One ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ment is the launch of a new on­line lit­er­ary jour­nal, Af­reada (af­reada.com and @af­reada), pub­lish­ing qual­ity short reads from African writ­ers. Also, look out for a new Short Story Day Africa an­thol­ogy on shelf called Wa­ter, launched this week and de­scribed as “a del­uge of new short sto­ries on mur­der, magic, fam­ily, war and wa­ter from 21 of Africa’s finest writ­ers”.

Lo­cal ti­tles launched as au­dio­books

Au­dioshelf is an au­dio­book pub­lish­ing com­pany from Cape Town and we’re ex­cited to learn it will be pro­duc­ing South African nov­els and short sto­ries this year. The com­pany has al­ready pro­duced ti­tles for Pan Macmil­lan, and is in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Talk­ing Bookz, a start-up based in Nige­ria, to pro­duce a few ti­tles by Mod­jaji Books. As an in­ter­na­tional con­tent sup­plier to the on­line au­dio re­tailer Au­di­ble, its ti­tles fea­ture on Ama­zon and iTunes. Up­com­ing re­leases in­clude Green Margie and the Starlight by Megan Fur­niss and Lang­bourne by Alan Lan­dau.

Mak­ing the most of Marvel’s hero

Things are look­ing up for those of us in need of an African su­per­hero. New York Times best­selling writer Ta-Ne­hisi Coates has been brought on by Marvel to shape the ad­ven­tures of one of its few African char­ac­ters, the Black Pan­ther, oth­er­wise known as T’Challa, ruler of the fic­tional African state Wakanda. Long may he live in lit­er­a­ture!

#FeesMustFall writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion

PEN South Africa this week launched a fresh ini­tia­tive, the PEN South Africa Stu­dent Writ­ing Prize. The writ­ers’ or­gan­i­sa­tion is call­ing on young writ­ers to sub­mit fic­tion, cre­ative non­fic­tion and po­etry based on the #FeesMustFall move­ment. Stu­dents across South Africa have been col­lec­tively call­ing for a rev­o­lu­tion in the coun­try’s education sys­tem and, while the big pic­ture has been sub­stan­tially pub­li­cised, there are still count­less in­di­vid­ual sto­ries to be un­packed. Up for grabs is R5 000 and the chance to at­tend a sem­i­nar at Wits Univer­sity, fol­lowed by a prize-giv­ing cer­e­mony. For de­tails, log on to pen­southafrica.co.za. – Phu­malani Sithebe Langa

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