Friday, June 1, 2012

Short Story Day Africa

(from their press release)

On Wednesday 20 June revel in a celebration of fiction’s short- yet-perfectly-crafted form, the short story.

Last year on June 21st, the shortest day of the year, we invited you to participate in Short Story Day South, a southern-African celebration of short fiction.

This year on June 20th, Short Story Day goes global with the launch of International Short Story Day and Short Story Day Africa.

Short Story Day Africa aims to highlight the outstanding short fiction Africa has to offer. We encourage every one of all ages and all genders to do something in honour of the short story. This could be absolutely anything, from running a creative workshop or class, a competition, making a short film or film adaptation of a short story, organizing a spoken word night, a reading, an author appearance, a literary salon, or simply picking up a short story and enjoying it, for maybe the first or the hundredth time.

Whatever it is you're doing, we want to hear about it! Send us details of your event to, a link to your website (if applicable), and any images you have, and we'll put it on the brand new Short Story Day Africa website, where you can also find short stories to read and enjoy, short story recommendations, competitions, giveaways and more.

Follow us on Twitter @shortstoryAFR or Facebook Short Story Day Africa

What’s it all about?
The concept, celebrating the short story on the shortest day of the year, is borrowed from the pilot project, National Short Story Day (, which launched in the UK in October 2010 and concluded on 21 December (their shortest day). The project grew organically using social networking tools (Facebook and Twitter) and was a great success. Short Story Day South followed on 21 June 2011, culminating in a series of events around the country, including the popular Chain Gang Challenge.

This year, the organizers of National Short Story Day and Short Story Day South, decided to collaborate to create an international celebration. International Short Story Day was born, with Short Story Day Africa focusing on African writing and writers.

Who can take part?
Readers and writers of all ages, teachers, students...YOU!

Competitions and Giveaways
As part of the International Short Story Day celebrations, The Book Lounge (South Africa) and Comma Press (United Kingdom) challenge you to a chain story competition. At 8.30am GMT* on Wednesday 20th June, the first literary legends will sit down around the globe and start writing. An hour later, the keyboard will be wrested from his/her hands and passed on.

As each segment of the story unravels, we’ll upload it to the Short Story Day Africa website. Readers will be able to watch the stories unfold online and, at 2.30pm GMT, when the last writer adds the final full stop, the polls will open and readers can begin voting for their favourite story. Prizes sponsored by Comma Press.

* 9.30am UK and 10.30am SA

This year also sees the return of the popular Fiction Flash and, during the week running up to Short Story Day, we will be giving away books and prizes. See the Short Story Day Africa website for details.

This year, the Short Story Africa has a new team member. Tiah Beautement will be spearheading an all new Short Story Day Africa children’s programme. See the website for details of kids’ workshops, competitions and giveaways.

In the week surrounding short story day (18 – 24 June) we will publish short stories from some of Africa’s most talented. Previously published writers wish to take advantage of this opportunity for greater exposure of their work, should see the website for submission guidelines.

Who is behind Short Story Day Africa?

Rachel Zadok is the author of Gem Squash Tokoloshe (shortlisted for The Whitbread First Novel Award 2005 and The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 2005). Her long-awaited second novel, The Gathering Station, is due out April 2013. She lives in Cape Town with her husband and her daughter.

Isla Haddow-Flood is a writer, editor and marketing specialist who works specifically on cultural fields in Africa. She currently works for the Africa Centre (, advising on and implementing marketing strategies across their 10 projects. She lives in Cape Town with her husband and son.

Colleen Higgs is a writer and a publisher. She launched Modjaji Books (, an independent press for southern African women writers, in 2007. She has two published collections of poems, Halfborn Woman (2004) and Lava Lamp Poems (2011). In 2012, her first collection of short stories, Looking for Trouble was published. She lives in Cape Town with her daughter.

Tiah Marie Beautement is the author of the novel Moons Don’t Go to Venus. Shorter works have appeared in various publications, including two anthologies: The Edge of Things and Wisdom Has a Voice. She lives on the Garden Route with her husband, two children, Orwell the dog and five chickens all named Eva.

Let's Get Involved!!!
I've jumped on the bandwagon and have my short story, The Colours of Love, up at their site. Stop by and give it a read. Let me know what you think.


Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Oops. Missed this. Better do some tweeting about it and pop over to see what's up on their site. Thanks for the heads up Lauri.

Judy, South Africa

Lauri said...

Thanks Judy. I'm trying to get something organised here in my village for the day.