Poetavango, the poetry group in Maun, is one of the groups that operate under the motto- “If not us than who?”. They don’t like the conditions that they live in, so they get busy trying to create the world that they want and I seriously respect that. This year they are taking another welcome step toward improving the situation for writers in Botswana by running a short story competition in conjunction with the Maun International Arts Festival.
In their press release they identified the problem- “One of the objectives of the Maun International Arts Festival 2015 is to promote the literary arts, to give hope to writers who, throughout the years have been, by and large, disgruntled by the conditions of the writing industry in Botswana. Nascent writers are easily discouraged by the somehow writer-unfriendly environment within which we live.” Then the group set out to solve it- “The Maun International Arts Festival seeks to promote the culture of reading and writing. As an initiative for achieving this, the organisers, Poetavango Spoken Word Poetry are introducing the first Poetavango Award for Short Fiction. The literary competition will focus only on the short story form for fiction writers living in Botswana. It is hoped that in the future, the competition will include awards for novels, poetry and journalism.”.
The plan is to publish the winning entries and a selection of the better submissions in an anthology. This is a great opportunity for writers in the country and we should all try to support them.
The rules for the competition are:
· Only writers living in Botswana can enter the competition (citizens or non-citizens), 18 years old and above.
· Only one submission per writer allowed.
Writers can submit stories in any fiction genre, e.g. literary, romance, thriller, adventure, suspense, horror, etc.
· Stories should be no longer than 3500 words and must be in English.
· Stories must be set in existing places/locations of Botswana. Stories with non-existent or international settings will be disqualified.
· Stories must not have been previously published in any form, including online platforms (websites, blogs or social media)
· Only email submissions allowed. Stories must be submitted as a .doc or .docx attachment, no PDF or any other format is allowed. Stories should not be pasted in the body of the email either.
· The deadline is July 30th 2015, 11:59pm CAT. Late entries will not be considered.
· Submissions must bear the title of the story and name of writer. However, stories will be judged anonymously with names removed.
· Writers are allowed to use pseudonyms, but real names must be indicated in the body of the email.
· Document must be typed in Times New Roman, font size 12, 1.5 line spacing. Paragraphs must be left-justified, ie, leave the right margin ragged. Titles must be centered and bolded in same type as the body but font size 14. Name of the writer should also be centered (size 12 and bolded) and immediately under the title.
· In the body of the email, write your names in full (even where pseudonyms are used in the story, you need to provide real names here), address and contact details and the word count of your story.
· By entering the competition, the writer declares that the story is their original work and grants Poetavango the permission to publish the work either in print or digital platforms.
· Members of the Poetavango Collective and their families are NOT allowed to enter the competition; however, their work may be included in anthologies where necessary.
· All submissions will be acknowledged with a response from the receivers. Shortlisted stories will be announced by August 30th while the winners will be announced by September 15th.
· The judges’ decision is final.
· The Award Ceremony will take place on October 26th during the Maun International Arts Festival ’15, in Maun, Botswana. Winners are expected to attend this event.
· For more information or enquiries, email to email@example.com or call +267 73597356 or +267 74083616