Intwasa shortlists 10 stories for the Yvonne Vera Award
10 short stories have been shortlisted for the Intwasa Short Story Competition (Yvonne Vera Award) with eight from Bulawayo and the remaining two from Harare. This year there were 81 short stories submitted for the competition, a 26 percent drop from last year’s number of 110. There were 60 males and 21 females who entered the competition.
The competition was inaugurated in the first year of the festival and is an annual literary event seeking to promote original creative writing talent in English.
In 2011 the award was named the Yvonne Vera Award and carries a $500 cash prize.
He said as organisers they were impressed by the quality of stories submitted.
“Forty-four per cent of the entries were from Bulawayo, seventeen per cent from Harare with the rest coming from across Zimbabwe, with one entry from South Africa and one from Algeria. Sixty submissions were from males and twenty-one from females,” said Baya.
He said there were a variety of short stories that were submitted, from love stories to stories about rural life.
It was encouraging to see a wide variety of subject areas in the stories, from teenage love stories to stories of traditional rural life. The judges were also pleased to see the use of humour, which enlivened many of the submissions, and, generally, the good command of language,” said Baya. However, he said some plots were too complex and the characters were poorly developed.
“There was an overuse of descriptive passages at the expense of moving the story forward. In good fiction a writer will ‘show and not tell’. In several of the stories there were too long descriptions of the main character’s state of mind and emotions,” said Baya. “Several of the plots were overly complex and the characters poorly developed. The endings of many of the stories were unconvincing.”
“Writers do also need to check the spelling, punctuation and general grammar before submitting their work, whether to a competition or to a publisher,” said Baya.
The shortlist will be trimmed to five nominees on 7 September. Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo will run from 18 to 22 September under the theme Bulawayo Blooming.
Below is the list of the 10 writers whose short stories have been shortlisted:
Blessing Hungwe Coming Out Violette Kee-Tui Tattered Cloth Mandla Khumalo- Fading Memories Sipho Mpofu A Congenial Man Mahluli Ndlovu It's Not a Man's World Nixon Nembaware The Rain God of Nyatanga Hill Babusi Nyoni Foolishness Mgcini Nyoni Crying Still Khotso Sibanda Not Guilty as Charged Chaltone Tshabangu Scheherazade of a Sort
Three of the shortlisted writers have been previously published by 'amaBooks: Babusi Nyoni in Silent Cry: Echoes of Young Zimbabwe Voices, Mgcini Nyoni in Intwasa Poetry and Chaltone Tshabangu in Long Time Coming: Short Writings from Zimbabwe.
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by Bryony Rheam
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