Sunday, September 24, 2023

Bessie Head Trust to host workshop for writers

Local Aspiring writers will have an opportunity to hone their talent at a short story workshop organised by the Bessie Head Heritage Trust, with sponsorship from Diamond Educational Publishers.

 The workshop, which intends to refine the work of literary enthusiasts for the annual Bessie Head Literary Competitions, will be held on the 21st of May in Gaborone.

Following the success of last year’s workshop, the heritage trust decided to host another one this year: “The goal of the workshop is to help aspiring writers to hone their skills and prepare them for the Bessie Head Independence Short Story Competition. The judges were impressed with the quality of last year’s stories, and we believe that this results from having first held the workshop to help writers understand what they need to do to compete,” explains Trustee Mary Lederer.

Facilitators for this year include two past Bessie Head winners, Cheryl Ntumy and Wazha Lopang.  According to Lederer, the workshop will allow writers to gain insight on the basics of short story writing, including understanding what “show, don’t tell” really means, writing credible dialogue, techniques for building dramatic tension, the importance of reading in any writer’s life, understanding and using point of view, and the guidelines for the Bessie Head Short Story Competition.

To apply for the workshop, each applicant must submit a 500-word flash-fiction story in English (the word limit will be strictly enforced, so if a story is 501 words, it will not be considered; less than 500 words is fine).  Stories and contact information for all applicants must be submitted by email to [email protected] by May 1 2016.  The story should be attached to the email as a Word document, double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman font.  All successful applicants will be contacted before 7 May 2016.  Complete details are available on the website

Named after the prolific author Bessie Head whose literary works are celebrated worldwide, the awards are currently the only ones that recognise the efforts of writers in the country. The short story competition is scheduled for later in the year, with the awards ceremony to be held as part of Botswana’s 50th anniversary Independence celebrations.  Deadline for submissions will be 8 July 2016.

For further details regarding the workshop or the competition, please contact the Trust at [email protected]


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