Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Stories Across Africa and POWA women’s writing competition

In addition to the Easter shopping/visiting/eating madness, I did some edits on a children’s story which I plan to rewrite in Setswana to submit to Stories Across Africa, a project of the African Academy of Languages, the official language agency of the African Union.

The project, aims to:

* develop and support the use of African languages in print;
* support mother tongue based bilingual education in Africa;
* stimulate and support the African publishing industry and African literary and visual artists to create and foster the use of children's literature;
* begin to create a common store of written children's literature for African children;
* support possibilities for reading for enjoyment as part of literacy learning and development

Staaf, in collaboration with a local publisher from each of Southern, West, Central, East and North Africa, is publishing three anthologies of writing for children:
* Early Childhood (0-8),
* Middle Childhood (9-12) and
* Teenagers (13+)

Writers are invited to submit stories and poems in any African language (with a summary or translation in English, French or Portuguese) or any of the AU official languages.

Maximum words per submission with respect to length:

ECD: 800 words
Middle: 1200 words
Teen: 2000 words

Deadline is the 30 July 2007 and email submissions are welcomed.

Wish me luck, and send your own entries to Carole Bloch. Email: carole dot bloch at uct dot ac dot za (I’ve written it out so spam trawlers can’t access the address)

POWA Women’s Writing Competition

I also wrote and submitted a poem to the People Opposed Against Women Abuse (POWA) Writing Competition. The theme for the 2007 competition is “Murmurs of the girl in me.”

The organizers say:

“Whatever age she is, when a girl experiences or is witness to an act of violence, something always remains inside and throws her world into disarray.

The moment after an act of abuse is possibly the most emotionally displacing for anyone who survives it. The outside world appears to the same, yet the intensity of that moment rattles the world inside and reshapes it, sparking a range of murmurs spoken in the survivor’s heart.”

Deadline for submissions is 12 noon, 12 September 2007, so there’s still a lot of time for people to enter.

For more information on the competition, go to www.powa.org.za

I also wrote and posted another poem on domestic violence, titled “Deaf and Blind” on my blog for free online stories.

I hope it prompts everyone who reads it to do something, however little it may be, to help women and children who are abused.

Storytellers Festival: A blog promotion experiment

I hardly do anything to promote this blog, mostly because I’m still a bit skeptical of some of the promotion efforts I’ve observed online.

It seems to be a very time-consuming effort, what with visiting other bloggers and commenting on their posts, joining forums, writing articles to submit for publication and directing traffic to the blog and all that social marketing happy stuff. And I’m not quite sure what the returns for me would be, as I don’t really have a product visitors could immediately buy.

In any case, my thinking is that any extra writing time I have would be better spent actually writing something for possible publication, not reading blogs. (But yes, there are a few I visit regularly, mostly because I learn a thing or two from them or enjoy the commentary)

Nonetheless, this weekend I came across what they call blog festivals – essentially, the festival host sends out a regular post highlighting a number of themed posts from other bloggers.

So I submitted a number of posts for three festivals - storytellers festival, writerly types and authors, readers and writers festivals.

Thankfully, it was not a lot of work, as they accept previously published blog posts. We’ll see what returns come out this experiment.

If you’re interested in joining a festival related to your subject matter, go to http://blogcarnival.com/bc/

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