The Bessie Head Heritage Trust, after a brief hiatus, has big things in store for the public this year. They will be holding both a writing competition and a workshop. They have a new sponsor for the prizes for the writing competition, Diamond Educational Publishers. The competition this year will only be for short story, and to improve the quality of the submissions they will be holding a one-day short story writing workshop in Gaborone, to be facilitated by three past Bessie Head Literature Prize winners: Wame Molefhe, Wazha Lopang, and Lauri Kubuitsile.
“We realised that we needed a workshop component to the prize in order to develop and support our writers,” Trustee Mary Lederer said. The plan is to see the workshop grow into a week-long, residential event, and eventually for the competition to go back to a more expanded prize.
The workshop will be held on Saturday 1 August 2015. The basics of short story writing will be taught, including understanding what “show, don’t tell” really means, writing realistic dialogue, building dramatic tension in your story, understanding why reading is important to writing, and choosing your point of view. A representative from the Trust will brief participants on how to submit their stories for the competition.
For anyone interested in submitting for the competition, this is a workshop not to be missed. People chosen to attend the workshop will also have the unique opportunity to have the stories that they intend to submit to the competition later in the year read and critiqued by one of the workshop facilitators.
To apply for the workshop, you must submit a 500-word flash-fiction story in English to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 June 2015. It should be sent as a Word attachment, double-spaced, 12 pt. font. All chosen workshop participants will be contacted through email by 24 June 2014.
The short story competition is scheduled for later in the year, with the deadline for submissions set for 15 September 2015. Details regarding submission guidelines will be released after the workshop and will be found on the Bessie Head Heritage Trust website (www.bessiehead.org).
For further details regarding the workshop or the competition, please contact the Trust at email@example.com.