2013 Annual Short Story Award

For Emerging Writers in South Africa

Closes 31 March 2013

This competition is to acknowledge excellence in creative writing in the Short Story genre. The contest is open to any emerging writer residing in South Africa who has had fewer than four stories/articles published in any format (print or digital).


PRIZES: by bennyyap

  • First Prize: R 5 000.00 plus entry into one of our short courses
  • Second Prize: R2 000.00
  • People’s Choice Award R 1 000.00

Top two entries will be published on our college site and the top five winners will receive individual editorial comments on their submitted works.

We will also run a public vote called the ‘People’s Choice Award’  for the top five entries. This result will be announced by 31 May.


DEADLINE: Midnight 31 March 2013, via e-mail only to


Entry is free.


THEME: Doing the Right Thing



  • Entry is limited to South African residents only.
  • Entrants must submit a story of maximum word count: 2000 words. Any entries exceeding the word count by 50 words will not be considered.
  • We aim to support and acknowledge beginner writers, so we only accept stories from writers who have been published fewer than four times in any genre, in any publication (for payment or otherwise). This does not include articles for community or work newsletters where the circulation is under 1000.
  • Stories must not have been previously published. Entrants must own full copyright to the story submitted.
  • Only one story per entrant is allowed.
  • Only e-mail submissions are acceptable, with stories attached as Word Documents. Mark your entry clearly with the subject line: SAWC Annual Short Story Competition, and submit according to rules below.
  • If you have not received an acknowledgement of your submission within three days, please re-send your entry.
  • All submissions must be sent to Nichola Meyer:



  • Your first page of your Word document must include the story title, your name, email address, and total number of words of the entry.
  • Do not include your name on any page of your story, except the title page. All entries will be judged blind.
  • Make sure your story has been edited and polished according to tips and guidelines provided on our college site under “Writing Resources”.

Archives View our Archived Competition Entries Here



The top five entries will be assessed by a panel of five award-winning writers.

Ginny_Swart  Ginny Swart has sold over 400 short stories to women’s magazines all over the world. On any day of every month she has at least 15 stories out there on editors’ desks. Her more serious work has appeared in literary publications in America, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and on the Web. She is also the author of three romance novels (Ulverscroft Press UK) a book of short stories ( and a book for teenagers: Nosipho and the King of Bones (MacMillan Boleswa SA).

In 2003 Ginny won the esteemed UK The Real Writers’ Prize from over 4000 entrants.

Karen_Jeynes  Karen Jeynes studied English and Drama at UCT. Her plays include “Laying Blame”, “sky too big”, “Backwards in High Heels” (co-authored with the cast), “Don’t Mention Sex”, “Kiss Kiss” and the multi award-winning “Everybody Else (is Fucking Perfect)”. She has also directed “The Best Man”, “Pillow Talk” and “Txt Me”. Her adaptation of Thomas Rapakgadi’s “The Purse is Mine” aired on Bush Radio last year, and she is busy writing a radio drama series for Safm with Nkuli Sibeko, tentatively entitled “Office Hours”.

Her teenage novel, Jacques Attack (co-authored with Nkuli Sibeko) was published in 2004, and her new book, Flipside, co-authored with Eeshaam September, is due for release this year.

 Sarah-Lang An award-winning feature writer, Sarah Lang began her career on staff at North & South magazine, and for the last five years has freelanced for around 20 publications including North & South, NZ House & Garden, Reader’s Digest, and Herald on Sunday magazine View.

Sarah has interviewed everyone from Dame Helen Mirren to sick children and science boffins, and has written hundreds of stories from profiles, entertainment and arts features through to science and business stories.

Awards and nominations include: 2007 Qantas Media Awards: Human Relations winner, 2008 Qantas Media Awards: Science and Technology winner, 2008 Qantas Media Awards: Junior Magazine Feature Writer finalist, The Magazine Awards 2010: Journalist of the Year (Women’s Interest) finalist, The Magazine Awards 2011: Journalist of the Year (Home, Food & Garden) finalist, and The Magazine Awards 2011: Journalist of the Year (Lifestyle) finalist.

Originally from Wanganui, Sarah is a booklover with a BA in English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington and a Bachelor of Communications (journalism major) from AUT University. After 10 years in Auckland, she now lives in Wellington.

Alex Smith letterbox Alex Smith is the author of three novels, Algeria’s Way and Drinking from the Dragon’s Well, both published by Random House Umuzi. Drinking from the Dragon’s Well was long-listed for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. Four Drunk Beauties, her third novel, was published by Umuzi in 2010.

Alex has had many short stories published in anthologies and journals. Her short story ‘Buffalo Panting at the Moon’ was short-listed for the 2007 SA PEN Literary Awards. Most recently her writing appeared in Touch, along with other SA writers, including Henrietta Rose-Innes, Damon Galgut, Andre Brink, and Nadine Gordimer.

Alex was shortlisted for the 2009 PEN/Studzinski Literary Award. She won a silver award at the 2010 Sanlam Youth Literature Awards and has been nominated for the 2010 Caine Prize for African Writing. Most recently her latest novel, Four Drunk Beauties, won the Nielsen sponsored 2011 Bookseller’s Choice Award.

LisaLazarus letterbox Lisa Lazarus is a freelance journalist for a variety of publications, including Men’s Health, Femina, Psychologies, Shape, Cosmopolitan, Femina, Healthy Pregnancy and the Mail & Guardian. Her memoir The Book of Jacob, co-written with Greg Fried, has been published by Oshun. She has also published a novel When in Broad Daylight I Open My Eyes (Kwela, 2012) with Greg Fried, under the pen name Greg Lazarus. Lisa tutors both the Magazine Journalism Course and the Memoir Writing Course

Previously she worked as Principal of City Varsity for six years. She has a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology. In 2011 she completed her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town (cum laude).


CRITIQUES: We unfortunately do not have the time to supply a critique for each submission. If you wish to receive a professional one- to two-page report of your work, please state your requirement on your title page. We charge R120.00 per critique.



  • The competition is open to anyone living in South Africa over the age of 16.
  • The competition closes at midnight on 31 March 2013, and winners will be announced and displayed on our web site by 30 April 2013.
  • Prizewinners will be notified via email as well as on our web site; please ensure you supply a valid email address with your entry.
  • Prize money will be paid via electronic transfer.
  • We only accept entries written in English.
  • Entrant must own full copyright of the piece.
  • Writers retain copyright, but give permission for their work to be displayed on our website.
  • The judges’ decision is final; no disputes will be entered into.
  • If your entry has not been acknowledged within 72 hours, please contact us –your mail may have got lost in transit.
  • SA Writers’ College reserves the right to extend the competition deadline, or cancel the competition should the entries not be of publishable quality or up to the required standard.