Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Joanne Hichens

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

New Short Fiction Award to be announced

More news on Bloody Satisfied!

Getting an anthology of short fiction together takes time and effort, and a measure of wheeling and dealing too. So I now have the latest, as promised, on developments towards getting the crime-thriller collection off the ground.

To recap: after the success of BAD COMPANY, the crime-fiction short story anthology published 2008, which featured the crème de la crime writers of South Africa, I had decided it was time for another collection and made a call for stories a couple of months back.

My first bit of good news was that Deon Meyer agreed to write a foreword. I am now happy to announce that in exciting negotiations with CEO Tony Lankester of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, he and his team have agreed to underwrite prize money for a new fiction award under the name Short Sharp Stories. A collection of short fiction will be published annually, and will be launched during that year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

I am thrilled to announce of course, that the first of these volumes, with prize money attached, will be this collection of crime-thriller fiction stories.

In this collection I will be including veteran crime authors, but am also wanting to include new voices, with an original take on things. Skop skiet en donder is one way to go about it, and I look forward to those nail-biting tales, but I am also looking for stories with more subtlety, and am hoping to include a range of stories which show diversity of crime, from murder to white-collar crime.

At least twenty stories will be published in what will be an exciting home-grown collection which shows the diversity of writers in SA. With this latest development, then, the deadline has now been extended to 31 November 2012.
So all writers out there interested in the seamy, nasty, murderous, sometimes all too human side of life, I look forward to your killer tales glinting sharp as knives. If you’re working on something slick, sexy, flirty, dangerous, thrilling, a twist-in-the-tale story, that’s just up my street. I am hoping too that a number of stories will deliver a measure of justice so sorely needed in SA. The only proviso is that the story must be set in South Africa.

The competition is open to South African citizens. Stories of between 2500 and 5000 words are to be written in English. Independent judges will choose the winning stories after the initial selection process by a panel of writers.
A full set of rules will be published on the website on 30 August 2012.
Any queries can be directed to me, Joanne Hichens, at
Submissions are also to be made, via email, to

Thanks for your patience on this, but I am so thrilled that we will soon have another fiction prize which will celebrate South African fiction writing.


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Joanne</a>
    August 23rd, 2012 @18:17 #

    The "Short Sharp Stories" Award, the first volume to be devoted to crime-thriller fiction, is open to South African citizens, irrespective of residency, as well as to permanent residents of SA. I'm excited about this as it opens up the space for foreign nationals who have made SA their home. Diversity is the name of the game - this is after all what SA is known for. Oh yes, and our high crime rate!


Please register or log in to comment

» View comments as a forum thread and add tags in BOOK Chat