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Joanne Hichens

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE


Yahoo! So now it is official! I am in partnership with the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, bringing you the “Short Sharp Stories Award”, the first of which will be made next year (2013) for best crime fiction or thriller fiction short story. You can read all about it at or at

Bloody Satisfied! (Or we may call it Deadline! as the deadline looms….three months to go…) will be published in July 2013 and will feature in the region of twenty-five crime/ thriller short stories. The National Arts Festival is sponsoring the prize money, so far at thirty-five thousand rand. This will be an annual competition, but bear in mind that the theme for the anthology will change from year to year. So this is your chance to send in a crime/ thriller tale! I am really hoping to get a range of stories – from established and emerging authors. We have so many diverse voices in SA, and the whole idea behind this series of anthologies (over the years) is to showcase that diversity, and talent of course.

The stories will be sifted and chosen independently and a panel of three judges will choose the winning tales from the selection to be published. Deon Meyer will write the foreword, and Fred Khumalo has agreed to be one of the judges. I’ll keep you posted as to developments. Basically it is now over to writers interested in trying their hand at crime/thriller fiction.

The jury will forever be out on what constitutes crime or thriller fiction, or crime-thriller fiction, but my own take is that a crime should be central to the story, and it should thrill, intrigue, have a twist in the tail/ tale, and hold the reader in suspense till the very last.

Happy writing. Any queries can be directed to me at

Or leave a comment or query here. And please spread the word. The more people writing, the better for all of us.


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