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Joanne Hichens

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE


Even though BLOODY SATISFIED has just hit the shelves, it’s time to announce the 2013 competition. So here goes… the SHORT SHARP STORIES team look forward to reading tales of love, lust, sex and sensuality.

‘The fact is, while certain aspects of sexual behaviour may never change, and ‘a kiss is still a kiss’, there are elements of how we behave towards one another in moments of intimacy that are products of the time.’ J.H. Blair, editor of The Good Parts, The Best Erotic Writing in Modern Fiction.

Our new title is: ADULTS ONLY…

This collection will be devoted to stories of love and lust, stories with an element of sex and sensuality. We’re looking for stories that are raw, dangerous and powerful, as well as those that are delicate, sensitive and funny. Your story can titillate the senses, it can be highly provocative; it can be sacred or profane, playfully perverse or deeply poignant. It can be tender, reserved, and full of self-possessed restraint, or it can speak of rapacious appetites. Your erotic fantasy (tending to arouse love and desire, but with arty aspirations) can set readers on fire or rock them in romance, but the sex and/ or sensuality must be part of a strong, compelling narrative. We want stories that will challenge stereotypical thinking, cross-cultural stories that explore how South Africans engage when cultures collide, stories that explore sexual orientation, stories of forbidden love with an historical kick-back, stories that inform us that Cupid’s arrow can find its mark at any age. We want stories that explore the struggles and celebrations around sexuality in whatever form it takes, bearing in mind that Love can be heroic, it can be tragic, it can make you laugh and cry.

Once again we will be selecting from new as well as established voices. The Awards are open to writers 18 and over, who are either citizens or residents of South Africa. The stories must have a South African setting. The deadline is 01 December 2013. Please refer to the full rules on

“There are few writers of literary merit who approach the subjects of sex and sensuality. Advertisers and pornographers have annexed not only the terrain, but the language. It is very difficult to write about sex because the language is so limited, so blunt. Yet we can’t hand over such an important topic to commerce. Another important question: Why is it permissible for a writer to make a reader cry, laugh, get angry, and feel happy, but s/he may not turn us on? Perhaps writers know that, like humour, what turns one person on is ludicrous to another…. Let’s get back to where we all came from – sex and its place in relationship – with all the attendant pleasure and grief.” Dawn Garisch, winner of the first SHORT SHARP STORIES AWARDS

Check out the site for more info:
Any queries can be directed to


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    August 6th, 2013 @12:12 #

    When is the deadline?

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Joanne</a>
    August 6th, 2013 @15:06 #

    Deadline is 01 December 2013. Check out the website for full rules.


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