They say competition promotes quality. This is the reason Story Ink Africa has organised a fiction story writing and telling festival in Lilongwe on September 1.
This will be the first of its kind in Malawi. It will be all about the art of writing and narrating fiction.
According to one of the firm’s founders Ekari Mbvundula, 12 stories selected from a pool of entries to be submitted by August 5, will be read out to the audience.
She said the festival is part of her organisation’s efforts to promote writing among the youth.
Said Mbvundula: “We will select the best of the submissions and they will be featured at the festival. To participate, write an original story on any theme in English, with a word limit of 1 000. It can be an excerpt of a longer story; where the longer version can later be published by Story Ink Africa.”
She said by submitting their stories, writers will be granting Story Ink Africa permission to publish their works – on its website in future.
“But the writer will retain the ownership of the story,” said Mbvundula.
Story Ink Africa has been active in promoting writing and storytelling through sessions in Blantyre and Lilongwe.
Some of the established writers who have graced these sessions include Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga and the late Desmond Dudwa Phiri popularly known as DD Phiri.
Mbvundula said once selected, writers will also be required to participate in promotional activities for the festival.
Information on the firm’s website www.storyinkafrica.com, reads: “Introducing the first fiction festival in Malawi. On the 1st of September in Lilongwe, we will have an all-day celebration of fiction, book sales games, special guests, and all things literary at Bambino Private School.
“Submit your story to be selected to read it out loud at the festival among your peers, mentors and fans.”
Meanwhile, Story Ink Africa is collaborating with Tikonzekere Arts Contests in judging entries for the story writing section of the competition.
“We are running the storytelling section, receiving submissions and judging at the semi-finals.
We will then hand over to the organisers of the Tikonzekere Arts Contests after that stage,” said Mbundula.
The contest is about communicating how to reduce flood vulnerability through art in Malawi.
The song-writing, poetry, storytelling, short video, photography, and drawing contest is for both amateurs and professionals.
“The artists will have the exposure of having their entries judged by a prestigious panel of judges, and appreciated at public events, in the media, and in related materials after the event,” she said.
The competition also aims at inspiring people to talk about and take actions that will help them and their families to have less negative consequences during future heavy rains and floods, according to the contest’s concept note.