SACEE’S 2023 NATIONAL SHORT STORY COMPETITION
NB: Deadline Extended to the 28th July 2023!
For the eighth year running, the SACEE SHORT STORY NATIONAL COMPETITION, organised by the SACEE Border Branch Committee, has the pleasure of inviting contributions from schools throughout South Africa.
The competition is open to:
PRIMARY SCHOOLS: Grade 6 and Grade 7 learners.
HIGH SCHOOLS: Grade 8, to Grade 12 learners.
The DEFINITION of a SHORT STORY is an event, (or a series of events), involving a single or small number of characters which develops towards a climax.
Stories could be about ANY TOPIC of choice.
The LENGTH of the short story must be EXACTLY 100 WORDS – including the title.
Download the entry form here!
The 2022 SACEE 100-WORD SHORT STORY COMPETITION
STATISTICS We had a total of 479 entries in the 2022 100-Word Short Story Competition. There were 339 entries from Primary Schools and 140 High School entrants. A total of 159 entries received Gold and 170 received Silver Awards.
CONTENT In terms of content, obviously we are in the age of technology, and the “gaming” influence is blatant. Video violence (crime channel) featured prominently, but the writing range from issues relating to romantic love, to death, suicide, loneliness, bullying, sadness and monsters; there was a lot of war jargon; divorce featured prominently, particularly in the pain of loss of a father-figure. How much of what used to be “imagination” is still important in the way young people think – or does it relate only to what’s available on screen? Reading for pleasure? Does it still exist or has tech wiped that away and relegated it to some seldom-opened dusty cupboard (or the waste bin)? Hopefully, we can continue to encourage our children to be active rather than passive learners, and writing involves thinking, not merely rote or task mumbo-jumbo.
PRESENTATION Schools are encouraged to allow their learners to submit typed entries. Where this is not possible, learners should then submit their handwritten entries in black ink which, when copied or printed, is darker and easier to read.
SKILLS Some schools obviously taught the short story skills, which follow the idea of creating tension in order to shock/surprise at the end. One primary school’s learners all achieved a Gold Award – it was impossible to ignore their obvious delight in the exercise, but well done to every child (and teacher) who participated, and please encourage those who were over or under the limit, to try again next year.
LENGTH There is a request to teachers to check the stories submitted that they do comply with the 100 word rule (no more, no less – including the title). That is the requirement and it demands specific analysis and language skills relating to sentence structure, punctuation, precision of meaning, eliminating unnecessary verbiage.
OVERALL In the midst of our country’s many woes, our children require and appreciate any activity which enables them to think beyond the task orientation of the present system – something that encourages them to explore ideas, express opinions and feelings, and respond individually to the systems which control them, and the events that impact on them as human beings. In spite of COVID and the often drastic reduction of learning content in the classroom, our young people have fears and ideas. Poetry and short (or long) stories can open both minds and hearts. Thank you to the teachers who went the extra mile in the pressured environment of the 2022 classroom, and offered their learners the chance to “do something different”, not necessarily for marks!
Congratulations, and we look forward to your school’s entries next year.
For competition results kindly click on the link below: