Bessie Head Heritage Trust packs exciting plans for writers


The Bessie Head Heritage Trust, after a brief hiatus, has big plans for the public this year. They will be holding both a writing competition and a workshop.

This time, Diamond Educational Publishers will sponsor the prizes for the writing competition. The competition this year will only be for short stories, and to improve the quality of the submissions the trust will hold a one-day short story writing workshop in Gaborone, to be facilitated by three past Bessie Head Literature Prize winners: Wame Molefhe, Wazha Lopang, and Lauri Kubuitsile.

“We realised that we needed a workshop component to the prize in order to develop and support our writers,” Trustee Mary Lederer said.

The plan is to see the workshop grow into a weeklong, residential event, and eventually for the competition to go back to a more expanded prize.

The workshop will be held on August 1, 2015. The basics of short story writing will be taught including understanding what “show, don’t tell” really means, writing realistic dialogue, building dramatic tension in your story, understanding why reading is important to writing, and choosing your point of view. A representative from the trust will brief participants on how to submit their stories for the competition.

The trust has engaged international judges for the competition this year, and they include Kenyan based author Zukiswa Wanner, South African creator of the popular Trinity books, Fiona Snyckers, and author and editor Karen Jennings, recently relocated to Brazil.

 Anyone interested in submitting for the competition, this is a workshop not to be missed. People chosen to attend the workshop will also have the unique opportunity to have the stories they intend to submit in the competition later in the year read and critiqued by one of the workshop facilitators.

To apply for the workshop you must submit a 500-word flash-fiction story in English to [email protected] by June 1, 2015, sent as a Word attachment, double-spaced, 12 pt. font.  All chosen workshop participants will be contacted via email by June 24, 2015. The short story competition is scheduled for later in the year. Deadlines for submissions is September 15, 2015. Details regarding submission guidelines will be released after the workshop and found on the Bessie Head Heritage Trust website,

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