Monday, June 15, 2015

2015 BESSIE HEAD SHORT STORY WRITING COMPETITION

2015 BESSIE HEAD SHORT STORY WRITING

WABO invites aspiring writers  to participate in this year's Bessie Head writing competitions. Below are the guidelines as stipulated by the competition organisers.

Requirements for Submission
Bessie Head Short Story Awards
2015

This year, the Bessie Head Heritage Trust is offering a short story competition. No novels, poems, or children's stories will be accepted. All stories must be submitted online tobessiehead@gmail.comNote that this form of submission is new. We will not accept hard copies this year. All submissions must adhere to the following guidelines. Those submissions that do not will be automatically disqualified.
  1. All work must be original and unpublished. All work must be in English and have been thoroughly revised and proofread for grammar and spelling.
  2. Only one entry per person.
  3. No school assignments will be accepted.
  4. All submissions must include a cover page with name (no pen names will be accepted), two reliable ways of contacting you (email, postal address, telephone number, cell number), the title of the story, and an accurate word count. The word limit is 5,000 words.
  5. The first page of the story must also include the title of the story.
  6. The rest of the submission must not contain any identifying information. Except for the cover page, all submissions must be anonymous.
  7. Use a single, clear font, 12 point size. The best font to use is Times New Roman.
  8. Use clear black text on a white background.
  9. Left-justify your paragraphs. Right margins should be "ragged".
  10. Use double spacing for all your text.
  11. Don't insert extra lines between your paragraphs.
  12. Indent the first line of each paragraph by about 1/2 inch (1 cm.),
  13. Put the word "End" at the end of your story , centred on its own line.
  14. Authors are advised that they may be asked to authenticate their work. Do not destroy any drafts, as you may be required to produce them as proof of originality.
  15. All submissions must be attached to an email as Word documents (.doc or .docx).
  16. Email your submission by 15 September 2015 to bessiehead@gmail.com. All submissions will be acknowledged. No late entries will be accepted.
  17. This competition is open to citizens and residents of Botswana. Winners may be asked to verify their identity and eligibility.
DEADLINE: 15 September 2015
 
Winners are barred for three years from submitting manuscripts again in the same category, though they may enter other categories. Bessie Head Heritage Trust members, The Trust acknowledges the rights of copyright in the manuscript and the lawfulness of the copyright holder's rights and title to the rights of copyright in the manuscript.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

YOUR MASTERY WILL UNFOLD BY DONNIE GREENE-SMITH

Your mastery will unfold when you have developed the ability to recognize that there will always be something that you have to go through, and you use every bit of that going through, to polish the master within.

However, what many people do unknowingly is they take time away from their dreams and ambitions and work on the problem they have, because they feel that problem keeps getting in the way, so they prioritize it. So instead of being guided to live from the spirit within, they take direction from the current circumstances. And believe me I have done this so many times till that it actually started to create more things for me ‘to go through’ taking me further and further away from concentrating on me.

It took me a little while to recognize these forks in the road that led me back to guess what, my problem and a whole bunch more waiting to have their say.

These forks have names like:

I don’t have the time
I don’t have the support
I don’t have the money
People don’t really like me
I don’t have the energy
I have tried and tried

Now I know these sound more like reasons instead of forks in the road but that is just it; the person that has learned to master success in what they hope to achieve sees those reasons as forks that will take them away from what they intend to have, so they use that opportunity to find the new awareness that allow them to keep moving forward.

Ask any successful entrepreneur and they will tell you that when challenges come they don’t dial down the dream because of setbacks or disappointing results. No! Instead they learn to dial-up the passion and awareness to help them create what it is they are looking for and so much more.

They change the way they see things and so the things they see begin to change. You’ve done this yourself many of times but you are mostly unaware of it. Just think for a moment about a challenge you may have had 15 years ago. Now when you look at that challenge today it will appear different, you may even laugh at yourself for having thought of it as a challenge. You will have most likely credited that different outlook to getting older instead of gaining a new awareness, but it still is a new awareness.

That is what every challenge presents to you, an opportunity to find a new awareness; and having a great vision or business idea is not going to unfold without you learning to develop your mastery, through those challenges.

Those challenges are calling forth the greatness in you. So when you see those forks again you can then recognize them saying…

It’s saying learn to schedule time for what is really important to your purpose.
It’s saying learn to recognize the support for all your needs as you journey through life.
It’s saying you are not quite convinced yet of your dream, which is why you have laid the blame on not having money.
It's saying love yourself enough to allow yourself to shine no matter what people think.
It’s saying free up some of that time you spend on dead things and focus on the higher calling in you.
It’s saying don’t concentrate on how many times you tried and failed, concentrate on what you want to achieve, nothing else matters.

Rise A Master!

Sincerely,
Donniece Greene-Smith
Co-Founder of Lid Raisers

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Torrential Storm by Wada Goitsemang

Here is the second story from the Mahube submissions on the theme of "water". This is from our WABO member, Wada Goitsemang.

A Torrential Storm

I look out the window, it’s raining. It has been raining for three days now. They have grown tired of the falling rain and so have I. They murmur with sad toned voices, ''It’s bad, it’s bad.''

When I was a child, I loved the rain. It settled the dust, each falling drop brought down dust in one heavy pounce. I remember running into the rain and spreading my arms out with a freedom only childhood innocence and imagination could allow. I remember wondering where rain came from, and if the earth could ever be soaked up with rain the way a sponge gets soaked sometimes. I brushed the thought away the moment I saw rain butterflies. I would run after them and sing,''Rain rain, butterfly.'' I loved the freedom they seemed to possess.

That was then. My joy has been washed down by the rain. I am no longer who I used to be. We sit opposite each other. A foreboding silence killing every attempt to spark conversation. Our last 'discussion' was about rain. Whose god had allowed the rain to fall? My people had been in church petitioning, fasting, praying for the rain. His people had gone to the mountains, they had danced to the god of water. Who had more power?

Our son, lying in bed, sick with a high fever was dying. The new doctor, whom they said knew everything, said nothing could be done. They said that when he said so it was best to prepare for the funeral. I told them, God was smarter than him, he would not allow my son to die, he could not.

The basin of water that was prayed for by the priest would heal my son. It had to. The bottle of anointed water had to. My husband said, his father's gods were angry. We had to perform the ritual of cleansing. Our son should be taken by the riverside at night to be cleansed in the waters. I could not say a word to him, did he want to kill our son?

I could not understand how in the world we got here. Once, two years ago, water had united us. He had washed my hands and I, his; a symbol of how we would always take care of each other. We had been blessed with a son. Now it seemed I was washing my own hands, him his. He had fathered a son. I had mothered a son. Rain had poured to bless the union, rain now poured to mock it. Was this torrential storm ever going to have a rainbow at the end? We needed to be saved from the flood.
______________________________________

Bio: Wada Goitsemang is a 24 year female currently pursuing a science based medical course but whose first love is the arts. She writes poetry and short stories in her spare time. Her work has a tinge of rural Botswana since she was raised in a rural place and later moved to the city in pursuit of her degree. Her background enables her to bring a rich cultural background to her work which allows her to relate to Batswana in both rural and urban places. Her work also reflects the religious influences that have impacted on her. She was originally raised in an African traditional religious family, to seeing her family embrace Christianity and having schooled in a Catholic school at the prime of her youth led to the consolidation of her moral and religious values.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Brand Botswana to be at AGM!!

Brand Botswana will be at our AGM this Saturday to talk to writers about opportunities that are available for Batswana writers to be part of the 'Our Pride, Your Destination". Do not miss out on this chance to find out more about Brand Botswana's vision for the literary arts.

Remember the AGM is this Saturday at 2 pm in Gaborone at Maruapula School.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

WABO AGM- Let's All Attend!!

Clear your schedule for Saturday the 19th of May. WABO will be holding their annual general meeting in Gaborone at Maruapula School at 2 pm. Everyone is invited. Besides going through reports for the past executive committee, a new executive will be voted in. It's important we have good attendance. Any questions contact: botswanawriters@gmail.com.

See you there!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Window Pains by Boleng J. Bolokwe

(As promised, some of our members who submitted for Mahube have agreed to have their work showcased on our blog. Here is our first short story)

Window Pains

This is what a bar should be: murmuring clinks and loud smoke signalling passers-by to join the hush and get out of the rain. The piano music meandered through the sound of pitter-patter and people. In the inescapable lull of old friends, lovers differed and delivered dreams and breaking hearts, gazes collide.

They said, “As far as lovers go, I am cocaine. You will need me. And I will break you. Tasting of desire, as do you. But I have mastered my highs – the itch barely recognisable. And you have barely scratched the surface. Sleep if you will, for I am the boogieman of your most desired nightmares. A dark dream as deep as the bone, warm as the flesh and steadfast as touch – feel me.”

She heard him well. Katherine Mokotedi watched the corner of this mysterious mouth rise to form a lazy half-smile. Thunder boomed. The crashing skies continued to drum as she swept back her hair, cascading her golden brown braids over the fawn fall of her shoulders as she undid the ribbon that held her do in place. Her cheeks reddened through mocha skin as she caught sight of the cerise lace peeking through her soaked grey tee. The stains, old and new, were barely seen under the quenched cotton. Her embarrassment didn’t keep her from admiring the striped black and crimson cups holding her breasts. She had cut the sleeves of the top and neatly tucked the hem in above the pockets of her washed out charcoal jeans. The white greyed and black receded, a sign of age. Her black pumps looked new, pristine in their gleam.

Her features, youthful and almost childlike, belied a sensuality that smouldered as she rolled her shoulders against the gaping door’s breeze. She heaved deeply, twice, catching the scents of carbonara and coffee, and raised the t-shirt that clung to her chest with each breath. Her figure could not help but draw murmurs. She adjusted the sling of her bag so her folded arms could cover her chest if only for a moment.

She held no regrets for visiting the restaurant on this rainy day. It broke the spell of monotony that surrounded her routine. The fans twirled lazily overhead, as the burnt orange walls warmed the room to its Casablancan character. An informed smile of tile, spread sophisticatedly across the tables, made the mosaic of her entrance complete.

“Welcome to CafĂ© 41,” greeted her waiter. His composed air brought her back from the stranger’s eyes and she turned her back on him and faced the waiter. Finally able to deal with her situation, she asked to be shown to the restroom. Her hands, absorbed in their acrobatics with her lighter, were lightly bandaged. Their delicate movements changed as her nose distinguished the dishes wafting from his crisp cotton shirt.

She faced the milling crowd, careful to avoid another ocular altercation with the handsome stranger in the smoker’s section. He seemed to have other plans.

“Excuse me,” he called after Katherine. He spotted the slowly spilling contents of her bag. His hand flashed forward, thumping firm buttocks as he kept a pair of blown glass bookends from meeting their doom. His smile persisted as his eyes closed in disbelief and his head shook as he muttered, “Sorry... But it was glass or ass.”
She couldn’t help but chuckle lightly and the surrounding staff and patrons chorused in. Kate removed her satchel from her shoulder and placed it in front of this new face. Catching the name of her waiter off his name tag she asked, “Leroy, don’t you think that someone who’s already familiar with my fanny…”

“Excuse me. But who says fanny?” Boyish charm added to his appeal. He still wore the same lazy smile that met her at the door. He motioned for her to sit next to him.

“I do.” She was an easy going girl, but could barely believe how easy he made approaching him.

“Tell me your name.”

The throb and thump of traffic and trickling rain were loud enough to muffle any further conversation to any onlooker. In fact, each table was dressed in intimate conversation, scantily clad in strangers’ sights. The curtain of rain lazily separated the street and the eatery. He looked to his right.

She began to be troubled by the fact that there were so many supposed adults here in their suits, twiddling the keys to their toys. But she wanted to be somewhere new. The group that troubled her particularly was the group of four executive-looking black men to her left. Voyeurism, thinly veiled in vulgarity, is often a trait shared by modern African men. Plenty, if not all, joined in the ogling overtures. Against the grain of femininity, she expressed her dislike of the display by men her father’s age. She had come here for the food not to be a meat puppet.

She gave them a withering look which was responded to by in-seat shuffling and the man-child chatter of her being ‘not that pretty’.

“My name is Bill,” he said as he undid the three remaining buttons revealing his red v-neck tee and the buckle securing his stonewashed skinny jeans, he stood and draped the warm black cardigan around Kate’s shoulders. “And as long as we’re here, would you tell me your name. And maybe have some coffee?”

The smokers’ section sheltered the two beneath whispering clouds and striking stillness. In rain strewn streaks, they gravitated towards the inevitable. They were a window, clearing as each moment passed.

--------------------------

Boleng Julius Bolokwe, born October 12th 1991, is a writer inspired by human interaction. His early childhood in Francistown and Gaborone was usually spent neck-deep in books or skipping math lessons to play with his friends. A storyteller by nature, he loves to relay a good yarn to those around him. Most of his teen years were spent in Pretoria where he began to take charge of the emotions building up inside of him. He is oddly mild-mannered and yet, peppered with moments of intensity. And if asked, his biggest fear is a life unlived.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Update on Mahube

The WABO Executive Committee put out calls for submissions of short story, poetry and creative nonfiction around the theme of water for the next issue of Mahube.

Unfortunately we only received submissions from four writers. As such we've made the decision not to publish a print edition of Mahube. Instead we've given the writers who submitted the option of having their work published on this blog. Some have taken us up on this option. In the coming weeks be on the lookout for a new page on this blog highlighting some of our members' writing.