Writers for children fiction short stories awarded

Namibia-Wales ‘Fiction for Children’ Competition 2020

Outstanding fiction stories for children were submitted during the Namibia-Wales ‘Fiction for Children’ writing competition, under the auspices of the Phoenix Project.  The writing competition was launched as a collaboration between the University of Namibia and Cardiff University in Wales (UK) in February 2020.

The competition, ran from February until end of April, received 27 story submissions, 24 from Namibia and 3 from Wales. The stories are targeted at children aged between 7 and 15 years.

The competition is the dream-child of Professor Jairos Kangira (Dean: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at UNAM), himself an author of children’s stories, Mr Tim Davies (author of many published short stories and plays, Cardiff University) and Professor Judith Hall, Cardiff University’s Lead for the Phoenix Project.

Professor Kangira said: “the Namibian stories represented an opportunity for readers to learn about aspects of Namibian and Welsh culture and relationships.”

Mr Davies said: “the Namibian stories a freshness and vitality, and an exuberance and disregard of conventional form, that is not often witnessed in stories. Competition was fierce!”

Dr John Barnie, a senior competition judge and highly respected author and poet, said: “the competition was of a very high standard, though I hope to see more Welsh entries in future competitions.”

Winners will be invited to attend a ZOOM Prize-Giving Award Ceremony in July and receive a prize of 4,330 NAD (£200).  The prize-winning stories were:

  • Hope and the Fairy Ring by Nabeelah Suleman from Namibia;
  • The Power in the Making by Karen Pierce from Wales;
  • When a Whale needs a Hand (or two) by Mel Kelly from Namibia;
  • Little Kauka saves the Elephants by Mundia Mercy Mubuyaeta from Namibia.

Professor Hall said: “I am delighted with the competition’s success. There were many very beautiful stories and judging was extremely difficult.  In fact, the stand was so high, that we offered four prizes instead of three!

“Competitions like this are something the Phoenix Project can support for shared cross-cultural learning, even when our countries are in lockdown.”

For further information, please contact Simon N. Namesho at: snamesho@unam.na

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About the Author: Simon Namesho