‘All stories are interesting’

2013-08-01 00:00

YOU’D like to enter the True Stories of KZN competition but you’re worried your story may not be gripping enough?

Perish the thought! That’s the advice of Monika Wittenberg, one of last year’s finalists.

“All your stories are interesting,” she says, “so let us read them. We enjoy reading other people’s stories!”

The competition, now in its 14th year, provides a showcase for true stories with a KZN flavour. There are again four categories: Open — with a prize of R10 000 for stories 1 500 words or under, and Snapshot, Schools and Opinion, which all have a prize of R3 000 and are for stories under 800 words.

Wittenberg, whose first language is German, said the hardest part of writing her story last year was having to write in English. The fact that she writes a diary every day helped, as she could refer to entries at the time she wrote about.

She said the response to her story — about a brush with security police during the apartheid years — was mixed. “As a family we lived in a community that was of vastly different views and opinions than ours. Now they could read in black and white of our experiences. Some reacted with shock, others surprise.”

The closing date for entries is 8 am on August 26 and the winners will be announced in November.

See daily tips for writers in The Witness.


• State clearly the category you are entering.

• Send your entries to: The Witness True Stories of KwaZulu-Natal Competition, P.O. Box 362, Pietermaritzburg, 3200, or e-mail


• Do not enclose pictures.

• Include your full contact details in any e-mail attachments, not just in the message field.

• Be sure of your entry before you send it — “improved” versions won’t be accepted.

• Editing is at the discretion of The Witness.

• Manuscripts will not be returned.

• The competition is not open to salaried employees of The Witness.

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