JONO Hornby took the Open category prize in our True Storiesof KwaZulu-Natal competition for his tale of three months spent with the Msimangas of Besters. “His story hit just the right note in conveying the awkwardness and newness of such an encounter,” said one of the judges. The runner-up prize of R3 000 was shared by Joe Spirit, who won last year’s grand prize, and Marilyn Mills, a finalist in 2011. Spirit wrote about witnessing a brutal murder when he was a child, while Mills’s story was about two dogs saved from a death sentence by a vet’s detective work. In the Snapshot category, a moving story about her deceased daughter’s early relationship with her nanny earned Marilyn Collop the prize of R3 000, while the Schools category prize was won by Brandy Zulu of Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School for her amusing tale of a dreaded rural remedy administered by her grandmother. And in the Opinion category, last year’s winner, Linda Filmer, took top honours again with her account of the agonies teachers suffer while invigilating exams, and the amusing strategies some resort to for amusement. Her prize was R3 000. The competition now proceeds to the next stage where the remainder of the semi-finalists’ entries will be published, and all semi-finalists are asked to contact Shelagh McLoughlin about material needed to publish their stories. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 033 355 1111.