THE KWAZULU-NATAL Department of Arts and Culture recently announced the winners of its short story writing competition at the Durban Exhibition Centre. The competition was open to all book clubs, including those of criminal offenders who were serving their sentences behind bars. Writers were allowed to write in isiXhosa and isiZulu. The competition was adjudicated by renowned professors, doctors, and writers who are proficient in these languages.Participants from the Kokstad Management Area dominated in the Xhosa genre, with first position going to Akhona Jojo, who won R10 000 and a certificate. Gudumana Maliviwe was awarded second place, walking away with R7 500 and a certificate, while third went to Siyamcela Jacisa, who received R5 000 and a certificate.Kokstad Management Area Acting Coordinator for Development and Care Siphokazi Mazwi was impressed by the level of dedication that was displayed by participants during the competition.“Our aim as the department is to see these past offenders taking their writing skills seriously to the point where they can make a living out of it. “We would love to see them writing books that will be published for public consumption even when they leave prison walls,” she said. Mazwi applauded the evident dedication and commitment that was displayed by officials of the Department of Correctional Services in polishing the writing skills of the participants.