The first short story competition run by Elle magazine has been won by Katya Lebeque Smith, 23, who won a creative writing course presented by GetSmarter on behalf of Random House Struik.
Katya Lebeque Smith
Her short story, Two, about a teenager who accompanies her friend to a backstreet abortionist - but has a secret of her own - was judged the winner by author and creative writing course convenor Mike Nicol, who said, "She shows a strong descriptive ability and knows which details to use to create texture and style."
The winning story appears in the September issue, along with an interview with Johannesburg-based journalist who said, "My goals in life are simple: be happy, get published, don't die. If I manage two out of three, that'd be great."
The short story competition was launched in April and received over 200 entries. The winning story was chosen from a shortlist of 19, selected by the magazine's features team. Features director Annelize Visser says, "The competition appealed to a wide range of readers - the oldest entrant was in her sixties and there were two 17-year-olds on the shortlist. We look forward to publishing some of the shortlisted stories in upcoming issues and we will definitely run the competition again next year. We've learnt that the readers are story-tellers with stories to tell. Some of the stories were deeply personal and very moving - and we felt extremely privileged to be at the receiving end."
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