The “Short Sharp Stories Award” for South African short-story fiction curated by Joanne Hichens is presented each year by the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
The awards create a publishing platform for both established and emerging writers in South Africa. The winning writers have their stories in an annual anthology of selected stories with a theme set that differs from year to year. In 2013 the theme was Bloody Satisfied with the collection of slick and sexy stories brimming with danger and elements of the sinister making the cut. In 2014, the anthology was called Adults Only and it had a range of modern sex writing.
This year the anthology to be published June 2015 will be themed around the Incredible Journey and will include stories dealing with a road trip, or futuristic ride, or a journey of the mind. The judges are Henrietta Rose-Innes, Ken Barris and Makhosazana Xaba.
Xaba most recently won the Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award. She was joint winner with
Reneilwe Malatji. Rose-Innes who recently won a handy award is an acclaimed and award winning author, and twice winner of the Caine Prize. Barris is an award winning author, who most recently won the University of Johannesburg Prize for his novel Life Underwater.