Kingsmead College is inviting young writers aged 6-18 to take part in their Young Writers Competition.
The school’s marketing director, Alex Bouche, said: “At a time when South African youth are going through a reading crisis, this national writing competition aims to motivate and inspire young people to become writers and readers. .
“According to the 2016 Progress in International Reading study, eight out of 10 grade 4 learners cannot read to understand in all languages in South Africa.”
Bouche said the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation. The closures of early childhood development centers across South Africa – some temporary and some permanent – will impact learners’ literacy.
“To improve learners’ literacy levels, it is essential to encourage a love of reading and writing for enjoyment as well as for meaning. Literacy initiatives will play an increasingly important role in this pursuit.
Bouche said she looks forward to seeing submissions from aspiring authors across the country.
The contest encourages budding young writers to submit their original short stories based on defined topics and word counts by age category.
Kingsmead Book Fair curator Corinne Rosmarin said: “Storytelling is an ancient art, intrinsic to most cultures. By encouraging creative writing, children are given tools to make sense of life and process their experiences.
Rosmarin said the competition aims to encourage a culture of reading and writing among young people.
“The digital world has greatly affected children’s reading levels, so we need to redirect their attention and develop the pleasure of writing and reading. By rewarding the winners of each category with cash prizes, book baskets and a mentoring session with a writer and an editor, we hope to inspire a new generation of writers in South Africa.
Judges for the competition include authors, publishers and Managing Director of Marketing Exclusive Books Batya Bricker.
Kingsmead will host its 10th annual book fair in association with Standard Bank Wealth and Investment and Timberland on May 21. The fair aims to showcase the talents of international and South African authors through book readings, author panels and thought-provoking workshops and to encourage a love of learning and the promotion of literacy. .
The KBF Young Writers Competition closes at midnight on May 16. Entries can be made at www.kingsmead.co.za/bookfair
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