Budding isiXhosa authors have until 24 July to submit entries for the Puku Story Competition.
The competition is organised by the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation, which will be hosting the Puku Story Festival in Grahamstown from February 19 to 21.
Winners of the Puku Story Competition would have been announced at the festival, but feedback from partner organisations and schools was that the deadline for entries should be extended to allow entrants more time to work on their pieces, says Elinor Sisulu, director of the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation.
Winners will be announced on Tuesday 8 September, which is International Literacy Day.
Profiles of the winners and their work will be published in a Nal’ibali Reading-for-Enjoyment supplement.
Puku took the decision to give young writers more time in consultation with the sponsor REDISA (Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa), and Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, which is supporting the competition.
REDISA chief executive officer Hermann Erdmann says “we have sponsored this competition because we want to promote improved literacy in mother tongue, not only for the education success of children but also to convey important environmental messages about preserving our planet.”
The competition invites young people to write in isiXhosa on environmental themes.
REDISA will be working with Puku to help young isiXhosa speakers to unpack and understand environmental concepts in their mother tongue.
“This will serve to help them to get excited about preserving both their home language and the environment,” says Sisulu.
“For teenagers to write about the environment they have to understand environmental challenges,” adds Erdmann.
“We were thrilled by the entries that we have already received and these will remain in the competition,” says Sisulu.
The young writers who did manage to submit their entries by the earlier deadline of 15 January will receive book vouchers.
“We feel that they must be rewarded for their efforts and we will be in touch with them,” says Ziyanda Gysman.
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