The annual anthology of Short.Sharp.Stories was launched at the National Arts Festival this week. Die Laughing – “stories of wit, satire and humour” – was edited by Joanne Hichens, who is also the curator of the competition.

Short.Sharp.Stories is a literary initiative sponsored by the National Arts Festival. Incredible Journey is the project’s third anthology.

The authors included in the collection were announced and awarded at the National Arts Festival.

  • Best Story: This Could Get Messy by Greg Lazarus
  • Runners up: This Is Not A Joke, Maureen by Gail Schimmel and Angel Heart by Kobus Moolman
  • Editor’s Choice: Learning a New Language by Fred Khumalo
  • Highly Commended:
    • Jim Goes to Durban by Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay
    •  Number One With A Bullet by Christopher McMichael
    • The Derby by Ofentse Ribane
    • The Viewing Room by Diane Awerbuck
    • The Seduction of Ozzie Stone by Stephen Symons

It was announced earlier in the week that South African author Lidudumalingani had won the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story Memories We Lost, which featured in the last year’s Short, Sharp Stories anthology, Incredible Journey: Stories that Move You. Bongani Kona, who also had a story in the anthology, was one of the five candidates on the Caine shortlist.

About the Short.Sharp.Stories Award

The Short Sharp Stories Award for South African short-story fiction is made each year by the National Arts Festival. An anthology of selected stories is published annually and the theme set for writers differs from year to year.

The winning stories, selected from the stories to be published, by a panel of independent judges, are announced at an annual launch event at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

It is the aim of this award to encourage, support, and showcase established and emerging South African writing talent.

Short.Sharp.Stories has published crime fiction (Bloody Satisfied), sexy stories (Adults Only), and incredible journeys (Incredible Journey). The theme for 2016 was “Die Laughing”, a collection of stories that will make readers laugh, smile or simply nod in good-humoured appreciation.

Joanne Hichens is the editor and curator of this initiative. Earlier this year, she won the Edited Fiction Volume Award at the inaugural National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) Book, Creative and Digital Awards for her editing work on Adults Only: Stories of Love, Lust, Sex and Sexuality, the second of the Short.Sharp.Stories annual anthologies.