Celebrating East African Writing!

A Winning Comment – Henry Juma

As promised, I was looking out for a winning comment. The following comment wins 1 season Ticket to Storymoja Hay Festival on September 19 – 22, 2013 for daring to question a decision, and for justifying the question. Your comment doesn’t really change the decision of the judges but we hope it can open up a conversation on style, taste and execution of creative writing. Thank you, Henry.

Henry Juma Said:

For the first time since I started reading this blog, I disagree with the choice of winner.

i. Contest rules: In announcing the contest, it was stated “Double extra points if your story is completely unrelated to the photograph.”.
Stories like “Miss Independent” and “Vicar” executed this perfectly, going very far outside the confines of this carnival/festival setting, as did “Touch”.
“Almost Family”? Not so much.

ii. The reason stated for “Almost Family” winning was memorability. In writing style alone, “Touch” stayed with me, because it’s outside the norm.
“Almost Family” was fine, but it swayed towards generic: the narrative format, plot progression and such were just…ordinary.
A month down the line, one is more likely to remember “Touch”, if just because it made me more aware of random touch for the rest of the day.

Please understand, I’m not saying “Almost Family” was a bad story, it was well written. I’m saying to me, “Touch” stood out, it was above average and honestly deserved to win.

I have stated my discontent, ladies and gentlemen, I hope the authors will take a stab at the next contest as well.

Henry’s comment is in relation to this decision here. So, what does everyone else think?



This entry was posted on June 10, 2013 by in Writer's Blog.
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