Thursday , 19 September 2019
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Love writing short stories? Fundação Oriente, Panaji is all set to host its 5th Goan Short Story Competition 2019. NT KURIOCITY gets more details

RAMANDEEP KAUR

With the aim of fostering cultural and linguistic diversity of Goa and also revive the old Goan tradition of short stories that in the past were transmitted orally, published in newspapers, or broadcast, Fundação Oriente is back with the fifth edition of the Goan Short Story Competition.

The competition encourages Goan literature and its linguistic diversity by awarding a cash prize, publishing shortlisted works, while also giving a platform for writers to showcase their work.

 “Since all short stories submitted are judged at a professional level and by allowing the participation of amateurs and professional writers, the competition helps raise the bar of Goan literary production as well,” says director, Fundação Oriente, Ines Figueira.

The contest is open to anybody who is 18 years and above and customarily residing in Goa.  Previous winners can also participate. Works for the competition can be written in Konkani (Devnagiri/Romi), Marathi, Portuguese, or English. These must be original and unpublished, and of a maximum of 3000 words. “The story submitted for the competition should feature contemporary Goa or Goans through place or people or predicament,” says Figueira. Computerised texts must be typed in Times New Roman, font size 12 and double-line spaced. Handwritten submissions will not be accepted.

In addition to the works being assessed by professionals, a select number will also be published as an anthology. “In 2020, Fundação Oriente will release its 5th Short Stories from Goa Anthology. This collection has become a cornerstone of contemporary literature produced in Goa, since it is a platform to showcase amateurs and professional writers,” she says.

The jury for the competition this year will comprise of five members selected by Fundação Oriente, taking into consideration their language expertise and experience in the field of writing. The 2019 jury will be chaired by Divya Kapur and the members will be: Nalini Elvino de Sousa, Prashanti Talpankar, Sheela Jaywant, and Manohar Shetty, all residents of Goa with an active role in Goan literature.

Explaining the winner selection process, Figueira says that each member of the jury will select the 10 stories she/he considers the best. “In the first round, from the individual jury members’ selections, the jury will shortlist 25 of the best stories. Each of these 25 stories must have the approval of at least two members of the jury. These stories will be eligible for publication by Fundação Oriente,” she says. From the 25 shortlisted stories, the prize winners will be selected by the jury members through consensus. The decisions of the jury will be final.

The winners will be declared on November 15, 2019. The winning story as well as the second and third best will be awarded cash prizes. The first place winner will be given `20,000 (The Alban Couto Prize); second place will be awarded `15,000 (The Semana da Cultura Indo Portuguesa Prize), and the third place will receive `10,000 (The Fundação Oriente Prize).

(All submissions must be accompanied by an entry form available at Fundação Oriente. Entries will be accepted between July 1 and August 30. Details: 2019gssc@gmail.com)

When it all began

The Fundação Oriente Goan Short Story Competition emerged out of an idea from the former Director of Fundação Oriente in India, Kol de Carvalho and writer Maria Aurora Couto in 2011. Over the years it has seen a major growth in interest and number of submissions.  Figueira states that the fact that this is the only competition in the country that judges all languages at the same level, not having different categories for each language, makes quality, originality, and relevance to local culture the core of the judging criteria. “In my opinion this is what makes the Fundação Oriente Short Story Competition an established prize and important tool for Goa’s literary expansion,” she says.

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