Storytelling Competition

In August 2014 Hope Society held storytelling competition in Juba only for Arabic storytellers which started from July, the announcement to participate continued for one month and those who presented their works were 15 among them was one female.

The criteria for participation was that a story must not exceed one thousand words and must be in Arabic and it has not been published before.

A committee was formed to review and chose the best stories and put the following criteria to choose story!

#1 Title
Is the title linked to the character(s), theme(s) and events? Does the title create expectations in the mind of the reader? Does the title suggest a specific interpretation of the short story?

#2 Theme(s)
What is the theme (i.e. the main idea, lesson or message) in the short story? What attitude to life is described or expressed in the short story? Are there symbols, descriptions or images that suggest the theme(s)? Does the title of the short story reflect the theme(s)?

#3 Characters
What character(s) is/are in the short story? How does the writer present the character(s) in the short story (i.e. directly through the narrator or indirectly through behaviour, speech or thoughts)? What aspect(s) of the character(s) (attitudes towards life, attitudes towards other people, moral ideas, temperament, intellectual abilities, etc) are presented in the sort story? What is the author’s attitude towards the character(s)? How does the attitude of the author shape your response to the character(s)?

#4 Setting
Where is the setting (where and when) of the short story? What’s the significance of the setting? Does the setting create a specific atmosphere? Does the setting reveal anything about the feelings of the character(s) or the narrator(s)? Does the place and time change?

#5 Narrator or Point of View
What is/are the point(s) view or the voice(s) through which the short story is narrated? Who is/are the narrator(s)? Is the narrator “a first person narrator”, “a third person narrator” or “an omniscient narrator”? Does the narrator comment on the actions or character(s) or is he neutral?

#6 Plot and Structure
What is/are the plot(s) and structure of the short story? Does the author present, develop and resolve the conflict(s)? Or does he/she start “in medias res”? Is there a chronological order or does the author uses foreshadowing and flashbacks? What elements create suspense in the plot? Is there a climax in the plot? Do the events in the short story sound realistic or unrealistic (i.e. romantic or fantastic)?

#7 Style and Language
What is the style used by the author? How does the writer use the language in the short story? How would describe the author’s choice of words? Do the key words chosen by the author have connotations (i.e. shades of meaning or emotional suggestions)? What effect is created through language? Is the style suitable for the subject, theme(s) and character (s)? Does the style facilitate or hinder the understanding of the reader? Do the elements of the short story come together to convey the moral lesson(s)?

#8 Imagery and Symbolism
What are the literary elements ( e.g. Symbolism, metaphors, similes, personification, historical allusion, literary allusion, hyperbole or pun, etc) in the short story? What do the symbols represent? What meaning(s) is/are the author conveying to the reader?

#9 Moral Lesson(s)
What is/are the moral lesson(s) or interpretation(s) of the short story? Are the moral lessons/interpretations relevant to the South Sudanese society? How is/are the moral lesson(s) linked to or derived from the cultural heritage of the South Sudanese society?

#10 Innovation and Originality
Is the short story an original work of art? Is the short story innovative in distinct ways? Is it a clear addition to the literary library of the Republic of South Sudan?

After using these criteria’s the committee was able to have Winners who were three first place, second and third respectively. Each of them received a certificate and amount of money in order to carry on doing the work.

First place: Charles Bith, story “My Mother” words “817” prize “500” South Sudanese Pound.

Second place: Malual Deng, story “Resignation” words “784” prize “350” SSP. (Malual refused to receive the prize and certificate and didn’t attend the ceremony)!

Third place: Justin John Chol, story “The Sun hasn’t Rise Yet” words “792” prize “250” SSP.

Committee was formed of Arthur Gabriel, a storyteller and novelist. Deng Deng Hoc, minister of environment and a literature critique and Deng Aling author and novelist.

The ceremony took place in Nyakuron Cultural Center in the Conference hall and was given by the Ministry of Youth, Antiquities, Youth and Sports Central Equatoria. And the guest of honor was Agum Rin Undersecretary for National Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.   

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