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Everyone has a story to tell

Channel that pent-up creativity and put pen to paper. NT KURIOCITY gets you the details of a state-level short story contest 

ANNA FERNANDES | NT KURIOCITY

There’s no dearth of talent in Goa; and in a bid to tap this growing pool of talent, Sandeep Doifode in collaboration with Wesley D’Souza is hosting a short story contest for storytellers in the state.

The contest stems from a shared love for literature and urge to promote the written word. “I have always had this idea of organising a creative writing contest and I thought, why not use the medium of the short story? Given the current scenario, we figured this would be the perfect time to organise such an initiative as it would take away the stress and help people channelise all their feelings into something creative,” says Doifode.

School teacher Doifode has been promoting literature in the community for the past few years through the Mixedminds Book Club that he founded. As a teacher, he works towards engaging young minds through writing sessions, open mic sessions, poetry performances, theatre, etc. D’Souza meanwhile, is a student of literature and a blogger who runs an Instagram page @InTheTimeofBooks, where he writes regular reviews for literature enthusiasts looking for recommendations to fill their bookshelves. 

The main idea behind this contest, they state, is to engage the community in the art of writing and give writers out there a platform to voice their stories. 

“Participants can choose their own topics. However, the story must be set in Goa and must contain a quintessentially Goan element,” shares Doifode adding that the word limit for the same is 1500 to 2500 words. Submitted stories must be the author’s original work and cannot have been previously published elsewhere. The contest is open to children and adults and will take entries in two categories ie the 10 to 17 years category and the above 18 years category. 

Through the experience, participants have a lot to gain besides spending their time in quarantine. “Participants can count on growing as writers and expanding their literary horizons,” says Doifode adding that it is their aim as collaborators to stimulate young and aspiring writers and build “an artistic, creative and visionary” community. 

Entries will be judged on content, creativity and language. Impress the jury and participants stand a chance to win exciting prizes. In the first category, the winner of the first place will be awarded a `3000 cash prize, winner of the second place will be awarded two books of his or her choice, and winner of the third place will be awarded books of the organisers’ choice. Similarly, in the second category, the winner of the first place will be awarded a `5000 cash prize, winner of the second place will be awarded two books of his or her choice; and winner of the third place will be awarded books of the organisers’ choice. 

Additionally, the best entries also stand a chance to be part of a short-story collection. “Compiling a book of stories and publishing it in the near future has been a dream that we are working very hard towards achieving. Some of the stories from this contest will be part of that book,” he reveals, adding “We would love for as many writers as possible to take part in this contest and write stories. And when we say writers, we mean every person out there.”

(Short stories should be emailed to goashortstorycontest2020@gmail.com by April 30. Details: 7875009540.)

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