Short Story Day Africa
Tomorrow, 20 June, is Short Story Day, the culmination of six exhausting weeks of hard work. I hardly recognize the bleary face that stares back at me as I peer into the bathroom mirror every morning, trying to peel my eyelids away from eyeballs sticky with strain. I’ve wondered, these past few days, if I’m so haggard because of lack of sleep or because I’m bearing down on the big four oh at a rapid pace. The odd sense of disconnection I feel from the lives of my husband and daughter make me believe (and hope) it’s the former – nothing sleep and moisturizer can’t cure. My family cannot wait for me to stop circling them like a zombie, nodding distractedly when they talk to me, unable to keep my mind from wandering to the long lists of tasks I need to accomplish each day to keep the project running smoothly. They cannot wait for tomorrow.
And neither can I. I’m excited.
Tomorrow, at 10am local time, five teams of writers located across the UK and Africa will take part in The Chain Gang Challenge, passing stories along like relay batons. I’ll be at my desk watching their tales unfold, ensuring nothing goes wrong and tweeting the links as they go live. But, if you go along to The Book Lounge in Cape Town or Love Books in Joburg, you can watch the weird process as writers from across all genres get together to try craft a single coherent tale.
Tomorrow, Short Story Day Africa will be giving away enough African fiction to keep one lucky reader immersed for weeks. I’ll be uploading more short stories from some of Africa’s most talented to our website. Then, in the evening, joined by Byron Loker, Greg Lazarus, Sarah Lotz, Maya Fowler, Helen Moffett and Colleen Higgs, I’ll be reading a short, short story at The Alexander Bar in Strand Street. Wine and books, two of my favourite things, will be on sale and we’re inviting writers, published, unpublished, aspiring, professional and hobbyists, to bring along their stories to put in the swap box.
Short Story Day is all about sharing the love of short fiction. So tomorrow, I celebrate Short Story Day.
Thursday, I sleep.
Follow us on Twitter @shortstoryAFR or Facebook or check out the website to see what else is happening. We also have an Indiegogo Campaign to fund those costs not covered by ‘doing it for the love of fiction’.