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SANLAM AWARD (article first published : 1999-08-1)

Winners of the Sanlam Literary Award were announced in Grahamstown. during the 25th anniversary of the Standard Bank National Arts Festival. The judges who had the daunting task of reading the 113 published stories and astounding 656 entries in the open category were Stephen Grey, Kate Turkington and Peter Thuynsma - all experts in the field of literature.

Rachelle Greeff won the Sanlam Literary Award and R5,000 for the best original short story published since 1997. Tell Him It Is Never Too Late is from The Torn Veil, compiled by Annemarié van Niekerk. Her short stories have appeared in various publications and her novel, Al die Windrigtings van my Wêreld, has already been translated into German and is due to be released in English. As winner in the unpublished section, R4,000 went to journalist Arja Salafranca for Couple on the Beach.

Of the overall standard, Stephen Gray said: "The winners are absolutely brilliant, dazzling, and the standard of the better stories was high. But there was also a lot of shoddy work. People need to do more homework and read sideways." Peter Thuynsma concurs: "Too many simply tell a story with no notion of a point of focus, its prescriptive dimensions, or the sheer discipline it requires."


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