Short Story Writing Competition

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Short Story Writing Competition

The application deadline for this opportunity has passed.

Entries accepted until September 7, 2019.

Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc. plans to utilize UNGANISHA, a Swahili word for connection, as a catalyst to celebrate diversity in the African Diaspora communities through initiatives and activities.

UNGANISHA: Explore. Connect. Dance. is an annual dance theatre extravaganza that brings together dance genres with roots in the culturally diverse continent of Africa. The production intersects with the UNGANISHA Diaspora and Community Engagement (UDCE) project. UDCE is a full-year multi-faceted action plan, during which members from Calgary’s 40+ Caribbean and African community associations will be invited to participate in opportunities for cross-cultural activities leading to greater intercultural understanding, empathy and inclusion.

On February 22, 2020, we will present the third iteration of the dance theatre production called UNGANISHA: Explore. Connect. Dance. at The Grand theatre. This high-impact live performance is intended to significantly increase the public profile of diverse artists in Calgary’s professional arts sector and to honour Black History Month in Calgary. UNGANISHA provides Albertans with an opportunity to celebrate Black History Month by recognizing the presence and ongoing cultural contributions of thriving African Canadian communities.

UNGANISHA is a 90-minute, large-scale public performance that explores African diaspora throughout Western colonial expansion and its influence on several modes of popular modern dance. This year’s showcase is focused on performances of five modern dance styles: Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Cuban, Hip Hop, Step Dancing, and Tap. Each unique dance style will have play and multimedia companion elements that provide insight into the genesis of each style, taking audiences on a journey through the African cultural traditions that helped birth each style and how the modern iteration of each dance style came to be. UNGANISHA will build bridges promoting intercultural understanding by illuminating the threads of African traditions that are woven into more familiar, modern styles.

UNGANISHA is pleased to announce our 2020 short story writing competition. This competition is open to these community associations to promote further understanding and appreciation of the contribution that Africans, Caribbeans and other marginalized people have made and continue to make to our culture and society. It offers participants and the public insight on a number of distinct African and Caribbean cultural traditions that contribute to our Canadian and Calgarian identities.

Through this approach, we can truly acknowledge and celebrate the rich multiplicity of the African and Caribbean diaspora by giving each of the distinct community associations an opportunity to promote their uniqueness within a broader network through a familiar Calgary mantra of being stronger together.

Your community association is hereby invited to co-develop the script for the UNGANISHA 2020 dance theatre production, as part of our community engagement initiatives. This competition is intended for original short stories of not more than 2,500 words allowing participating community associations to submit a folklore or fiction from their culture which is built around the theme of Discovery.

The winning author will receive a $1,000 prize as well as, with their community association, production story credit.

UNGANISHA Short Story Writing Competition Guidelines

Eligible Writers:

  • Canadian citizens or landed immigrants /refugees and those living in Canada of African and Caribbean descent.
  • All writers who have not been professionally published in book format, including online publications, in any genre and who do not have a contract with a book publisher.
  • Writers who are 19 years and older will be considered as Adult, while those not older than 19 years by April 1, 2019, will be in the youth category.

Eligible Entries:

  • Short fiction prose of not more than 2,500 words in English.
  • Not previously published in any format.
  • Must be writer’s original works.
  • Multiple submissions welcome (only one entry per writer is eligible for the award).
  • The winner will be notified prior to October 1, 2019.

To submit entries fill out the application form by visiting

Entries must be received electronically by 11:59 pm Mountain Standard Time (MST) on September 7, 2019, to be eligible.

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