Claim launches short story contest


One of the country’s publishers and retailer of Christian and academic books, Claim Limited, on Friday launched a short story and nthano writing competition at Kwa Haraba Art Gallery and Café in Blantyre.

The short story and nthano writing competition has been organised by Claim as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.

“There is a challenge with reading culture. We don’t have much of general literature; hence, picking a short story competition so as to bring in a pool of reading materials which can be used,” Claim General Manager, Andrew Chisamba, said.


The competition— according to a statement which was read by Director of Secondary and Distance Education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Chikondano Mussa, who was the guest of honour— is targeting secondary school students throughout the country.

Mussa said the competition will run up to March 31 this year, which is the closing date for receiving entries as late entries will not be considered.

“Claim Limited is involving secondary school students because it understands that the youth are its future authors of quality books. As we all know, the youth are our hope for a better future. Reading and writing is [sic] an integral part of their academic and intellectual development, which is vital for future leadership,” Mussa read.


She added that Claim wants to use its 50th anniversary celebrations to promote reading and writing skills among Malawi’s students; hence, launching the competition.

According to guidelines for entry, there will only be four short stories per school as follows: Nthano in Chichewa for junior level students; nthano in Chichewa for senior level students; short story in English for junior level students and short story in English for senior level students.

The guidelines also indicate all students will be required to submit their entries to their head teacher, who will, in turn, ask relevant teachers to select the best four stories and nthano and submit them to competition organisers.

The guidelines also indicate that all entries have to be signed and stamped by the head teacher for authenticity, stressing that unstamped entries will automatically be disqualified.

The topic for nthano is Ngati Kumaloto while the short story in English should end with – the students discovered that reading is very useful to their future.

The required length for the short story and nthano for junior level students is 150-250 words, while length for short story and nthano for senior level students is 350 – 500 words.

The winner in each category will receive K100,000 plus K100,000 worth of Arise Series books for the school library with the runner up receiving K50,000 in each category plus K50,000 worth of Arise Series books for the school library.

The third prize winner will pocket K25,000 in each category plus K25,000 worth of Arise Series books for the school library.

Claim says invitation letters and rules for the competition have been sent to all schools in form of letters and posters, and that qualified and experienced judges for the competition have been identified.

The winners of the competition will be announced on April 20 2018 but the awards for the winners will be presented on April 28 2018 during the 50th anniversary celebrations main event to be held at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.

Students from some schools in Blantyre have since welcomed the competition, saying it will motivate them to come up with different stories on the two topics.

Meanwhile, Claim Limited has said the main objective of the 50th anniversary celebrations being held on April 28 2018 is to thank God for preserving the organisation throughout its 50 years of publishing and distributing quality literature to the Christian community as well as the public at large.

Claim Limited has also said the anniversary celebrations on April 28 2018 will be marked by a number of activities which will include a parade, service of worship and various performances such as music by Patience Namadingo.

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