Shop Menu

Untold Stories Finalists

Untold Stories Finalists

Upon this humble writer’s desk landed more than five hundred letters. While many were instantly disqualified for being only typed, the standard of the competition was set very high from the start. As a gathering of Bookers opened letter after letter, we realised that selecting the top 100 would be an immensely difficult task, never mind the top five, or even the winner.

The letters that have made it to the top thirty fought a brave, brave battle to be noted amongst so many wonderful entries. These were chosen because they met all the criteria and more: they showed verisimilitude, were handwritten and showed a depth of understanding far beyond the surface of the topic. Most of all, they moved us and reminded us that the art of letterwriting is far from dead: it is as beautiful and profound and important as ever before.

The letters included everything from graphic design to simulate a burger brand from the future to books with undelivered letters inside, to wax seals and baby photos and wedding rings for sweethearts who would never get to wear them. The level of historical detail and depth was outstanding, from paper choice to stamps carefully researched to match the time of the letter’s sending. Letters from presidents, from teen mothers, from the future and the past and from the best and worst of humanity. Some letters reveled in their historical detail, a delicious and wonderful treat in such a time-obsessed age. Some made us laugh until the entirety of head office turned up to see what was so funny. We have no doubt that all of these amazing letters speak to great talent, and it would be no surprise to see these names on the spine of a book on our shelves one day.

Thank you to everyone who entered, who made the effort to send us something great. Choosing these letters was difficult for us and took a good while, but it is with great joy that we share the top thirty with you. The top 100 authors will follow at a later date. We are closing in on the top letter, and hope to make an announcement very soon.

The top 30 writers are (in alphabetical order):

• Alexandra Lancaster
• Amber-Jay van Rooyen
• Amy Stimson
• Bronwen Allan
• Carike Claasen
• Cathelynne Walker
• Charne Thompson
• Christina Brazzale
• Elizabeth Ross
• Jamiro Eming
• Jasmin Knapp
• Karina de Kock
• Lungi Masondo
• Marielena N James
• Maya Surya Pillay
• Mbali Mogale
• Micaela White
• Michelle de Beer
• Naudia Yorke
• Noah Swinney
• Nusrat Mowla
• Okara Opara
• Qhayiyakazi Dlamini
• Red Fox (Howard Fox)
• Rory Bouffe
• RP Bezuidenhout
• Sarah Davis
• Tiffany Ganten-Bein
• W Verhoef
• Xander Alex Lightfoot

Thank you for the wonderful letters, and for bringing us such joy and many a tear here at head office. If you don’t see your name in this list, please be not disheartened. You may still be in the top 100. Watch this space for further details.

Yours in the love of literature and writing,
Campaign coordinator

, , , , , ,

Comments are closed.