Winner Announcement here: http://blog.exclusivebooks.co.za/drum-roll-please-the-winner-of-untold-stories/
Letters have long been a repository of personal and national history – they are the expressions of love and loss, the art form common to both common folk and royalty. In an increasingly impersonal age of a thousand boring emails that end with disclaimers and exhortations not to print this email unless it is really important, the idea of a handwritten letter cleaves through the digital vacuum. The postmarks, the buying of beautiful stamps, the carefully chosen stationery – the idea of bespoke declaration in the universal font of handwriting: isn’t it time we wrote love letters instead of status updates?
There should still be a place to celebrate the handwritten letter, the art of penmanship and expression. In the time honoured tradition of the Dead Letter detectives, Exclusive Books would be honoured to receive dead letters from thousands of writers.
The letters should be addressed to a fictional or real person, or yourself should you be writing on topics such as ‘To My Older/Younger Self”, and will be judged on the basis of your technical skill and the scope of the letter. The letter should be written with the intention of being opened far later than expected, and will require context for the year it is written in. Credit will be given for appearance and verisimilitude. All letters must be handwritten to qualify.
If you are too young to enter for the university prize, you can still send in a letter for the anthology!
1. Twenty Years Free
2. In Exile
3. Letter to the Author
4. Dear Santa
5. Thank You, Madiba
6. To My Older Self
7. Believe Me Ever Yours
8. I have carried this letter around like a burden – I must tell you why it ended…
9. When I was 19, I was held in solitary confinement for three months
10. I don’t feel guilty
11. It started with my first job as a waitress in a small hotel in Calitzdorp
12. My father was a bully
13. The Internet. You’re welcome.
14. If you’re reading this, then I’m too late
15. To my younger self
The Competition will run from 30 May to 28 July.
The prize will be a three-year scholarship to any accredited university in South Africa to study the three-year degree of your choice. Includes fees and textbooks, excludes residence fees, transport and sundry costs.
In order for your entry to be valid, please ensure that your contact details, name and age are on the back of each envelope.
Please note that only letters written in English will be judged this year.
Terms and Conditions for University Scholarship
1. The winner must begin the first year of their studies within two years of winning the university degree
2. The prize will go only to the writer of the winning letter and cannot be transferred
3. The prize-winner must study an undergraduate degree that will take maximum three years to complete. The choice of degree is up to the winner
4. The university must be an accredited South African university
5. The winner must be at least 16 years of age
6. Tuition fees will be paid directly to the university
7. Textbooks will be covered in the prize
8. Exclusive Books is not liable for accommodation, stationery, transport or any other costs related to the winner’s studies
9. Should the winner already be studying, Exclusive Books will pay the balance of their undergrad course up to three years.
General terms and conditions
1. Employees and family members of Exclusive Books may not enter the competition
2. Letter should range roughly between 500-2500 words, but ultimately the letters will be considered on individual merit
3. Letters may be sent directly to head office should participants not be near an Exclusive Books store
4. The prize cannot be transferred or exchanged for cash
5. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into
6. All shortlisted contestants agree to have their letters published in an anthology, the rights of which will belong to Exclusive Books. Profits from the anthology will go to charity
7. The letters will become property of Exclusive Books, and may be used in advertising material both online and offline
8. Prizes may only be claimed by winners who live in South Africa and Botswana
9. Winners have one month to claim their prizes. If the prize is not claimed, it will go to the runners-up.
10. If you have won an Exclus1ves.co.za or Exclus1ve Books competition within the last 30 days of the
competition end date, you will not be eligible for the prize draw.
11. Exclusive Books reserves the right to change the prize.
12. By entering the competition, you agree to receive notification announcing the winner(s), once the draw has been made.
13. All letters must be handwritten to qualify
Still got questions? Check out our FAQ!