Creating future readers & writers!

About the Contest

SIMAMELE invites original short story submissions from young writers aged between 13 and 17 years. We encourage parents, care givers, guardians, young minds and educators across all South African provinces to encourage and support young creative minds in telling their stories; in any of the 11 official languages of South Africa.

The short stories will be published in the Young Scribes section of the SIMAMELE web publication and the competition will run for 6 months; May to November, 2018.

The SIM Young Scribes Prize recognises the need to honour and nurture excellence from a young age and the role that reading and writing plays in the development of a just and open society where “everybody feels free yet bounded to others; where everyone embraces their full potential.”

In 2018, the SIM Young Scribes Prize will recognise one Young Scribe with an award valued at R 10,000 (incl. a Tablet, Book Voucher, Mobile Data for a year and cash).

The Prize

In 2018, the SIM Young Scribes Prize will recognise one Young Scribe with an award valued at R 10,000.

Books Voucher

Bookstore Voucher to the value of

R 2,500


Tablet computer to the value of

R 2,500

Mobile Data

Monthly (x12) data to the value of

R 3,500


Cash amount to the value of

R 1,500

The Judges

Lathitha Msi
Lathitha Msi2nd Year Student, Stellenbosch University
Lathi Msi is a second year student at the Stellenbosch University and an English Creative Writing enthusiast. Not only is she crazy about reading but she is also a budding author, planning to publish a book some century soon.
Buhle Ngaba
Buhle NgabaActor, Writer & Founder of KaMatla NPO
Buhle Ngaba is an award winning South African actor and writer. She has started KaMatla NPO to aid the development of the arts in underprivileged communities and to develop the legacy of storytelling amongst the youth. She was a recipient of the prestigious Brett Goldin Bursary, with the opportunity to expand her knowledge and acting ability of Shakespeare at The Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford, UK). She recently won two Kanna South African Theatre Awards (Best production and best upcoming artist) for her first play, The Swan Song.
Masello Motana
Masello MotanaVocal Historian, Actress, MC, Voiceover Artist & Linguist
Masello Motana is a multi-disciplinary artist with a passion for memory keeping. She is a Vocal Historian, an Actress, MC, voice over artist and linguist whose work is seen and felt on the street, the stage and television. More popularly known to South African audiences for her acting and presenting work on television, Motana is a member of the Thath’i Cover Okestra which recently headlined the Berlin Bienalle 2018. She is also the founder of Ntyilo Ntyilo- A Vocal Museum and the dispossession reenactment series Brandy And Gunpowder.
Elelwani Netshifhire
Elelwani NetshifhireFilmmaker, Writer, Director & Founder of THASE MEDIA
Elelwani Netshifhire is a passionate storyteller; writer, photographer, filmmaker and digital content producer molded by over five years experience in media production. She has worked on various leading international and local film productions as a script supervisor and/or script editor including Dominion, The Last Face, Roots, and Back to School Mom. She is equipped by the University Of Cape Town's Film & Media Department, University Of South Africa and University of Southern California’s School Of Cinematic Arts.
Thobeka Msi
Thobeka MsiFounder Smart Women's Club
Passionate about education & development, Thobeka has worked as part of diverse School Management Teams at high school level for 15 years, a period through which she taught English First Additional language to Grade 11’s & 12’s while heading the Department of Languages. She developed training programmes and facilitated workshops for teachers. Accommodating different learning barriers and designing intervention programmes became her focus as she worked as a Programme Manager of Khanyisa Learning Project; a Stellenbosch University Intervention Programme for disadvantaged schools around Stellenbosch. She's a qualified instructor of Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management (William Glasser International) and founder of the Smart Women’s Club for Financial Freedom, whose mandate is to support women to effectively manage their finances and improve their net worth.


Closing date for receipt of entries is 1st May 2018.
Stories may not be less than 1,500 words and no more than 2,000 words.
Only one entry (i.e. one short story) per entrant is allowed.
No corrections can be made after receipt.


  • The Prize is open to anyone between the ages of 13 and 17 years.
  • Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been published.
  • Entrants must be South African.


Copyright of each entry remains with the author, but NQONQI MEDIA PTY LTD will have the unrestricted right to publish the stories in the SIMAMELE and related websites and any relevant promotional material.

Judging Process

The stories will be rated and judged based on two inputs; popularity and adjudicators’ assessment. Popularity will be inferred from the volume of hits each story receives during the period of assessment (May to November). The most read story (i.e. one with the highest volume of hits) earning the highest rating.

At least 3 adjudicators will form part of the panel of judges. Among them, at least one will be an education specialist.

The popularity input will account for 33% of the final rating, while the adjudicator’s assessment will account for the remaining 67%. The story with the highest final rating will be announced the winner.

The judging/assessment process decision is final and no correspondence can or will be entered into.

The SIM Young Scribe Prize

The SIM Young Scribes Prize will recognise one Young Scribe with an award valued at R 10,000. The award will include:

  • A bookstore voucher valued at R2,500
  • Table to the value of R2,500
  • Mobile data for a year valued at R3,500
  • A cash sum of R1,500

The Prize Winner

The winner will be notified in writing by the end of November 2018.

Entry implies acceptance of all the rules. Failure to comply with the entry requirements will result in disqualification.