My fiction debut (!), more press, and two awards



So I keep saying I can write… now is your chance to find out if I can walk the walk as well as talking the talk.

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to participate in Can You Twist, a project where 6 female South African bloggers compete with their short stories for the title of "short story diva" and a cash prize. Sure, I said, no problem!  And 15 minutes later I was hyperventilating in uncontrolled panic.  Oh crap, what have I agreed to – I haven't written fiction in 20 years!!  But I found it to be like riding a bicycle and before I knew it I was cutting paragraphs out to trim the length, rather than scratching my head for inspiration.   My story can be found here: one instalment a day every day this week, with a big finale this Friday.  Last week's story ended with free flowers from strangers.  What will this Friday bring?

The winner is determined by a public vote, so I will need your votes if you like my story :) You need to register on the site to vote (enter your e-mail address, name, and choose a password). You have to provide a valid e-mail address because you will be sent a confirmation e-mail and only once you've clicked a link in that e-mail will you be allowed to vote.  There are 6 stories in total and you can vote either FOR or AGAINST each story, but you only get one vote per story so use it wisely.

Although you can register now, voting for my story only opens on Friday 18 July when the story finishes.  You can also wait to vote until you've read all the stories if you like, because voting continues until the end of the competition on 20 August.  All the stories will remain available on the site until the end of the competition. 

So what are you waiting for – go and check out the first two instalments today!  You can also enter your  e-mail address and all subsequent instalments will be e-mailed directly to your inbox so that you don't miss a word. And please feel free to tell as many of your friends as possible about the competition too!

Enough on fiction for one day – let's get back to the facts!  I'm pleased to be able to tell you that it's been another good month for press mentions here at Chez Cooksister. 

Firstly, I was approached by New Moon Magazine, an ad-free magazine for teenage girls, and asked whether they could use my photo of Peppermint Crisp fridge tart in their July/August 2008 issue.  I like the concept of the magazine, which is content generated by girls for girls, on topics that are really relevant to them – without all the ghastly marketing usually aimed at teenage girls.  My picture illustrates a piece written by a South African teenager on her daily life in South Africa, and the editor very kindly sent me a hard copy of the magazine for my files.  Thanks Heather!   

And the other big press news is that the award-winning Woolworths Taste magazine has run a small piece in their August 2008 issue selecting their top five South African food bloggers.  I'm thrilled that I am one of them and that I am regularly in touch with all the others – and have even met two in person!  I'm still considering legal action for defamation of character after Taste hailed me as "best veteran food blogger" (!!), but that aside I'm thrilled to see that the South African food press has finally recognised the excellent content being generated on South African food blogs. (Don't forget to check the weekly SA food & wine blogger profiles on the Directory site!)  

Word4wordsalad And finally, on to the awards. Firstly, I was thrilled to discover that I have won the Word4Word writingArteypico award in The Greedy Gourmet's monthly Snackshots event – for the second time! It appears that the judges liked my declaration of love for Ottolenghi's chargrilled vegetable salad and I feel very honoured.  Thanks guys!  Remember that this month's theme for Snackshots is meringue, so start whipping!  I was also nominated for a second time for an Arte y Pico award by the lovely Jan of What Do I Want to Cook Today?   I was previously nominated for this award not too long ago, so Jan please forgive me if I don't nominate again, but have a look at who I nominated in May.  

Phew – I think that just about covers it, both on the fiction and non-fiction fronts.  Tomorrow, it's back to the food!

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider sharing it using the social media buttons below the post. I'd also love to hear what you thought about this post so please do leave a comment below. Hope to see you again soon!

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  1. says

    Sorry I obviously missed that you’d got the award in May – Whatever, I say you deserve to have it again!
    I love reading your blog.
    PS: My chili plant is doing well! I will post a pic soon.

  2. dawnielle says

    Your head must be so large! Congratulations! You write beautifully, I’m sure they’ll be driving the cash to you! Keep it up.

  3. says

    Good Luck! I will certainly go iver to read and vote. I haven’t written any fiction sinc my A-levels- Ised to hate writing of any kind at school so it’s quite suprising and ironic that I ended up spending what free time I have on a blog.
    Many congrtulations on the awards- they are well deserved.

  4. says

    Congratulations and good luck! I’ll have my toes, legs, arms and eyes crossed. I can’t cross my fingers because I need them to type. :)

  5. says

    Wow – well done – I don’t know how you have the time to do all this – I’m so impressed. I’m going over to read it now. Fiction is such a different writing muscle – I feel terrified at the thought of even trying – love reading it though!

  6. Mel says

    You are like famous dude! You need to write a book and make lots of money. Have you read ‘Like Water For Chocolate.’ I’m thinking a story with food and recipes woven in.

  7. says

    Wonderful writing. Really. I enjoyed every paragraph and wondered what the ones you cut out were about. Well done, you’ve done well.
    It was also wonderful meeting you. Thank you for fitting me into your crazy schedule. Where do you find the energy?
    If in Toronto at some point, please allow me to repay the favour.

  8. says

    Zoe/Puku – thanks :)
    Nina – awww, thanks doll! And congrats on appearing beside me in the Taste mag!
    Jan – no worries :) and I’m sure I owe you a pic of my chilli plants too! They’ve got buds now and beautiful variegated leaves. Can’t wait to see the fruit!
    Zita – thanks, and glad you liked the WTSIM roundup!
    Dawnielle – Sorry , couldn’t respond to your comment because my head was too big to fit through the computer room door ūüėČ Serously though, thanks so much for your lovely compliment on my writing.
    Ros – LOL! I hadn’t written a short story since high school either so I know how you feel!! Thanks for the good wishes & the vote – will let you know how it goes.
    Rethabile – *blush*! It has been a good year for recognition around here, I must say. Thanks SO much for posting about the competition on your sites. The support is much appreciated, as always :)
    Susan – thanks – I’m crossing all available limbs at the moment!
    Dragon – LOL! Thanks so much for yyour support :)
    Gill – hurrah! You like it!! Hope the final instalment didn’t disappoint.
    Kit – I’m honoured to get such high praise from you of all people! And how right you are, fiction is a whole different ballgame… Quite fun to flex an underused muscle once in a while though ūüėČ
    Mel – thanks dude!! Not quite famous yet… and tempting as the book sounds, it fills me with total terror! But if the project ever gets under way you’ll be the first to know. Thanks for your fab cheerleading :))
    Robyn – it was really lovely meeting you too! Great when you meet a blog friend in person and just click immediately. Thanks so much for your lovely compliments on my writing – I think I was most terrified abotu what my friends & fellow-bloggers would say!!