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close this bookThe Courier N 122 July - August 1990 - Dossier Tourism - Country Report: Mali (EC Courier, 1990, 104 p.)
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News of the short story competition

There was an enthusiastic response to the ACP short story competition which The Courier and the ACP - EEC Foundation for Cultural Cooperation launched in May of last yeur - a total of 323 entries were received from African and Caribbean ACPs and various countries (Tunisia, Belgium and the USA) where ACP nationals live. Fiji was the only Pacific country to be represented, but there was an exceptional number of entries from Nigeria (97) and Jamaica (25) among the English - speaking countries and Madagascar (17), Niger (17) and Zaire (14) among the French - speaking countries.

Two reading committees (one for the stories in French and one for those in English) were formed to shortlist the entries to go before the judges. Those chosen for these committees, 10 anglophones and 10 francophones from both ACP countries and from Community countries, began the selection process in March of this year in the light of criteria, relating to the interest of the subject matter, the originality, the literary style and the flow of the narrative, laid down by the Foundation and The Courier.

The works shortlisted during the first phase, which ended in May, were put before the two panels of judges - five anglophone and five francophone personalities from the arts and the media who are anxious to take the ACP - EEC intercultural dialogue further. Each panel will choose the best short story in its respective language and the winning entries will he published, each in the original version, in the appropriate language edition of a forthcoming issue of The Courier. They will then he translated into the other language and published in the following issue.

The two winners will each receive ECU 1000 and 50 copies of The Courier for publicity purposes.

The ACP - EEC Foundation for Cultural Cooperation reserves the right to publish an anthology of the best works in 1991 and a standard fee of ECU 50 will be paid, after agreement, to each of the authors published. Filmog, the TV film company which initiated the “Mille univers, une langue” series (co - produced by the Commission of the European Communities), will be offering a prize of ECU 350 to the author of the story with the best television potential and a further ECU 350 for his or her collaboration on the subsequent adaptation.

We should like to thank all those who sent in stories and hope that this initiative brings to light new literary talent, to take its place alongside fine talent already recognised, thereby contributing to the enrichment of ACP cultural expression.


Raymond CHASLE
Secretary - General,
ACP - EEC Cultural Foundation

Main themes of the stories in French

Social problems and inequalities, abandoned children, the rural exodus, politics, development and development cooperation, relationships between tradition and modern life, culture shock, the family and the generation gap, polygamy, marriage, unrequited love, the marvellous and the fantastic were among the themes covered by the French language writers.

The French language entries as a whole, irrespective of their very varied literary merit, clearly reflect the major problems which people living in ACP countries have to face in their everyday lives and, as such, they constitute a meaningful and highly informative mirror of society.

Main themes of the stories in English

Africa: Writers covered education and the lack of it as a factor of failure or success at work, town - village conflicts, tradition and the modern world, the fantastic in everyday life, the survival of tradition, corruption and the conquest of power. They also sent in love stories, folk tales and stories on ecology.

The Caribbean: Caribbeans wrote about drugs and violence, the move to the towns, problems of social integration as an emigrant, going home after being in the USA, being a “citizen of nowhere”, family issues and love stories.

Like the stories in French - and, again, irrespective of literary merit - the entries in English give what is sometimes a very realistic picture of the difficulties which ACPs up and down the social ladder have to cope in their everyday lives.

Where the entries came from