Muscat – The recently concluded Short Story competition organised by Bhavalaya Art & Culture Foundation, a prominent nonprofit, global platform for promotion of art and culture, had waves of creativity from the participants.
This competition was organised as part of the Online International Creative Writing (OICW) Series.
The Short Story competition in English was the first in the series. Participants from different countries participated with enthusiasm as they share slices of life based on their own experiences and imagination.
Dr J Retnakumar, founder and chairman of the Bhavalaya Art and Culture Foundation, said, “We are pleased to organise this first-of-its-kind event and have participants from all around the world. As the world gets more closer we need to work together collectively to ensure a better life in material as well as emotional quotients. We need to ensure every young person gets ample opportunity to express their skills and thoughts.”
The theme of the competition was Life in the COVID-19 Pandemic Days. The competition was open for the age group 15 to 70 years. With a word limit of 3,500 words and attractive prizes for winners; the event received entries till July 31.
The first prize was bagged by Jesmal Jalal, for the short story “The School Bus”. Jesmal is a science student currently pursuing BS-MS at IISER, Tirupati, India. His debut novel The Devil’s Cage was published in 2019.
Shivani Sarat won the second position for the short story “A Hope for Braids and Balloons”. She is pursuing English honours in Amity University, India. She writes and has published stories and poetry and has trained in creative writing from Oxford University.
The third position went to Sheryn Ta Xiao Xiu for her story titled “Virus Dairies of Diana Ophelia Grant”. She is a Form 5 (Class 10) student from Canossian Convent Secondary School, Segamat, Johore, Malaysia.
The volunteer coordinator of the event, Dr Vindhya Sathya Singh said, “It was refreshing to see that many had come forward to participate in spite of the personal inconveniences people had. It gives hope a prominent role in our lives as we deal with the pandemic and its unpredictable nature.”
An eminent panel of judges chose the winners from about 40 entries.
The judges were Shaddad al Musalmy, Dr Girija Nair, Dr Rajat Ghosh and Rajan V Kokkuri. The OICW series will continue to include other aspects of creativity in the future.