Saturday, 28 June 2008

Cultural Studies

OK, the guidelines seem to me to be extremely unclear, but: the Takahe Cultural Studies competition is now on till September. First prize $250; four runner-up prizes of a year's subscription to Takahe.

You can enter three different formats of entries, at a fee of $5 per entry: a (minimum) 2000-word written essay on any topic; a 1000-word "visual essay"; or a "portion of creative writing in progress".

This confuses me quite a lot. Firstly, it seems weird that three such different formats are all being judged in the same competition; and weird that there's no word limit given for the third format. What is a portion of creative writing in progress, anyway? Is it the first draft of a chapter of a book? Is it part of a half-finished poem? And why would any competition want a WIP at all?

Also, it's called a cultural studies competition. But it gives no further guidelines on the different formats (apart from for the visual essay); it doesn't even say if we're meant to be writing about a foreign culture or aspect of kiwiana, or anything: just that each entry should be a "critical reflection of our shared world".

I think I'll enter an essay for the competition. I would like to enter a creative writing piece, but I'm so confused by the criteria given (or not given) that I just have no idea what they want. Still, for anyone interested: cultural studies competition, now on!

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