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2011 - 2012 SANParks Annual Writing Competition

The 2011 Annual Writing Competition is going to be fun and exciting! This year’s themes are different for both adults and kids…so there’s more options to let your creativity flow.

Go wild and let your thoughts and imagination run free.

This is YOUR chance to explore South Africa’s National Parks...with words and photos!

Share your thoughts or questions on the official SANParks Annual Writing Competition facebook fan page!

There are separate themes for Adults and children. These stories/poems/essays must be based on real-life experiences in one of the 19 National Parks in South Africa.

Categories Themes (There are 3 themes that you can tackle for all the children categories)

- Stories (ages 8 - 12): real account
- Stories (ages 13 - 17): real account

- Poetry (ages 8 - 12): 5-10 words
- Poetry (ages 13 - 17): (40– 150 words)

- Essays (2 000 words)

1. My cool adventure driving through the parks with my dad/mom - the driver :)

2. Most memorable experience at any of the National Parks…begins with: ”I could never have imagined my adventure in the wild…"

3. Describe your first experience at Table Mountain....beginning with these 2 sentences:
- “As I stood at the bottom of the magnificent Table Mountain… “
- “My heart beat a little faster as I stepped onto the cableway….”

Categories Themes (There are 2 themes that you can tackle for all the adult categories)

- Short Stories (1 000 - 2 500 words): real account

- Essays (4 000 words)

- Poetry (50– 150 words)

1) Memorable wildlife adventures
2) My 4x4 experiences

Trip reports (accounts of real trips to the Parks)

Material submitted in this category should comprise of an engagingly written account/report of a trip to a SANParks park over the last 12 months. Reports in this category should convey a strong sense of place. **Trip reports published on our forums will be accepted.**

1) Memorable wildlife adventures
2) My 4x4 experiences

You need to reflect passion for wildlife, our heritage – so let your words and images be your canvas :)

Photo Essays

Please keep images to 300kb and under and allow your powerful images tell a story of your experience (but making sure it is aligned to our two themes.) Please include captions for the images as well as a brief essay. (10-15 images).

1) Memorable wildlife adventures
2) My 4x4 experiences


  • Winners will receive R1 000 each to be utilised for accommodation during a mid-week break. Prizes must be redeemed within 6 months from the date of issue.

Competition Rules

  • Your entry/entries must make reference to the competition theme.
  • Your entry/entries must be original, in English, unpublished and not accepted by any other publisher or producer at the time of submission.
  • This is an online initiative and as such only electronic copy will be accepted.
  • Entrants should submit their writing via e-mail as attached word documents to with the subject line of the e-mail clearly stating:
    • Writing Competition and Category (e.g. 2011 Writing Competition: Poetry).
  • Each word document should also be prefaced by the following information.
    • Name: Joe Blob
    • Postal Address: P.O. Box xyz
    • Physical Address
    • Nationality: South African
    • Cellphone/mobile (if a minor - please send through guardian's number): 6843754733
    • Land Line: 7632654p48
    • E-mail:
    • Category: Poetry
    • Word Count: 157
  • You can enter more than one piece of writing. If you do however; each piece must have a category clearly indicated in the upper left-hand corner. This information will be entered into our database and confirmation of receipt will be sent to you.

Judging & Notification

  • Entries accepted for display are determined at the discretion of the Web Content Editor.
  • Every entry will be read by the Web Content Editor. The Web Content Editor reserves the right to re-categorise entries.
  • The entries in each category deemed suitable for publication will be made available on the SANParks website, where they will be publicly judged in an electronic poll (on the Forums), hosted on the SANParks site. Voters will be required to fill a simple electronic voting form.
  • You will receive notification of the receipt of your manuscript via e-mail.
  • Entries must be received by 12 noon 30 June 2012.


  • SANParks retains the right to use your entries in future publications, print and online. Your manuscripts will not be made available to third parties.
  • For more information visit or e-mail the competition co-ordinator.

Previous Competition Winners

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