Writing competition: Defying Normal

Perdeby ran a writing competition for the 14 August Literature edition. The theme for the competition was "Defying Normal" and was set in the context of constantly questioning what is considered "normal" and why that norm gets privileged over other ways of being. 

Perdeby received many entries, but narrowed the entries down to the top three. This process was based on language, creativity and relevance to the theme.

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Stopping the presses: print media’s ‘death’


Print media, the form of mass communication where information is conveyed through printed publications like newspapers, comics, books, and magazines, has been in relative decline since the advent of the digital age. Students are undoubtedly aware of this with our use of eBooks, PDFs, and navigation of online repositories and other resources. This occurrence features as a topic of widespread interest with varied responses from studies conducted by Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, to contributions on Forbes’ website under slightly worrying titles such as “How to Survive the Death of Print Media”, that do not seem to realise their own irony.

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The importance of early literacy


South Africa has an on-going education and literacy problem. In 2013 a study by The National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU) found that out of 1772 rural Grade 5 learners, 11% could not read a single English word from the assessment passages, and a further 41% were considered non-English readers due to the speed they read at. According to recent research, 58% of Grade 4 learners in South Africa cannot read for meaning, while 29% are completely illiterate.

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Best female literary role models


Books are seen as a force of learning and growth in the world, and what better way to learn and grow than to read about how female characters have grown and overcome adversity. Here is a short list of some of the best female characters to learn from.

George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has many notable ladies, such as Meera Reed, Asha Greyjoy, and Olenna Tyrell, but the bar is set very low because to stand out all you need to do it to shun the idea of being married off to breed and laugh pleasantly at feasts. However, Brienne of Tarth deserves a mention for doing the most to knock down gender roles. Brienne embodies what a knight of the seven kingdoms is supposed to be, despite the fact that she is a female. A Song of Ice and Fire is also notable in the way it describes Catelyn Stark and Cersei Lannister as strong mothers.

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Catching up with Africa’s youngest author


Michelle Nkamankeng is an eight-year-old girl from Kensington, Johannesburg who shot to stardom last year when she released her debut book Waiting for the Waves. You may be wondering why there is so much hype surrounding this adorable little girl.

Michelle was named Africa’s youngest author last year at only seven years old. Now eight, she is not slowing down with her career, but looks forward to sharing her skills with others of her age.

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