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BNZ says a picture is worth 150 words (and $500 cash)

BNZ Bank is putting the call out for New Zealand’s best (short) short story writers, with a Facebook app that turns prose into art.

The short story category is part of the overall BNZ Literary Awards, which has been running for the past 55 years. Unlike the other categories, the short form one is based entirely on Facebook.

Hopeful writers submit a 150-word story through the app (built by Fracture and Colenso), which is then overlaid on top of an image (either the users’ or a pre-selected one) to create a masking layer effect. The result can be beautiful, depending on the words strung together and the image picked.

Here’s a lorem ipsum mashup we created, which is unlikely to peak the judges’ interests or win the $500 prize:

“We’ve run the Short Short Story competition for a few years now and it’s been a really accessible way into writing, for people,” says BNZ social media manager Anna Connell.

“The short length of the stories mirrors the shorter form writing we see every day on social media platforms, so it’s always been a logical fit. When we looked at it again this year,  we wanted to find a way to bring the Literary Awards to life on a platform where imagery has become so powerful and so prevalent.”

The judges for this year’s BNZ Literary Awards include Albert Wendt, Craig Cliff, Sue Orr and Graham Beattie returning for a third year as judge of the short story category.

A spokesperson for BNZ says the app was originally built by Fracture and re-skinned by Colenso BBDO.

Prizes for each category are:
 BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award – $10,000 prize money
 BNZ Novice Writer Award- for unpublished writers – $1,500 prize money
BNZ Young Writer Award – for writers who are at secondary school – $1,500 for the student
and $2000 for the winner’s school.
 BNZ Short Short Story Award – $500 prize money

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