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Archive for the ‘Competitions’ Category

Giveaway! Win a copy of Storytime: 10 South African stories for children

BooksLIVE, in collaboration with Nal’ibali, will be giving away 10 copies of Storytime: 10 South African stories for children – and just in time for the impending 2018 school year!

The first Sunday Times Storybook was launched three years ago to allow children from disadvantaged backgrounds to experience the magic of stories, especially in their own languages. The Sunday Times has distributed two million copies of the first book in all 11 official languages free of charge to school, libraries and reading clubs across the country.

Storytime is a delightful collection of new stories by skilled writers such as Wendy Hartmann, Chris van Wyk, Maryanne Bester, Carole Bloch, Kagiso Legeso Molope, and Tuelo Gabonewe. Various illustrators contributed to the selection of enchanting stories, including Joan Rankin, Paddy Bouma, Shayle Bester, with a gorgeous cover by none other than Madam & Eve‘s Rico!

“We have been fortunate to work with a number of talented South African authors and illustrators in putting together this magical collection of stories. A treasured storybook can be just the thing to spark a love of reading in children and this is precisely our intention – to skill children to become readers for life,” comments Patti McDonald, publisher of Times Media Education’s supplements.

“Books and stories deepen our thinking and understanding by stretching our imagination while encouraging creative problem-solving. To have stories that our children can relate to in their home languages is an invaluable asset that we need to keep growing in our country,” adds Dr Carole Bloch, Director of PRAESA.

If you would like to receive a copy of Storytime, simply tell us why it’s so important to nurture a love of stories and reading among school children who have limited access to books. E-mail your answer to Patti (Patti.McDonald@tisoblackstar.co.za), and always remember the profound words of Nelson Mandela: “It is my wish that the voice of the storyteller will never die in Africa, that all children in the world may experience the wonder of books, and that they will never lose the capacity to enlarge their earthly dwelling place with the magic of stories.”


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Enter the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Deadline: 1 November

Entries for the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize have opened!

This prestigious prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished fiction (2000 – 5000 words) in English. Regional winners receive £2,500 and the overall winner receives £5,000.

Translated entries are also eligible, as are stories written in the original Bengali, Chinese, Kiswahili, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan and Tamil.

The competition is free to enter.

Click here for the submission guidelines.

Watch the video below, created by the Commonwealth Writers YouTube channel, for both insight and inspiration:


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Nal’ibali gets the nation storytelling this September

This September, and in commemoration of Literacy Month, Nal’ibali – the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, is encouraging a wave of storytelling across the country with its third annual multilingual storytelling contest, Story Bosso.

Placing a special focus on folktales in a bid to preserve this national treasure, the campaign will be hosting storytelling performances and events across the country for the month and is inviting members of the public, young and old, to join them by telling the traditional stories they remember being told, or to have fun making up new ones.

“Storytelling is a forerunner for children’s literacy learning in all languages and forms part of our national heritage. Many of our traditional stories, historically told by grandparents around fires, feature characters such as the jackal and the hare, wise old men and greedy giants. Starting with different phrases: Once upon a time, kwathi ke kaloku ngantsomi, kwasuka sukela; these stories have been passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth and are in danger of being lost,” says Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali Managing Director.

To help children and adults remember these special stories, Nal’ibali has created a set of storytelling playing cards featuring common folktale characters, settings and objects. Together with over 8 000 children’s story books by local authors featuring folktales and other family-friendly stories, these story cards will be distributed and given away at community events to help increase the number of leisure books and story materials available to children and caregivers. They are also freely available for download from Nal’ibali’s web- and mobisites for the month.

“Our stories are an important part of our heritage and collective culture. By encouraging South Africans to tell and share our stories in all our languages, we’re hoping to not only support adults in becoming pivotal players in their children’s literacy development through this simple yet effective method, but ensure this beautiful craft which has the power to connect us all remains alive,” continues Jacobsohn.

Opening the month of storytelling, South Africa’s best-loved storyteller, Gcina Mhlophe, will be telling one of her favourite folktales to children in Soweto before inviting them to enter the contest and stand a chance of being crowned this year’s ‘Story Bosso’. Mhlophe will be joined by comedian, Marc Lottering, who will be infusing an element of fun by demonstrating how to use the cards for improvised storytelling and Soweto-based master storyteller, Bongani Godide, will add local flavour to the event.

Regional storytelling events in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape will be supported by storytellers Sindiwe Magona, Hluma Zakaza, Hlobisile Mkhize, Mpumy Ndlovu and Nolubabalo Rani who will be enchanting children and adults alongside Nal’ibali storytellers, Sanelisiwe Ntuli, Madoda Ndlakuse and Thanduxolo Mkoyi. Further, Nal’ibali Literacy Mentors will be hosting community events in these provinces and more, all helping the campaign to collect its goal of 5 000 stories – a first step towards preserving this unique part of SA heritage. To add to the excitement, Nal’ibali’s will be conducting FUNda Leader reading for enjoyment trainings in each of the above regions as precursors to the Story Bosso events.

And, with prizes in the form of cash, airtime, books and caps up for grabs, there is added incentive to get storytelling. A main prize of R5 000 cash, R1 000 book voucher, R500 airtime and a Story Bosso cap will be awarded to one overall Story Bosso winner. There will also be eight provincial winners, each receiving R1 000 cash, R5 000 book voucher, R250 air time and a Story Bosso cap. Spot prizes of book vouchers, airtime and caps which will be given away to those who enter online throughout the month.

All South Africans are invited to submit their entries between 01 and 30 September as audio or video clips online on the campaign’s website (www.nalibali.org), mobisite (www.nalibali.mobi), Facebook page (NalibaliSA), to info@nalibali.org or via Nal’ibali’s WhatsApp line: 076 920 6413. A full list of community storytelling and entry events will be available from 1 September on the Nal’ibali website along with the contest rules and guidelines.

For more information about the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign, and to sign up for the FUNda Leader training and the ‘Story Bosso’ contest, visit www.nalibali.org, www.nalibali.mobi or find them on Facebook and Twitter: nalibaliSA.


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Theme for next year’s Short.Sharp.Stories Awards announced

Instant Exposure – stories inspired by photographs

We live in an age in which increasingly we all take or view photographs. Visual language is growing and developing every day as we record our world and our experiences in visual terms. One could go as far as to say that every one of us has, by default, become a photographer as billions of images are uploaded online at any given moment.

We invite you to find a provocative photograph which inspires a powerful story. The image can be a spontaneously captured selfie, a bold news pic, a childhood snap in an old album; perhaps a framed tribute that brings back memories of joy, or a hidden print that haunts your past. Whether the photo is a portrait of a loved one, or an evocative landscape, whether colour or black and white, as long as the photograph has meaning to you, we encourage you to ‘find your story’ – the humour, the pathos, the drama – in the image.

As ever, we’re looking for stories with strong narrative drive, and characters and settings which reflect our South African experience and diversity.

Deadline 30 November 2017

This process is in three parts:
1) Choose the photographic image that inspires you…
2) Write a caption for that image…
3) Use the caption as a springboard to create your story of between 3000 to 5000 words.

We require the photograph, the caption, as well as the story to be submitted.

Please see full rules at www.shortsharpstories.com


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Fiction Friday: read Bushra al-Fadil’s winning entry for the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing

The Sudanese writer Bushra al-Fadil was announced as the winner of the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing on 3 July. His story, “The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away”, translated by Max Shmookler, was published in The Book of Khartoum – A City in Short Fiction (Comma Press, UK, 2016).

Press release from the Caine Prize for African Writing:

Bushra al-Fadil has won the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled “The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away”, translated by Max Shmookler, published in The Book of Khartoum – A City in Short Fiction (Comma Press, UK. 2016). The Chair of Judges, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, announced Bushra al-Fadil as the winner of the £10,000 prize at an award dinner this evening (Monday, 3 July) held for the first time in Senate House, London, in partnership with SOAS as part of their centenary celebrations. As a translated story, the prize money will be split – with £7,000 going to Bushra and £3,000 to the translator, Max Shmookler.

“The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away” vividly describes life in a bustling market through the eyes of the narrator, who becomes entranced by a beautiful woman he sees there one day. After a series of brief encounters, tragedy unexpectedly befalls the woman and her young female companion.

Nii Ayikwei Parkes praised the story, saying, “the winning story is one that explores through metaphor and an altered, inventive mode of perception – including, for the first time in the Caine Prize, illustration – the allure of, and relentless threats to freedom. Rooted in a mix of classical traditions as well as the vernacular contexts of its location, Bushra al-Fadil’s “The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away”, is at once a very modern exploration of how assaulted from all sides and unsupported by those we would turn to for solace we can became mentally exiled in our own lands, edging in to a fantasy existence where we seek to cling to a sort of freedom until ultimately we slip into physical exile.”

Bushra al-Fadil is a Sudanese writer living in Saudi Arabia. His most recent collection Above a City’s Sky was published in 2012, the same year Bushra won the al-Tayeb Salih Short Story Award. Bushra holds a PhD in Russian language and literature.

Read “The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away” here:

The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away
Bushra al-Fadil

Translated by Max Shmookler

 
There I was, cutting through a strange market crowd – not just people shopping for their salad greens, but beggars and butchers and thieves, prancers and Prophet-praisers and soft-sided soldiers, the newly-arrived and the just-retired, the flabby and the flimsy, sellers roaming and street kids groaning, god-damners, bus-waiters and white-robed traders, elegant and fumbling.

And there in the midst, our elected representatives, chasing women with their eyes and hands and whole bodies, with those who couldn’t give chase keeping pace with an indiscrete and
sensual attention, or lost in a daydream.

I cut, sharp-toothed, carving a path through the crowd when a passerby clutched his shoulder in pain, followed by a ‘Forgive me!’ Then a scratch on a lady’s toe was followed with a quick ‘Oh no!’ Then a slap to another’s cheek, after which was heard ‘Forgiveness is all I seek!’

So lost in dreams I could not wait for their reply to my apology.

The day was fresher than a normal summer day, and I could feel delight turbaned around my head, like a Bedouin on his second visit to the city. The working women were not happy like me, nor were the housewives. I was the son of the Central Station, spider-pocketed, craning my neck to see a car accident or the commotion of a thief being caught. I was awake, descending into the street, convulsing from hunger and the hopeless search for work in the ‘cow’s muzzle’, as we say.

I suppressed my unrest. The oppressed son of the oppressed but despite all of that – happy. Could the wretched wrest my happiness from me? Hardly. Without meaning to, I wandered through these thoughts.

The people around me were a pile of human watermelons, every pile awaiting its bus. I approached one of the piles and pulled out my queuing tools – an elbow and the palm of my hand – and then together they helped my legs to hold up my daily depleted and yearly defeated body. I pulled out my eyes and began to look… and look… in all directions and to store away what I saw.

I saw a blind man looking out before him as if he were reading from that divine book which preceded all books, that book of all fates. He kept to himself as he passed before me but still I felt the coins in my pocket disappear. Then I saw a woman who was so plump that when she called out to her son – ‘Oh Hisham’ – you could feel the greasy resonance of the ‘H’ in your ears. I saw a frowning man, a boy weaving an empty tin can along the ground with his feet. I saw voices and heard boundless scents and then, suddenly, in the midst of all of that, I saw her. The dervish in my heart jumped.

I saw her: soaring without swaying, her skin the colour of wheat – not as we know it but rather as if the wheat were imitating her tone. She had the swagger of a soldier, the true heart of the people. And if you saw her, you’d never be satiated. I said to myself, ‘This is the girl whose birds flew away.’

Her round face looked like this: Her nose was like a fresh vegetable and by God, what eyes! A pharaonic neck with two taut slender chords, only visible when she turned her head. And when she turned her head, I thought all the women selling their mashed beans and salted sunflower seeds would flee, the whole street would pick up and leave only ruts where they had been, the fetid stench of blood would abandon the places where meat was sold. My thoughts fled to a future I longed for. And if you poured water over the crown of her head, it would flow down past her forehead.

She walked in waves, as if her body were an auger spiralling through a cord of wood.

She approached me. I looked myself over and straightened myself out. As she drew closer, I saw she was holding tight to a little girl who resembled her in every way but with a child’s chubbiness. Their hands were woven together as if they had been fashioned precisely in that manner, as if they were keeping each other from straying. They both knit their eyebrows nonchalantly, such that their eyes flashed, seeming to cleanse their faces from the famished stares of those around them.

‘This is the girl whose birds flew away,’ I said.

I turned to her sister and said, ‘And this must be the talisman she’s brought to steer her away from evil. How quickly her calm flew from her palm.’

I stared at them until I realised how loathsome I was in comparison. It was this that startled me, not them. I looked carefully at the talisman. Her mouth was elegant and precise as if she never ate the stewed okra that was slowly poisoning me. I glanced around and then I looked back at them, looked and looked – oh how I looked! – until a bus idled up and abruptly saved the
day. Although it was not their custom, the people made way for the two unfamiliar women, and they just hopped aboard. Through the dust kicked up by the competition around the door I found myself on the bus as well.

We lumbered forward. The man next to me was smoking and the man next to him smelled as if he were stuffed with onions. If the day were not so fresh, and were it not for the girl and her talisman and their aforementioned beauty, I would have gotten off that wretched bus without a word of apology. After five minutes, the onionised man lowed to the driver: ‘This’s my stop, buddy.’

He got off and slammed the door in a way that suggested the two of them had a long and violent history. The driver rubbed his right cheek as if the door had been slammed on him. He grumbled to himself, ‘People without a shred of mercy.’

The onion man reeled back around and threw a red eye at the driver. ‘What?’ he exploded. ‘What’d you say?’

‘Get going, by God!’ I yelled. ‘He wasn’t talking about you.’

As the bus pulled away, the onionised man’s insults and curses blended with the whine of the motor. As if the driver wanted to torment us, he continued the argument as a monologue, beginning, ‘People are animals…’

Continue reading here.


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Enter the annual Poetry in McGregor Poetry Competition

WIN R5000 IN THE POETRY COMPETITION:

One of the highlights leading up to the annual Poetry in McGregor weekend is the Poetry Competition: Last year the organizers were delighted to receive hundreds of entries from across the nation. The entries for this year`s competition is now officially open: All unpublished poets may enter the Poetry in McGregor competition: The theme this year is: Poetry against Poverty. Your entry must reflect this theme.

Billy Kennedy, Chairman of the Poetry in McGregor committee, believes that Poetry plays an important part in our lives: “Someone once wrote that much of the violence and psychological illness and unease in our society is probably due to poetry deprivation. Bigotry and prejudice and fundamentalism contract the mind, and our world is full of it. Poetry expands the mind. It limbers up the imagination. It does to the mind what Yoga does for the body. We are looking forward to reading the works of budding poets. Enrage us, challenge us, uplift us, inspire us!”

There are two categories for this year’s Poetry Competition:

Adult open category: prize money for winner: R5000.00
School category (open to students grade 7 to 12) – Prize: a brand new iPad.

Entries to be mailed to mcgpoets@gmail.com before 30 July 2017. Entries can be in Afrikaans or English. Please see www.poetryinmcgregor.co.za for competition details, terms and conditions.

POETRY IN MCGREGOR:

There is a great range of poets performing at various venues at this year`s event: Koos Kombuis, Ashley Dowds, Hugh Hodge, John Maytham, Nic de Jager, Kobus Moolman, Lungiswa Nyatyowa, Lerato Sibanda, Philip de Vos, Diana Ferrus, Daniel Hugo, Lara Kirsten, Fanie Olivier, Koos van der Merwe, Mavis Vermaak, Wendy Woodward and many more. A Complete list of all the performing poets can be found at http://mcgregorpoetryfestival.co.za/2017-poets/

As part of the Poetry in McGregor Weekend, the MAC project will also be hosting the Schools’ Festival on the morning of Friday 25 August. Over 800 pupils from schools in the village and surrounding areas will be attending the event. Cape Town based artist Ha Man! together with his partner, Joke Debaere, will be presenting music, songs, drama and poetry. The Afrikaans group Ruk!, two dynamic young performers from Cape Town, will also be performing for the children at this exciting event.

For those poets who would like to participate spontaneously a number of Open Mic sessions will also be taking place during the “Poetry in McGregor” weekend. These sessions are hosted by Hugh Hodge (http://hahodge.blogspot.co.za/p/about-me.html) and no tickets or booking are required. Anyone wishing to read or recite their poetry is welcome – from the well-known to budding, new poets.

Accommodation: It is advised to book accommodation in advance:
Temenos Retreat: www.temenos.org.za / temenos@lando.co.za / 023 625 1871
McGregor Country Getaways: www.mcgregor-accommodation.co.za / info@mcgregor-accommodation.co.za / 023 625 1409 / 076 411 9477
McGregor Tourism Bureau: www.tourismmcgregor.co.za / info@tourismmcgregor.co.za / 023 625 1954
McGregor Backpackers: www.mcgregorbackpackers.co.za /083 206 8007
Robertson Tourism Bureau: www.robertsontourism.co.za / info@robertson.org.za / 023 626 4437
Robertson Wine Valley: www.robertsonwinevalley.com / manager@robertsonwinevalley.com / 023 626 3167

Tickets available from Computicket from mid July 2017.

Web and social media:

www.poetryinmcgregor.co.za

https://www.facebook.com/McGregorPoetry/

https://twitter.com/mcgpoetry

https://za.pinterest.com/mcgregorpoetry/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI-ksT9BcSe34670JlWXPKw/feed

Wesgro Cape Town and Western Cape: http://goto.capetown/home

Join us for a magnificent weekend, words rooted in heart!


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Applications for ANFASA Grant Scheme for Authors now open

ANFASA, the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa, announces the next round of the grant scheme to benefit authors of academic and general non-fiction works

What is a “general non-fiction work”? Just as an example, it could be a biography or an autobiography; a history of a town or a region or a religion; a book about music or sport or theatre; a political or social analysis; an account of everyday life in a township; a book about nursing, or cooking, or fashion, or fishes, or traditional medicines, or cars – those are just a few of the many topics supported by the ANFASA grant scheme in the past.

If you are currently working on a scholarly or a general non-fiction work, you are eligible to apply. However, although we accept applications from authors whether or not they are ANFASA members, only ANFASA members may actually receive an award. The grants are intended to provide a sum of around R20 000 to R25 000 to be used for an author to “buy time” – to take leave, for instance, and devote herself or himself to writing; or to travel in order to conduct research. The grants are for research and writing and do not cover the cost of publishing the manuscript.

An independent committee will assess the applications and select the most deserving. The selection committee aims to offer awards to a wide-ranging group of authors and subjects, and the selection process will respect the need to treat new and experienced authors equally; to bear in mind authors writing in rural as well as urban locations; and to consider authors at all levels of education from the untutored to the degreed. The ANFASA grant scheme especially encourages writing by new authors. Applications for books written in all the official languages will be equally considered.

Go to http://www.bursaries2017.co.za/general-bursaries-south-africa/anfasa-bursary-grant-scheme/ to apply online or send an e-mail to info@anfasa.org.za. The closing date for applications is 30 September, and the successful applications will be announced in December.


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Win a copy of Ink – a beautifully illustrated picture book exploring a child’s growing awareness of language

Ingrid Mennen’s Ink is a picture book exploring a child’s growing awareness of language, books and reading.

The little girl Tinka becomes aware of words, language and writing. She names her family members one by one: her mum, her dad, her little brother Slip, sister Rosie and baby Jas. She draws a paper doll resembling a girl like herself on a sheet of newsprint. The paper doll is named “Ink”. With her body filled with words, Ink is the perfect companion for Tinka.

Tinka introduces her new friend to all her favourite story books, because, “A book is like a friend, with the best stories to tell”.

Thought-provoking and captivating, this picture book will appeal to young readers 4+, while adult readers will find pleasure in the simple, yet sensitive illustrations.

If you would like to win a copy of this singular book, visit our Facebook page and comment on the competition post.

Ingrid Mennen is an author of picture books including One Round Moon and a Star For Me (illustrated by Niki Daly) and Ben and the Whales. Ingrid lives in Newlands, Cape Town, with her husband. They have three grown-up children. Ink is her second book in collaboration with Irene, her eldest daughter, as illustrator.

Irene Berg is the eldest daughter of author Ingrid Mennen. She studied music in Stellenbosch and Frankfurt am Main and now she works in Germany as a musician and teacher and lives close to the Rhine with her husband, a violinist. Mother and daughter worked together on Ben and the Whales in 2012. Ink is their second book together.

Book details


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Wen ’n kopie van Ink – ’n pragtig geïllustreerde boek wat ’n kind se bewusmaking van taal verken

Tinka word bewus van woorde en taal, boeke en lees.

Sy teken haarself af op ‘n vel koerantpapier. Nou het sy ‘n maat en sy noem haar “Ink”.

Met haar lyf vol woorde, is Ink die perfekte maat vir Tinka. Sy neem Ink na haar kamer om haar beste boeke vir haar te wys, want “‘n boek is soos ‘n maat, met die beste stories om te vertel”.

‘n Meesleurende en diepsinnige prenteboek vir lesers 4+ wat ook volwasse lesers se verbeelding sal aangryp.

Indien jy ‘n kopie van hierdie besonderse boek wil wen, besoek ons Facebook-blad en skryf in deur kommentaar te lewer op die kompetisie-berig.

Ingrid Mennen is ‘n skrywer van prenteboeke vir kinders, waarvan sommige in verskeie tale gepubliseer is. Sy studeer Afrikaanse en Engelse Letterkunde, Kunsgeskiedenis en Museumkunde (UP, US en UK). Ingrid woon in Nuweland, Kaapstad, saam met haar man. Hulle het drie volwasse kinders. Ben en die walvisse en Ink is saam met haar oudste dogter, illustreerder Irene Berg, geskep. Ben en die walvisse is bekroon met die M.E.R.-prys vir geïllustreerde kinderboek 2013 en die Tienie Hollowaymedalje vir Kleuterliteratuur 2015.

Irene Berg is ‘n vryskut-illustreerder en musiekonderwyser, oorspronklik van Kaapstad, en woon en werk tans in Mannheim, Duitsland. Na musiekstudies aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch en die Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kuns in Frankfurt am Main, voltooi sy ‘n kursus in grafiese ontwerp. Haar eerste twee prenteboeke, Ben en die walvisse (2012) en Ink (2016), is geskep in samewerking met haar ma, skrywer Ingrid Mennen.

Boekbesonderhede


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Call for submissions: queer African erotica authored by women

HOLAAfrica! – a website dedicated to publishing written, audio and visual material by queer African women – recently announced their call for submissions for an erotic anthology titled Dark Juices and Aphrodisiacs:

Erotica is a real thing, sexual sensual writing that makes you squirm in your seat; scenes that turn a cold lonely night into something steamy; maybe something to keep you company and give you that secret smile whilst waiting for a friend in a restaurant.

Mostly we want things that will turn people on. A lot. No pressure. A little something like this, or this.

We know writing a sex scene is hard so here is an article with some tips.

This is a call for submission to Dark Juices and Aphrodisiacs: An Erotic Anthology.

The anthology will be available online to download. There will also be hard copies available. And if your piece is selected to be part of the anthology you shall be paid $100 for your service to sexiness.

Enticed? Click here for more.


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