Ivor W. Hartmann is a Zimbabwean writer, editor, publisher, and visual artist. Awarded The Golden Baobab Prize (2009), finalist for the Yvonne Vera Award (2011), selected for The 20 in Twenty: The Best Short Stories of South Africa’s Democracy (2014), awarded third in the Jalada Prize for Literature (2015), and Nommo Awards nomination (2017). His works have appeared in many publications. He runs the StoryTime micro-press, publisher of the African Roar and AfroSF series of anthologies. He is a founding member of the African Speculative Fiction Society, and on the advisory board of Writers International Network Zimbabwe.

26 November 2010

Collected quotes, poems, thoughts, excerpts, and insights.

In August last year I decided to start posting some of my own one-liner’s (well, mostly one-liner's) at my facebook writer's page. They are quite varied in source, some come from my side of conversations (real and digital), some are from my novels in progress, some are thoughts I had about issues or current events, some are personal insights, and some as you will see are even poems. Now over a year later they have accumulated and I thought it might be good to share them in a collection, here, with you, starting at the beginning - I have dated them because sometimes it’s pertinent - to now.

There is a reason not everyone is a good writer; it takes a willingness to eviscerate yourself and use those bloody organs as ink and pen. (27/8/09)

Despair and hope, without either we could know neither. (1/9/09)

I have faith in a natural cycle that occurs with or without belief. (21/12/09)

Sometimes one's heart is the best tool a writer can have. (3/1/10)

Reject mediocrity, embrace discernment. (8/1/10)

Life is about choices, if you don't make them they will be made for you. (17/1/10)

Parents are gods when you're young, devils when you're a teen, and human when you leave their home, but become gods again when you have your own children and experience what they put up with. (20/1/10)

It's a big bad world, online and offline, and understanding it is the passport to true freedom. (23/1/10)

If you are a writer, you are a writer. Anyone can tag on anything to it for all manner of reasons, but the word itself remains inviolable. (25/1/10)

That which we quote is more often than not that which we most need to do. (28/1/10)

Whilst writing is mostly solitary, publishing is a team effort. (4/2/10)

Money can buy many things, but not honour. (9/2/10)

Time is always of the essence, the more you've had the less you have. (18/2/10)

There is no separation of humans from nature, we are a product of nature and still entirely reliant upon the Earth's well-being for our survival. (25/2/10)

Life is truly an absurd comedy of errors and laughter is its best soundtrack. (24/3/10 )

Failure forms the backbone of success. (14/3/10)

If you put everyone else first you'll always be last, but if you always put yourself first you will never last. (31/3/10)

Doubt can be very useful tool, fear the person who has no doubts for either they are a sociopath or lying to themselves. (11/8/10)

Sometimes you: /Have to do the wrong thing for the right reason,/The right thing for the wrong reason./Everything you can even though it makes no difference./Nothing at all and let it be.//One thing only that changes the world.//Laugh when you want to cry,/Cry when you want to laugh.//Forgive but do not forget,/Forget in-order to forgive.//Make no sense to make sense,/Make sense to not make sense./Indulge to not indulge,/Not indulge as an indulgence.//Have friends that are your enemies,/And enemies that are your friends./Trust no-one,/Not even yourself.//Hear only the moans./See only the shadows./Smell only the earth./Feel only the kiss./Taste only the sea.//Love and are still lonely,/Are alone and yet not lonely. (20/8/10)

All writers need editors. There are no exceptions to this simple fact not even to prove the rule. (29/8/10)

Why is there nothing so dangerous as a martyr? Because they are no longer around to make sure what they actually stood for is not corrupted and perverted into something else entirely. (3/9/10)

There is a place for all African writers to write whatever they want; publishers need to take note of this too. It's far past time that we started filling all the wide open gaps currently dominated by first world writers on our local bookstore shelves. (5/9/10)

Burning any books, be they religious or not, is a true sign of insanity and repression. (8/9/10)

If you're holding a pen everything is a story. (11/9/10)

Poem to an Idealistic Vegetarian: While they may not have a head,/Plants also experience dread./They will fear your tread,/When you come to rip them from their bed./So acknowledge without seeing red,/The living eat the dead./The living eat the dead./That much can always be said. (13/9/10)

I wouldn't recommend creative writing or any other art to anyone, unless their passion for it runs very deep; deep enough to sustain them through the agony of it all. (22/9/10)

Never underestimate the importance of building deep and well-rounded lead characters first, that way no-matter what situation you drop them into they will remain true to themselves and thus naturally enrich the story. (16/10/10)

Money is ultimately an archaic system of control and inequitable resource rationing. (24/9/10)

Creative writing regardless of format will always endure, because the mind's eye is more vivid and powerful than any movie can ever be. (24/10/10)

If you want to think outside the box you have to realise there is no box. (3/11/10)

Everyone lies, just some more than others./Everyone cries, alone or together./Everyone complies, in one way or another./Everyone defies, if just to feel alive./Everyone relies, on something or someone./Everyone sighs, in sadness or ecstasy./Everyone buy’s, it’s a trap of our own making./So no need to decry or further imply, as,/Everyone dies./And we all have far more, similarities than disparities. (14/11/10)

Life is what happens in-between writing; almost always a necessary inconvenience. (26/11/10)

23 November 2010

Interview with Chika Onyenezi at Grey Scale

"Ivor W. Hartmann is the editor/publisher of StoryTime and the author of Mr. Goop, he one of the few who is gearing African Literature towards new heights. In this exclusive interview with Chika Onyenezi, he goes a long way discussing African Literature: its hopes and survivals. He has this stunning advice for new writer “Thus, like any art or life itself, your passion for writing must run deep, deep enough to sustain your writing”, maybe is time for a literary revolution as he has discussed in the future of writing. Enjoy this interview..." Read the full interview with Chika Onyenezi at Grey Scale.

12 November 2010

'African Roar 2011' Selections

It gives us (Emmanuel Siguake and Ivor W. Hartmann) great pleasure to announce the selections for the next annual StoryTime anthology African Roar 2011. Congratulations to all who made it through the selection process, and thank you to everyone who entered!

Chanting Shadows by Mbonisi P. Ncube

The Times by Dango Mkandawire

Out of Memory by Emmanuel Iduma

Diner Ten by Ivor W. Hartmann

Water Wahala by Isaac Neequaye

Longing for Home by Hajira Amla

Snakes Will Follow You by Emmanuel Sigauke

Snake of the Niger Delta by Chimdindu Mazi-Njoku

Main by NoViolet Mkha Bulawayo

A Writer's Lot by Zukiswa Wanner

Witch's Brew by Stanely Ruzvidzo Mupfudza

Silent Night, Bloody Night by Ayodele Morocco-Clarke

Lose Myself by Uche Peter Umez

Uncle Jeffrey by Murenga Joseph Chikowero

02 November 2010

And the winners are... Results of the SLQ Short Story Competition (October 2010)

Sentinel Literary Quarterly: The online magazine of world literature publishes Poetry, Fiction, Drama, Interviews, Essays & Reviews. And the winners are... Results of the SLQ Short Story Competition that I judged. Well done to the winners, highly commended, and all who entered!

First Prize - Scream by Samantha Symonds

Second Prize - Mayday by Andrew Campbell-Kearsey

Third Prize - A Way with the Kids by Sharon Birch

Highly Commended (In no particular order)

Crown of Burrs by G. H. Zitzelsberger

Love at First Site by Andrew Campbell-Kearsey

The Green Gators by Joey C. Aglasi

(From: SLQ Poetry and Short Story Competitions (October 2010) Results)

Judge's Report:

This was my first time judging a writing competition and I found it a highly engaging and demanding experience. Not that I am a stranger to judging fiction works, but having to choose three winners and three highly commended works from a pool of so many stories was a certainly a new experience for me.

In first place was ‘The Scream’, which gained my attention because of its distinctive style, dark humour, and mostly its one way ticket into the depth of madness very artfully portrayed. It had great lines like “Freedom tastes like burnt coffee and soggy toast”, and “The signs are clearer than a pool of melted diamonds.” Each one cataloguing the protagonist spiralling ever downwards, or upwards depending on how skewed your point of view may be. As certainly by the end of the story, you are left somewhat infected and wondering about your own sanity and what exactly is sanity anyway?

In second place was ‘Mayday’ that took anthropomorphic fiction to a new level for me. Solidly based in a good construction that predicated the story, it then went on to offer new insights into a realm of being what very few writers venture into with such a great level of detail and careful thought. The story left me recalling a saying; 'the chance of being born human is that of a turtle popping its head through a yoke floating in the middle of an ocean’.

In third place was ‘A Way with the Kids’ a cracking suspense/horror story with a good plot line, good characterisations and a very nice twist three quarters in that led to a great conclusion. This story certainly could be the seed of a fantastic novel if pursued further in greater depth.

Next up were the three highly commended stories. ‘A Crown of Burrs’, which nicely delved into the world of being a child, where days seem like years and the imagination knows no bounds and seeps readily into reality. ‘Love at First Site’ took a great look at social networking as it relates to real-world dating and romance, with a superb twist at the end. ‘The Green Gators’ peered over the rich golfing green divide into the desperate lives of the caddies and golf ball stealer's behind the scenes.

Being an editor/publisher for three years solid now means I have seen an ocean of submissions flow under my bridge and catching my interest is no easy task. Therefore, interesting ideas, themes and writing styles were the aspects that wooed me to make a final choice. To all those who did I congratulate you, and definitely think you have a future in creative writing.

Not that I’d recommend creative writing or any other art to anyone, unless their passion for it runs very deep; deep enough to sustain them through the agony of it all. For career, creative writing is not for the faint-hearted, and it does seem that it’s not the most talented who are published, but the most determined to be published. Therefore, I hope that this confirmation of your talent leads you on to a great resolve to continue writing and never give up. Take heart in the fact that while the initial writing is a solitary pursuit, publishing is most certainly a team effort. (From: SLQ Short Story Competition (October 2010) Judge's Report)

This is a website for Zimbabwean Author Ivor W. Hartmann. All posts on this site are Copyright © Ivor W. Hartmann 2007-2011. All rights reserved.