We’ve taken this from the endlessly intriguing John Gardener’s book The Art of Fiction: Write honest and sensitive descriptions (or sketches) of (a) one of your parents, (b) a mythological beast, and (c) a ghost.

Limit yourself to two hundred words per description. Remember: concentrate on the specific details that’ll make each character spring to life (even the ghost!)

Winning entry by Daniel Ronald Bogogolela

My Father, Johannes, is the most remarkable man I have ever seen. He is always on point. Trying to convince him you are right, is like the first break of the dam.

All my brothers, thus including my family’s last born, do not live at home. I spent most of the time, when I am off duty watching Johannes pushing a trolley full of thrown away grits of steel. In the beginning, I used to complain about what the neighbours would say when they see a pensioner pushing a trolley to the scrapyard. He told me that he would not wait for the government to feed him when he is not sick.

He is technically sick you know. He was diagnosed with arthritis not so long ago. He got the sickness from digging trenches for the Krugersdorp municipality. He was able to raise five men with that money.

He is the grandfather to all our neighbours . They show him respect. He is a friendly easy going person who sometimes, according to one of my aunts, force his ideologies on how life should be on other people.

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