Among the winners of an unprecedented short story contest are the stories of social leaders

This Tuesday, January 17, the result of the first Story Contest “Don’t let them tell you another story” was officially announced, an event organized by the Fundación Urbanismo Social that seeks to save and promote those stories marked by the work of social leaders in the territorial development.

The competition was officially launched on August 7, 2022 as part of the National Day of Social and Community Leaders and had an exceptional jury composed of Hernán Rivera Letelier, winner of the National Prize for Literature; Elizabeth Andrade, National Human Rights Award; Mario Orellana, director of the School for Social Leaders; and Alejandra Rasse, an expert urban planner and academic at the Catholic University.

In this context, the winning story was “Las Matriarcas”, by César Molina, which together with the award received a prize of 500,000 pesos. The second place goes to the story “Margarita”, by Andrés Morales, which also wins a prize of 300,000 pesos. Third place was taken by the story “Otra reunion más”, written under the pseudonym “Nego”, which will receive 100 thousand pesos.

“The Matriarchs”

César Molina, winner of the competition, said he was “very happy to have participated in this competition and flattered to have obtained this recognition. He gave me the opportunity to express almost thirty years of experience of working on social projects in a few words ”.

He also added: “I feel that with my story I somehow express my gratitude to many people, especially to the social leaders who have been true life teachers for me. They taught me the profound value of service and solidarity and keep alive the hope of being able to build a better society”.

For the executive director of the Social Urbanism Foundation, Camila Ramírez, the competition has become a necessary tool to save and highlight those stories of efforts that have been made invisible, despite their importance to strengthening the social fabric.

“It is in this historical moment in which it becomes even more important to make visible and present the voices of those leaders of neglected territories, who do the impossible for their communities and their neighborhoods. We wanted to hear their stories, because they are the protagonists of their struggles and inequalities,” she concluded.

The jury also selected eight honorable mentions with representatives from various regions of the country, in order to highlight the dedication of the contestants and promote people to be part of the literary creation in this type of contest.

“Giving neighbors a voice is a wonderful thing, there’s so much talent, so many stories, so many ways of telling stories, there’s so much experience. It wasn’t easy to choose the winners and that’s why we have so many honorable mentions, because there is so much courage in telling stories, even by skinning them, but in telling them in a unique and beautiful language which is the language of the inhabitants. We promote writing and reading and, with this, we promote freedom,” explained Mario Orellana.

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