Project Pen announced its winners from the first week of Instagram Stories, an event running all throughout Ramadan. We were inspired by the creativity and compelling nature of these stories, and the sheer ability of a simple picture and text to insight emotion. Whether you would like to share a fictional story, an abstract poem or a non-fiction experience, get involved and have a chance to win some pretty sweet prizes each week.
The first and second place winners this week:
1) By @salhad: “I bought some shoes from the Asian side of Istanbul. The laces snapped as I tried the shoes on and the shopkeeper said, with a smile, that I must be an angry man. Outside it was raining hard, and as I looked out the shop window a seagull swooped in and attacked a cat sitting by the door. Shoes in hand, we walked in the rain and took the ferry back to Sultanahmet. On the ferry we drank tea and sat on the dusty arm chairs listening to classical music. For a moment I felt I was back in the 90s, spending lazy hot afternoons in my great aunt’s bullet-ridden apartment in Beirut’s Achrafieh. The rain slid down the window as I watched the other boats navigate the choppy waters, and an old man next to me reading the newspaper announcing Turkey’s peace deal with the PKK.”
2) By @talaahadi: “Sometimes this city is an airport. A place of endless transition and passing through, leaving those with delayed flights to find themselves in states of in-betweenness, and those with prolonged stays to display symptoms of coffee laden discomfort. Here, everyone seems in a perpetual state of waiting at times. Waiting for a break, waiting for a cigarette, waiting for the weekend. It is an oversized waiting room where patients or late drug reps entertain themselves with month old magazines and struggle to look attractive in the unflattering neon lights. Oftentimes, it is a city of contradictions, where the concrete is overwhelming, and the concrete doesn’t do nearly enough. Sometimes it’s difficult to deny the sanctity of this city’s summer twilights.”