KEEN: Shaun M Jooste, head of the Pulse Gaming Division and author of the Celenic Earth Chronicles series and Silent Hill: Betrayal, visits Parow Library. Jooste’s request for an attempt at the ‘Greatest Anthology Written’ has been approved by Guinness World Records.  Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA Pictures
KEEN: Shaun M Jooste, head of the Pulse Gaming Division and author of the Celenic Earth Chronicles series and Silent Hill: Betrayal, visits Parow Library. Jooste’s request for an attempt at the ‘Greatest Anthology Written’ has been approved by Guinness World Records. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA Pictures

Writing the way into the Guinness World Records

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Jul 11, 2017

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Cape Town - Attempting to break a Guinness World Record would scare anyone but one South African is trying to do just that and, along with the help of others, write his way into the record books.

Author and owner of Celenic Earth Publications, Shaun M. Jooste, will be orchestrating a South African Guinness World Records attempt, by having the most writers involved in a short story anthology book. The previous record has 50 writers, but Jooste is aiming for 100 writers.

“In April when I was putting my first anthology together, out of curiosity, I went on to the Guinness World Records website to see if there was an anthology type record,” said the 37 year-old.

“I discovered one for “Most authors contributing to an anthology of short stories”, which had 50 writers, so I thought, why don’t we try and set a new record, and then I applied for it online.

“Earlier this month, I got an email saying congratulations your application has been approved.”

Jooste said that they have 56 writers so far but Guinness have also said that it is unlimited, and if he is able to get over a hundred writers involved, then that would be fine.

“Basically as long as we reach 50 writers, they said it would be fine but our goal is 100,” Jooste said.

He also mentioned that to meet the goal, there is a variety of rules that have to be followed. The launch of the book has to be televised in some way, and have two witnesses - one of which must have a degree in English Literature, to count that the short stories themselves are between 3000-8000 words.

Author, Shaun M. Jooste, will be orchestrating a South African Guinness World Records attempt by getting 100 writers involved in a short story anthology. Video: Theolin Tembo

Jooste said: “We have to also sell 1000 printed copies, and the reason is that they don’t want us creating an anthology, just for the purpose of breaking a record, and then we don’t do anything with it - so we have to prove that we’re selling it to the public.”

“I’m excited about getting it all together, but I’m nervous about the reaction. I know we can achieve it but sticking to the guidelines has always been an issue for me, because there can just be one thing wrong and then suddenly you don’t achieve it.”

“I think the one thing that I didn’t ask myself was, what would happen if I did actually get to do this.”

Jooste said that despite the involvement of writers from other parts of the world, seeing as he is based in South Africa, the record attempt counts as an South African record attempt. 

For people interested in joining the record attempt, they can request membership to the “CEA Greatest Anthology Written” Facebook group or email [email protected]

[email protected]

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