Judges are drawn from different literary fields including eminent journalists, broadcasters and academics with expertise and a connection to literature in Africa. Five stories are selected for the shortlist by the judges, with one being selected as the winner on the day of the award in July each year.
NII AYIKWEI PARKEs
A 2007 recipient of Ghana’s ACRAG award, Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a writer, editor and socio-cultural commentator. He is the author of the hybrid novel, Tail of the Blue Bird, which has been translated into Dutch, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Catalan and Japanese. Originally shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Prize, the book has gone on to win the Prix Baudelaire, Prix Mahogany and Prix Laure Bataillon. Nii serves on the editorial board of World Literature Today and in 2014 he was named as one of Africa's 39 most promising authors of the new generation. He is the director of the Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for Creative Writing at the African University College of Communications in Accra, the first of its kind in West Africa.
monica arac de nyeko
Monica Arac de Nyeko is from Uganda. She won the Caine Prize for African writing in 2007 for her story ‘Jambula Tree’. In 2014, she was named on the Africa39 list - as one of the most promising writers under the age of 40. She currently works for an international development agency in the Middle East. She is working on a novel.
Ghazi Gheblawi was born in Tripoli, Libya, where he studied medicine, and published his first works of fiction. He is the author of two collections of short stories in Arabic and has published various literary works in English in several publications in the UK. He runs and hosts Imtidad Cultural Blog and Podcast, which focuses on literature and arts in Britain and the Arab world. He was recently appointed a trustee of The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature. He is currently an editor at Darf Publishers an independent publishing house based in London.
Ricardo Ortiz is Associate Professor of US Latino Literature and Chair of the English Department at Georgetown University. Professor Ortiz is the author of Cultural Erotics in Cuban America (2007) and he has published articles in such journals as Studies in English Literature, The Yale Journal of Criticism, Social Text, Modern Drama, Contemporary Literature and GLQ, in addition to contributing chapters to numerous collected volumes, including The Queer Sixties, Aftermaths: Exile, Migration and Diaspora Reconsidered, Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader, and The Cambridge Companion to Latino American Literature. He is currently working on a book entitled The Testimonial Imagination: US Latino Literature and Cold War Geopolitics in the Americas.
Ranka Primorac was born in Zagreb, Croatia. She lived for many years in Harare, Zimbabwe, and is currently based in London. Ranka lectures at the Department of English at the University of Southampton, where one of her duties is supervising doctoral students of Creative Writing. She holds degrees from the Universities of Zagreb, Zimbabwe and Nottingham Trent. Her academic publications engage with the literatures and cultures of Southern Africa; her monograph is entitled The Place of Tears: The Novel and Politics in Modern Zimbabwe; she sits on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Commonwealth Studies and the Advisory Board of Journal of Southern African Studies. She recently became a Senior Research Associate with the Department of English at the university currently known as Rhodes in South Africa. Together with Yale’s Stephanie Newell, she co-edits the Boydell and Brewer African Articulations monograph series.