The Caine Prize receives 147 submissions from 20 African countries


19 March 2018

 Submissions received for this year's Caine Prize for African Writing – representing 20 African countries

Submissions received for this year's Caine Prize for African Writing – representing 20 African countries

The Caine Prize for African Writing, now in its nineteenth year, has received 147 qualifying short stories from 20 African countries. This year’s entries sees a diversity of stories from across the continent, with representation from writers representing North, East, Southern and West African countries.

The 2018 judges, who were announced at the end of last year, will meet in April to decide on the 5 shortlisted stories. Each shortlisted writer will be awarded £500, with the eventual winner awarded a £10,000 prize.

Commenting on the entries, Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley, Chair of the Caine Prize, said: "As ever, it is encouraging that we continue to attract a large number of submissions from talented African writers. This year’s entries are particularly varied, and I am pleased to see such a wide range of countries represented on the list, including Egypt, Libya, The Republic of Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana and Cameroon. The judges will now have the enviable task of reading each submission to produce their shortlist”.

Following the success of last year’s event, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London will host the Caine Prize award dinner for the second time. The winner will be announced at Senate House on Monday 2 July 2018. The five shortlisted stories, alongside the stories written at the annual Caine Prize workshop, are published annually by New Internationalist in the UK and Interlink in the US. In 2018 the anthologies will be co-published with partners in nine African countries; ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe), Gadsden Publishers (Zambia), FEMRITE (Uganda), Huza Press (Rwanda), Jacana Media (South Africa), Kwani? (Kenya), Mkuki na Nyota (Tanzania), Lantern Books (Nigeria), Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana) and Redsea Cultural Foundation (Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and UAE).

This year’s workshop, which will be the sixteenth, will be held in Rwanda and coordinated by Vimbai Shire, and co-facilitated by Elise Dillsworth, literary agent, and Damon Galgut, South African writer. Caine Prize workshops are held in Africa for writers who have been shortlisted for the Caine Prize and other talented writers who have come to the Prize’s attention through the selection process. Each workshop consists of 12 writers from different African countries, who convene for ten days to read and discuss work in progress and to learn from two more experienced writers, who act as tutors or animateurs. Stories produced at the writers’ workshop are published in the Caine Prize Anthology and are submitted by New Internationalist to the competition in subsequent years.


Notes to Editors

The Caine Prize, awarded annually for African creative writing, is named after the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc and Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee for nearly 25 years.

The Prize is awarded for a short story by an African writer published in English (indicative length 3,000 to 10,000 words). An African writer is taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, or who is a national of an African country, or who has a parent who is African by birth or nationality.

The African winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Wole Soyinka and J M Coetzee, are Patrons of The Caine Prize. Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne is President of the Council, Ben Okri OBE is Vice President, Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley is the Chair, Adam Freudenheim is the Deputy Chairperson and Dr Lizzy Attree is the Director.

Previous winners are Sudan’s Leila Aboulela (2000), Nigerian Helon Habila (2001), Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina (2002), Kenyan Yvonne Owuor (2003), Zimbabwean Brian Chikwava (2004), Nigerian Segun Afolabi (2005), South African Mary Watson (2006), Ugandan Monica Arac de Nyeko (2007), South African Henrietta Rose-Innes (2008), Nigerian EC Osondu (2009), Sierra Leonean Olufemi Terry (2010), Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo (2011), Nigerian Rotimi Babatunde (2012), Nigerian Tope Folarin (2013), Kenyan Okwiri Oduor (2014), Zambian Namwali Serpell (2015), and South African Lidudumalingani (2016); and Sudanese writer, Bushra al-Fadil (2017).

The five shortlisted stories, alongside stories written at Caine Prize workshop held in Tanzania in March 2017, are published annually by New Internationalist (UK), Interlink Publishing (USA), Jacana Media (South Africa), Lantern Books (Nigeria), Kwani? (Kenya), Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana), FEMRITE (Uganda), ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe), Mkuki na Nyota (Tanzania), Redsea Cultural Foundation (Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and UAE), Gadsden Publishers (Zambia) and Huza Press (Rwanda). Books are available from the publishers or from the Africa Book Centre, African Books Collective or Amazon. This 2017 anthology is titled, The Goddess of Mtwara and Other Stories.

The Caine Prize is principally supported by The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, The Miles Morland Foundation, The Carnegie Corporation, the Booker Prize Foundation, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Royal Over-Seas League and John and Judy Niepold. Other funders and partners include, The British Council, Georgetown University (USA), The Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice, The van Agtmael Family Charitable Fund, Rupert and Clare McCammon, Adam and Victoria Freudenheim, Arindam Bhattacherjee, Phillip Ihenacho and other generous donors.

For more information

Henry Gilliver

020 7922 7719

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The Caine Prize is looking for a new Administrator



The Caine Prize for African Writing is one of the world’s leading literary awards. With offices in Central London, the Caine Prize works with publishers, schools, literary and cultural organisations in Africa and the diaspora to promote African writers.


The Caine Prize Administrator

An administrative all-rounder with an informed interest in the literature of Africa and its diaspora, you will bring your organizational skills to working with the board of trustees, writers and key partners to undertake the day-to-day management of the Caine Prize.

You will have excellent interpersonal and communication abilities, a competence with new technologies and the ability to act as the linchpin for this creative organization.


Job Description

The successful applicant will be responsible for the administration of the Prize.

Reporting to: The Chair and The Board of Trustees

Liaising with: the part-time Web Content editor, publishers, PR company and Chair.


Specific tasks include to:

·        Organise and check the eligibility of entries to the Prize

·        Support the Chair, the Trustees and Council of the Prize

·        Invite judges and administer their meetings.

·        Plan and arrange literary events for the shortlisted writers

·        In association with the outside PR firm, plan the annual prize dinner and oversee the accompanying publicity handled by the outside PR firm

·        Work with partner organizations in the UK, US and Africa to expand the Prize and develop new ventures

·        Undertake basic online book-keeping and, with the support of the Trustees and the accountant, oversee the budget and accounts for the Prize.


Essential Skills

·        Minimum three years experience working in either a charity, small business or an arts organization.

·        Interest in contemporary African literature.

·        Excellent written English to produce reports, grant applications and business correspondence and take minutes.

·        Demonstrable planning and project management skills with the ability to prioritize effectively and meet deadlines

·        Ability to work on your own initiative and flexible in dealing with the varying demands of the role.

·        Conversant with Microsoft Office packages.

·        Ability to work collaboratively with other team members, PR and other companies.

·        Ability to create and maintain records, office systems

·        Basic book-keeping and reporting on finance

·        Demonstrable creative approach to developing digital content, including blogs and video.

N.B: This is a part-time role throughout the year, but given the annual cycle of the prize there will periods when more or less time is required and the administrator will be expected to work accordingly.

Salary:   £30-35,000 (pro-rata) for a 20-hour week.


Job Application

Application is by CV, along with a covering letter describing what skills and experience you would bring to the Caine Prize and why the job interests you, two referees, and the Equal Opportunities monitoring form, which may be submitted by email or post to either of the following addresses.

The Chair, The Caine Prize for African Writing,  (Job Application) 51 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU.

Closing date: April 5 2018.

Interviews will be held on 20 April 2018.

The Caine Prize is an equal opportunity employer.

Caine Prize statement – from the Board of Trustees

Dr Lizzy Attree, who has served as Director of the Caine Prize for African Writing as a part-time consultant for seven years, is leaving the organisation. The Board of Trustees has paid tribute to the work Lizzy has done throughout her tenure, and wishes her well with the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize and her other projects. The Board is grateful for Lizzy’s commitment and contributions to the continued growth of the Caine Prize, which is recognised as a leading literary award. An announcement regarding the future administration of the Prize will follow in due course.

Caine Prize 2018 Judging Panel Announced

The Caine Prize for African Writing has announced the five judges for the 2018 Prize. Georgetown University’s nomination to the panel, Dinaw Mengestu, will serve as the Chair of judges. An award winning Ethiopian-American novelist and writer, Dinaw is the former Chair in Poetry at the Lannan Foundation at Georgetown. He will be joined by: Henrietta Rose-Innes, South African author and winner of the 2008 Caine Prize; Lola Shoneyin, award winning author and Director of the Ake Arts and Books Festival; Alain Mabanckou, world-renowned writer and Professor of Literature at UCLA; and Ahmed Rajab, a Zanzibar-born international journalist, political analyst and essayist.

Chair of the Caine Prize for African Writing, Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley, included in Powerlist 2018

Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley has been included in the 2018 Powerlist, which honours the most influential people of African or African Caribbean heritage in the UK. Her inclusion recognises the significance of her appointment as the first African Chair of the Caine Prize for African Writing. The Powerlist is published annually by Powerful Media, and was this year announced at an “influencers dinner” at Draper’s Hall, London.

Bushra al-Fadil wins 18th Caine Prize for African Writing

Bushra al-Fadil has won the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled “The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away”, translated by Max Shmookler, with support from Najlaa Osman Eltom published in The Book of Khartoum - A City in Short Fiction (Comma Press, UK. 2016). The Chair of Judges, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, announced Bushra al-Fadil as the winner of the £10,000 prize at an award dinner this evening (Monday, 3 July) held for the first time in Senate House, London, in partnership with SOAS as part of their centenary celebrations. As a translated story, the prize money will be split – with £7,000 going to Bushra and £3,000 to the translator, Max Shmookler.

2017 Caine Prize Shortlist Announced

The five-writer shortlist for the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced by Chair of judges, award winning author, poet and editor, Nii Ayikwei Parkes. The list includes a former Caine Prize shortistee and features a story translated form Arabic for the second time in the 18 year history of the Prize.

Nii Parkes said the shortlist ‘reveals the depth and strength of short story writing from Africa and its diaspora.’