Caine Prize 2017 Judging Panel Announced


12 December 2016

Caine Prize 2017 judging panel announced

The Caine Prize for African Writing has announced the five judges for the 2017 Prize. The panel will be chaired by Nii Ayikwei Parkes, award winning author, poet and editor. He will be joined by the 2007 Caine Prize winner, Monica Arac de Nyeko; accomplished author and Chair of the English Department at Georgetown University, Professor Ricardo Ortiz; Libyan author and human rights campaigner, Ghazi Gheblawi; and distinguished African literary scholar, Dr Ranka Primorac.

The 2017 Chair of Judges, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, said: "I have been a consumer of fiction from Africa for close to four decades, revelling in its range, its humour, its insights and dynamic linguistic palette. So, I am ecstatic to be asked to chair the panel for this year's Caine Prize and look forward to working with this incredible assembly of judges. There is, of course, the selfish pleasure, as an editor, of getting a first look at some of the finest writing coming from the continent and its foreign branches."

The deadline for submissions to the 2017 Caine Prize is 31 January. Publishers are encouraged to submit qualifying stories in good time. Submissions are welcome year round and late submissions will be entered in to the competition for the following year.

The judging panel will meet in May 2017 to determine which entries will make the shortlist. An announcement confirming the shortlist will be made in mid-May.

For the first time in the 18 year history of the Caine Prize, the award will be announced on Monday 3 July at Senate House, London, in collaboration with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), which is celebrating its centenary.

“Memories We Lost”, by South African author Lidudumalingani, won the 2016 Prize and is included in the Caine Prize 2016 anthology, The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things, published by New Internationalist in the UK and supplied as a print ready PDF to several African co-publishers.

Commenting on “Memories We Lost”, Chair of the 2016 judging panel, Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley, said: “This is a troubling piece, depicting the great love between two young siblings in a beautifully drawn Eastern Cape. Multi-layered, and gracefully narrated, this short story leaves the reader full of sympathy and wonder at the plight of its protagonists”.


Notes to Editors

The Caine Prize of £10,000 is awarded annually 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.  Shortlisted writers received £500 each.

The Prize, awarded 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 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 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).

The five shortlisted stories, alongside the 12 stories written at the Caine Prize annual workshop, are published annually by New Internationalist (UK); Jacana Media (South Africa); Lantern Books (Nigeria); Kwani? (Kenya); Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana); FEMRITE (Uganda); Interlink (USA); Gadsden Publishers (Zambia); and ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe). Books are available from the publishers or from the Africa Book Centre, African Books Collective or Amazon.

The New Internationalist edition was published in July 2016 (ISBN 978-1-78026-320-5) and is available at

The Interlink edition published in the USA (ISBN 781566560160) is available at

The Caine Prize is supported by The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, The Miles Morland Foundation, The Carnegie Corporation, the Booker Prize Foundation, Sigrid Rausing & Eric Abraham, The British Council, The Wyfold Charitable Trust, the Royal Over-Seas League, Commonwealth Writers, an initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, John and Judy Niepold, Adam and Victoria Freudenheim,  Arindam Bhattacherjee and other generous donors.

Key dates 2017:

  • 31 January: Entry deadline

  • Mid-May: Shortlist announced

  • 3 July: Winner decided and announced in London

For further information, photos or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Henry Gilliver

020 7922 7719

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