The Caine Prize Workshop in Zambia


18 March 2016

The Caine Prize in Zambia

Twelve writers from six African countries will convene at the Chaminuka Lodge near Lusaka for thirteen days (18 March – 29 March) to writ­­e, read and discuss work in progress and to learn from Jamal Mahjoub, the writer also known as Parker Bilal, and Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE, Caine Prize Deputy Chairperson, literary critic, editor and broadcaster. Both will act as tutors and animateurs.

This year's participants include the 2015 Caine Prize winner, Namwali Serpell (Zambia), as well as NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe); Chilufya Chilangwa (Zambia); Tope Folarin (Nigeria); Elnathan John (Nigeria); Billy Kahora (Kenya); Bwanga Kapumpa (Zambia); FT Kola (South Africa); Kafula Mwila (Zambia); Masande Ntshanga (South Africa); Timwa Lipenga (Malawi); and Okwiri Oduor (Kenya). 

Award-winning author Jamal Mahjoub, who, along with Ellah Allfrey, will facilitate the workshop this year, said: “The annual workshop allows writers a unique chance to develop their work and to see themselves as part of a literary community. It is always exciting to meet new writers and to help them realise their potential. The workshop is, in my view, one of the most important aspects of the Caine Prize.”

Director of the Caine Prize, Dr Lizzy Attree said: "As Namwali Serpell won the 2015 Caine Prize we are pleased to bring the workshop, for the first time, to her home in Zambia. We are also very pleased to be supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York.” Jonathan Taylor, Chair of the Caine Prize Council, added: “We are hugely grateful for the support of Carnegie Corporation of New York for this important workshop in Zambia, which is likely again to be the launch pad for many successful literary careers.”

During the workshop, the writers will be expected to write a short story for the 2016 Caine Prize anthology, which will be published in the UK by New Internationalist in the summer, and subsequently by a network of co-publishers. Alongside Interlink in the USA, eight African publishers receive a print ready PDF to print in their country, they include: Jacana Media (South Africa), Lantern Books (Nigeria), Kwani? (Kenya), Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana), FEMRITE (Uganda), Gadsden Publishers (Zambia), 'amaBooks (Zimbabwe) and Langaa (Cameroon).

The workshop will incorporate a visit to local schools and a public event.


Notes to Editors

About the Caine Prize

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.

This year 166 short stories from writers representing 23 African countries were received and entered into the 2016 Caine Prize. Last year 153 qualifying stories were submitted to the judges from 17 countries.

Full biographies of the 2016 judges are available at 

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, Jonathan Taylor CBE is the Chairman, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE 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 Tope Folarin (2013), Kenyan Okwiri Oduor (2014); and Zambian Namwali Serpell (2015). 

The five shortlisted stories, alongside stories written at Caine Prize workshop to be held in Zambia in March 2016, are published annually by New Internationalist (UK), Jacana Media (South Africa), LanternBooks (United States), Kwani? (Kenya), Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana), FEMRITE (Uganda), Bookworld Publishers (Zambia), Langaa Research and Publishing (Cameroon) and ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe). Books are available from the publishers or from the Africa Book Centre, African Books Collective or Amazon. 

The New Internationalist 2015 anthology was published in July 2015 (ISBN 978-1-78026-228-4) and is available at

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

Key dates:

·        Early May – shortlist announced

·        4 July – winner announced at a dinner in Oxford

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

Nick Stanton


020 7922 771