Caine Prize receives 148 entries from 22 African countries

28 February 2017



In its eighteenth year, the Caine Prize for African Writing has received 148 qualifying short stories from 22 African countries, bringing the total number of eligible submissions since the inception of the Prize to over 1,600 from 47 African countries.

The 2017 judges, who were announced at the end of last year, will meet in mid May to decide on the 5 shortlisted stories. Each shortlisted writer will be awarded £500, with the eventual winner awarded a £10,000 prize.

The Award-winning author and poet, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, will Chair the judging panel. He will be joined by the 2007 Caine Prize winner, Monica Arac de Nyeko; distinguished 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, University of Southampton.

Caine Prize Director, Dr Lizzy Attree, commented on the entries, saying: "We are delighted that the number of countries represented among the authors submitted has remained high and this year we have received eligible entries from Niger and Swaziland for the first time. Nations with long histories of representation in both our shortlist and previous winners feature again, with a record number of entries from Nigeria, but we are pleased to see an increase in entries from Sudan, as well as Gambia, Lesotho, Liberia, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tanzania.”
For the first time the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London will host the Caine Prize award dinner as part of their programme celebrating its centenary year. The winner will be announced at Senate House on Monday 3 July 2017.

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 2017 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) and Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana).

This year’s workshop, which will be the fifteenth, will be held in Tanzania.  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. Shortlisted for the 2016 Caine Prize, ‘The Lifebloom Gift’ first appeared in The Gonjon Pin (New Internationalist, 2014), having been written by Abdul Adan at the writer’s workshop in Zimbabwe.




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, 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).

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); Huza Press (Rwanda); Lantern Books (Nigeria); Kwani? (Kenya); Mkuki na Nyota (Tanzania); Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana); FEMRITE (Uganda); Interlink (USA); Gadsden Publishers (Zambia); and ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe).

Books are available from the publishers direct 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 principally 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 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, Worldreader 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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