2017 Caine Prize Workshop in Tanzania heralds new co-publishers across the Horn and Eastern Africa

20 March 2017



Anthology to be co-published in Tanzania, Rwanda, Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan.

The fifteenth annual Caine Prize workshop is being held in Tanzania for the first time, and the 2017 anthology of short stories, 12 of which are written during the workshop, will be co-published by Tanzanian Company Mkuki na Nyota, in partnership with New Internationalist - who provide a print-ready pdf to African co-publishers free of charge. Mkuki Bgoya has been commissioned to design the cover of the anthology, which in 2017 will be co-published in 16 African countries, including Rwanda for the first time, with Huza Press. In addition the Redsea Cultural Foundation will co-publish the anthology in Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and UAE.

Director of the Caine Prize, Dr Lizzy Attree said: "We are excited to bring not only the workshop to Tanzania for the first time, but to also be partnering with Mkuki na Nyota to bring Caine Prize stories to a new audience.  Working with Huza Press and the Redsea Cultural Foundation also feels historic, as it doubles the number of countries that will now be able to access African short stories in Africa.  The Prize intends to continue building supportive partnerships with independent African publishers in order to uplift the valuable work they are already doing, reaching more readers and encouraging more writers on the African continent."

Eleven writers representing ten African countries will convene at the Travellers Lodge in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, for thirteen days (21 March – 2 April) to writ­­e, read and discuss work in progress and to learn from Elise Dillsworth, literary agent and co-founder of the Diversity in Publishing Network, and Mohammed Naseehu Ali, Ghanaian author of short stories and Professor of Creative Writing at New York University.

This year's participants include the 2016 Caine Prize winner, Lidudumalingani (South Africa), as well as previously shortlisted writers Abdul Adan (Somalia/Kenya), Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) and Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe). They will be joined by Cheryl Ntumy (Botswana/Ghana), Daniel Rafiki (Rwanda), Darla Rudakubana (Rwanda), Agazit Abate (Ethiopia), Esther Karin Mngodo (Tanzania), Lydia Kasese (Tanzania), and Zakariwa Riwa (Tanzania).

Short story author Mohammed Naseehu Ali, said: “As someone who benefited from the mentorship of established writers at the beginning of my career, I am always eager to give back when the opportunity arises. A writing workshop, be it in a school setting or informal environment such as the one held by the Caine Prize, does not only help participants with their writing but also gives them a peak into their lives as successful writers.”

During the workshop the writers are expected to write a short story for the 2017 Caine Prize anthology, which will be published by New Internationalist in the UK and Interlink in the US. The anthology will be co-published with partners in sixteen African countries; ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe), FEMRITE (Uganda), Gadsden Publishers (Zambia), Huza Press (Rwanda), Jacana Media (South Africa), Kwani? (Kenya), Mkuki na Nyota (Tanzania), Lantern Books (Nigeria), Redsea Cultural Foundation (Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and UAE) and Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana).

The eleven writers will visit local schools in the Bagamoyo area, offering students an opportunity to meet the writers and exchange ideas about creativity, writing, reading and literature.

A public event featuring readings in English and specially commissioned Kiswahili translations will be held on Saturday 1st April at 6.30pm at CDEA (Culture for Development East Africa).  This event is generously supported by Zansec, CDEA and the SOMA Book Cafe.

The 2017 workshop coincides with the Jalada Mobile Literary and Arts Festival’s journey through Tanzania, and it is hoped that Abdul Adan, 2016 Caine Prize shortlisted author, workshop participant and member of the Jalada collective, will take part in the #JaladaFestival event on Saturday 25th March in Dar es Salaam. Copies of the 2016 Caine Prize anthologies have also been included on the Jalada bus, which is visiting twelve towns in five countries: Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania between 3rd and 31st March. The books will be donated to schools and libraries as well as sold at events on the tour.



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 receive £500 each.

Fourteen Caine Prize writing workshops have been held to date, scheduled annually since 2003. Four have been held in South Africa, four in Kenya, and two in Ghana. Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe have each hosted one. Further workshops are planned elsewhere in Africa in the coming years.

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); ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe), FEMRITE (Uganda), Gadsden Publishers (Zambia), Huza Press (Rwanda), Interlink (USA), Jacana Media (South Africa), Kwani? (Kenya), Mkuki na Nyota (Tanzania), Lantern Books (Nigeria), Redsea Cultural Foundation (Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and UAE) and Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana).

Redsea Cultural Foundation is celebrating 10 years of Hargeysa International Book Fair which will take place 22-27 July with the theme "Connectivity". With so many African countries having direct access the 2017 anthology, it will support connectivity through literature within the African continent.

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 https://newint.org/books/fiction/caine-prize-2016/

The Interlink edition published in the USA (ISBN 781566560160) is available at http://www.interlinkbooks.com/product_info.php?products_id=3410

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 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