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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