New partnership agreed between The Caine Prize for African Writing and SOAS, University of London

New partnership agreed between The Caine Prize for African Writing and SOAS, University of London


14 May 2019

New partnership agreed between The Caine Prize for African Writing and SOAS, University of London

SOAS to host annual Caine Prize award ceremony for next ten years

London UK, 14 May 2019  -- The Caine Prize for African Writing and SOAS, University of London, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), setting out the arrangements for SOAS to host the annual Caine Prize award dinner for the next ten years. The agreement was signed by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE, Chair of The Caine Prize for African Writing, and Baroness Valerie Amos, Director of SOAS, at a ceremony in London on Monday 13 May.

Now in its twentieth year, the Caine Prize was first hosted by SOAS in 2016 as part of the university’s centenary celebrations. Following the event’s success, the Caine Prize award ceremony was hosted again by SOAS in 2017. The MOU ensures this relationship will continue for at least the next ten years, with the two institutions looking for opportunities for closer collaboration throughout that period.

In addition to the annual award ceremony, SOAS will also host a public event with each year’s shortlisted writers, providing an opportunity for anyone with an interest in African literature to get involved in the Caine Prize and hear directly from the authors themselves.

Commenting on the agreement, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE, Chair of the Caine Prize, said: “The Caine Prize is grateful to SOAS for the support they have provided over the last two years, and I am delighted that this will continue for the foreseeable future. Central to the ethos of both organisations is the commitment to foster greater awareness, appreciation and understanding of literature and culture from across the African continent, which underpins this historic agreement.”

SOAS Director Baroness Amos said: “We are honoured to continue our collaboration with the Caine Prize and with the talented writers it recognises. At SOAS we have a long history of scholarship, research and teaching in African art and literature. Since the admittance of our first students in 1917, Swahili and Bantu languages have been taught at the School. We look forward to seeing the influence and impact that the next generation of African writers will continue to bring.”

The twentieth winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing will be announced on 8 July at a ceremony in Senate House, hosted by SOAS. The public event with the shortlisted authors will be announced later this year.



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, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE is the Chair, Adam Freudenheim is the Deputy Chairperson and Dele Fatunla is the Administrator.

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), South African Lidudumalingani (2016), Sudanese writer, Bushra al-Fadil (2017), and Kenyan, Makena Onjerika (2018).

Each year the five shortlisted stories, alongside stories written at the Caine Prize workshop, are published 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. The 2018 anthology was titled Redemption Song 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

James Killin
020 7922 7719

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