Alert! Kenyan author and nascent literary superstar Binyavanga Wainaina has been put in charge of the “Africa39” list, which has come into being to recognise the 39 “most promising fiction authors under the age of 40 from Africa South of the Sahara and diaspora”.
He needs your help identifying them.
The Africa39 project was launched as part of Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s World Book Capital 2014 programme of activities. The city hosts the Port Harcourt Book Festival, which has gained prominence on the world book event calendar in the past several years.
The Africa39 list is “only open to African writers”, according to the entry rules (see embed below). The definition of “African writers” – such a slippery slope – is given as follows:
By African writer we mean that you are a resident of; or were born in one of the countries listed below. By African writers, we also mean that any writer who has one or more parents from any of these countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Réunion, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Saint Helena, São Tomé and Príncipe Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Writers from the Diaspora(s) of any one or more of the countries listed above are encouraged to apply.
Agents and publishers can apply to have writers who meet the criteria included on the list, as can the writers themselves.
There is a small contradiction on the entry rules form, which first says that only writers “under the age of 40″ may enter, then says it’s writers “under the age of 39″. But in the bullet-pointed rules section, the picture becomes clear:
Writers must be under 40 years of age (born after January 1st, 1974).
Shall we help Wainaina with southern Africa’s list? Let’s compile a list of the most promising fiction writers from our region under the age of 40 in the comments section below.
Books LIVE will then contact the authors and/or their publishers to encourage them to enter for consideration.
Good luck to all entrants!
Complete entry rules and criteria