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Urgent Call for Entries: Africa39

Ntone Edjabe and Binyavanga Wainana

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

Africa 39 Call for Entries by Books LIVE

 

Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    December 4th, 2013 @08:07 #
     
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    Right! I'll start. Some writers that come immediately to mind (I'm assuming they're all under 40):

    Kgebetli Moele
    Lauren Beukes
    Nthikeng Mohlele
    SA Partridge
    Redi Tlhabi
    Karen Jayes
    Sifiso Mzobe
    Ceridwen Dovey

    Please add to the list!

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  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    December 4th, 2013 @08:42 #
     
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    I think Nuvuyo Rosa Tshuma should be on that list.

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  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    December 4th, 2013 @09:04 #
     
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    Jamala Safari is 28 (!)
    Thando Mgqolozana is 30
    Charlie Human is 30-something. 34? 32? Definitely in age range.
    Diane Awerbuck is 39
    Savannah Lotz (Lily Herne) is 22
    Mary Watson Seoighe is 37 (like me a 1976 baby) and I think Zukiswa Wanner is too.

    I am pretty sure these others are also under 39, but I'm crap at telling age, so please do confirm:
    Yewande Omotoso
    Siphiwo Mahala

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  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    December 4th, 2013 @09:24 #
     
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    Oh I'm pretty sure Tendai Huchu (Hairdresser of Harare) also qualifes
    NoViolet Bulawayo (obviously)

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  • Lindsay
    Lindsay
    December 4th, 2013 @09:39 #
     
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    I'll second Yewande Omotoso assuming she qualifies.

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  • Ester
    Ester
    December 4th, 2013 @09:58 #
     
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    From the Jacana stable:
    Thando Mgqolozana
    Tuelo Gabonewe
    Siphiwo Mahala, seconded. (Apparently he's 39 ;-) )
    Kopano Matlwa

    And the lovely Maya Fowler!

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  • Ester
    Ester
    December 4th, 2013 @10:02 #
     
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    And oh gosh, a whole handful of writers writing in Afrikaans! I'm sure Willem Anker would qualify, as a start.

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  • <a href="http://mayafowler.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Maya</a>
    Maya
    December 4th, 2013 @10:40 #
     
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    Thanks Ester! Yes, I turned 33 recently.

    Other names: I think Cynthia Jele is in the age range

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    December 4th, 2013 @10:46 #
     
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    Adeline Radloff
    Andy Peterson
    Thando Mgqolozana
    Henrietta Rose Innes

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  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    December 4th, 2013 @11:11 #
     
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    I think Henrietta just missed it (but she has the Caine!). Ditto Sarah Lotz.

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  • <a href="http://henriettaroseinnes.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    Henrietta
    December 4th, 2013 @11:13 #
     
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    Haha, thanks Sally. Actually I'm 16, so probably not legal for this.

    Nadia Davids
    Greg Fried
    C.A. Davids
    Angela Makholwa
    John van de Ruit

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  • <a href="http://henriettaroseinnes.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    Henrietta
    December 4th, 2013 @11:18 #
     
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    Masande Ntshanga
    Marli Roode
    Nerine Dorman
    Songeziwe Mahlangu

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  • <a href="http://liesljobson.bookslive.co.za" rel="nofollow">Liesl</a>
    Liesl
    December 4th, 2013 @14:09 #
     
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    Karen Jennings
    Genna Gardini
    Brett Petzer
    Leila Bloch

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  • Friederike
    Friederike
    December 4th, 2013 @14:20 #
     
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    Look at Gilbert Gatore. He is 32, Rwandan living in France. Here is the link to his recently translated novel, THE PAST AHEAD. Reviewed by me.
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Past-Ahead-Global-African/dp/025300666X

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  • Friederike
    Friederike
    December 4th, 2013 @14:23 #
     
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    Yejide Kilanko, Nigerian living in Canads
    Tendai Hutu, Zimbabwe, currently in Germany I believe

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  • <a href="http://crystalwarren.wordpess.com" rel="nofollow">Crystal Warren</a>
    Crystal Warren
    December 4th, 2013 @14:41 #
     
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    Sello Mahapeletso
    Richard Mason
    Kagiso Lesego Molope
    Nick Paige

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  • <a href="http://crystalwarren.wordpess.com" rel="nofollow">Crystal Warren</a>
    Crystal Warren
    December 4th, 2013 @15:00 #
     
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    Apologies for the lack of commas, I thought I was getting a list. Also big apologies to Paige Nick for transposing her name.

    Some other possibilities, but I don't know for sure how old they are:
    Maxine Case, Tendai Huchu, Rosamund Kendal, Alex Smith, Zukiswa Wanner

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    December 4th, 2013 @16:43 #
     
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    Kate White

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  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    December 4th, 2013 @17:06 #
     
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    Just a reminder that putting people forward here does not count as an actual nomination.

    You still have to fill in the actual nomination paperwork or nag the author / their publisher to fill it in themselves (self-nominating is allowed).

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    December 4th, 2013 @17:15 #
     
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    Thanks, L - Books LIVE will also send out prompts.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    December 4th, 2013 @22:43 #
     
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    Gosh, what a lot of spring chickens! Alex Smith misses the cut-off by mere months. Tom Eaton is 36, and I suspect Petina Gappah is also in that age range. Zinaid Meeran? Looking at the names of all these 20 and 30-something babies makes me feel very optimistic and rosy about the future of Southern African writing...

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  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    December 5th, 2013 @12:31 #
     
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    Yewande is closer to 30 than 40. She's a definite.
    Meg Vandermerwe
    Fiona Snyckers

    Sadly some of the other most promising Modjaji writers are over 40.

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    December 11th, 2013 @12:13 #
     
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    Submissions are about to close - don't forget to enter!

    https://twitter.com/Africa39list/status/410535083070984192

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