The theme of the 2014 anthology is speculative fiction and SSDA received entries from 104 writers, with 18 having been chosen for publication.
The authors are: Gail Dendy, Diane Awerbuck, Sylvia Schlettwein, Chinelo Onwualu, Mary Okon Ononokpono, Phillip Steyn, Dilman Dila, Pwaangulongii Benrawangya, Kerstin Hall, Toby Bennett, Cat Hellisen, Jekwu Ozoemene, Brendan Ward, Sarah Jane Woodward, Sese Yane, Mishka Hoosen, Jason Mykl Snyman and Nick Mulgrew.
All 18 authors will now be passed on to Richard de Nooy, Jared Shurin and Samuel Kolawole, who will reduce the number to a shortlist of five or six, which will be passed on to Nnedi Okorafor, who will pick the final winners.
Two authors who made it into last year’s anthology Feast, Famine and Potluck – Efemia Chela and winner Okwiri Oduor – had their stories shortlisted for the Caine Prize, with Oduor winning the coveted award.
Congratulations to those on the longlist!
Hot on the heels of Okwiri Oduor’s Caine Prize win for ‘My Father’s Head’, published through Short Story Day Africa, we are pleased to announce a long list of eighteen stories that will make up our 2014 anthology, Terra Incognita.
2014 is Short Story Day Africa’s year of speculative fiction. Speculative fiction gives writers a way to discuss issues without wheeling out the tropes and the poverty porn and the Oxfam goats. Earlier this year we sent out a call for all your fantasy, sci-fi, horror, alternative history and magical realism, just about anything that fell into spec fic genre. The theme, Terra Incognita, asked writers to take us into unknown places, break moulds, rethink the way we tell our stories.
The call for entries was answered by 104 writers, not all of whom paid attention to the genre specifications or theme. After those were axed, (sorry people, we were very specific) we were left with 94 eligible stories. Over a period of one month, a team of dedicated readers whittled away at the entries, sending us their comments and a rating out of 10. Each entry was read by two readers, which sometimes led to vastly disparate opinions on the same story, which led to rereading, arguing and discussion at SSDA HQ. Many of the stories ended up being read by three or four readers.
And so, I present a list of eighteen* – some polished and professional, some rough diamonds – that will make up this year’s anthology.
1. Gail Dendy 2. Diane Awerbuck 3. Sylvia Schlettwein 4. Chinelo Onwualu 5. Mary Okon Ononokpono 6. Phillip Steyn 7. Dilman Dila 8. Pwaangulongii Benrawangya 9. Kerstin Hall 10. Toby Bennett 11. Cat Hellisen 12. Jekwu Ozoemene 13. Brendan Ward 14. Sarah Jane Woodward 15. Sese Yane 16. Mishka Hoosen 17. Jason Mykl Snyman 18. Nick Mulgrew
While we begin our work with the eighteen writers to get these stories publication ready, they will pass through the hands of Richard de Nooy (a.k.a. Judge Dread), Jared Shurin (a.k.a. Pornokitsch) and Samuel Kolawole (a.k.a. The Godfather), who will whittle them down to five or six. That shortlist will be handed over to Nnedi Okorafor who will pick the final winners.
None of this would have been possible without the wonderful people who gave up their time to help us read. A special thank you goes out to: Susan Newham Blake; Beatrice Lamwaka; Maya Fowler; Dave de Burgh; Gail Schimmel; Sheryl Kavin; Sharon Tshipa; Tiah Beautement; Rahala Xenopolous; Judy Smee Dixon; Iain Thomas; Carine Englebrecht; Summaya Lee; Aoife Lennon-Ritchie; Karen Jennings; Henrietta Rose-Innes; Bontle Senne; Bronwyn Stewart; Ayesha Kajee; Dominique Phoeleli; Margot Bertelsmann; Lisa Lazarus and Nerine Dorman.
Congratulations to all the writers who made the list.
* As the reading and judging process are blind, we are releasing only the names of the writers and not the titles of the stories.