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2016 Caine Prize for African Writing shortlist announced

2016 Caine Prize for African Writing judging panel announced
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Alert! The shortlist for the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced.

The 2016 shortlist includes a former Caine Prize winner – Tope Folarin – and a former regional winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize – Lesley Nneka Arimah.

Incredible JourneyTwo of the stories come from the 2015 Short Sharp Stories anthology, Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You.

Announcing the shortlist, chair of judges Delia Jarrett-Macauley called it “an engrossing, well-crafted and dauntless pack of stories”, and commented on the high number of science fiction and fantasy entries.

“The high standard of the entries was clear throughout and particularly noteworthy was the increasing number of fantasy fictions [with] the sci-fi trend resonating in several excellent stories,” she said.

“My fellow judges commented on the pleasure of reading the stories, the gift of being exposed to the exciting short fictions being produced by African writers today and the general shift away from politics towards more intimate subjects – though recent topics such as the Ebola crisis were being wrestled with.

“It was inspiring to note the amount of risk-taking in both subject matter and style, wild or lyrical voices matching the tempered measured prose writers, and stories tackling uneasy topics, ranging from an unsettling, unreliable narrator’s tale of airport scrutiny, to a science-fictional approach towards the measurement of grief, a young child’s coming to grips with family dysfunction, the big drama of rivalling siblings and the silent, numbing effects of loss.

“The panel is proud to have shortlisted writers from across the continent, finding stories that are compelling, well-crafted and thought-provoking.”

2016 Caine Prize for African Writing shortlist:


The winner of the £10,000 (about R220,000) prize will be announced at an award ceremony and dinner at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford, United Kingdom on Monday, 4 July. Each shortlisted writer will also receive £500.

Each of the stories will be published in New Internationalist’s 2016 Caine Prize Anthology in July and through co-publishers across Africa.

Related stories:

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