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2016 Short Sharp Stories Awards shortlist announced

2016 Short Sharp Stories Awards shortlist announced
Adults OnlyBloody SatisfiedIncredible Journey


Alert! The shortlist for the 2016 Short Sharp Stories Awards has been announced.

The Short Sharp Stories Awards is an annual short story competition made possible by the National Arts Festival. Previous anthologies of winning stories include crime fiction (Bloody Satisfied), sexy stories (Adults Only), and incredible journeys (Incredible Journey).

The Short Sharp Stories Awards recently won a National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences Book, Creative and Digital Award for Best Edited Fiction Volume.


This year’s theme is “Die Laughing” and the judges were Ken Barris, Karina Szczurek and Karabo Kgoleng.

Congratulations to all 20 authors on the shortlist!

2016 Short Sharp Stories Awards shortlist

  • “This Could Get Messy” by Greg Lazarus
  • “Learning A New Language” by Fred Khumalo
  • “The Seduction Of Ozzie Stone” by Stephen Symons
  • “Angel Heart” by Kobus Moolman
  • “‘Dehydrates’ vs ‘Rehydrates’” by Charles Kusner
  • “The Derby” by Ofentse Ribane
  • “This Is Not A Joke, Maureen” by Gail Schimmel
  • “The Pushmi-Pullyu Equation” by Barbara Erasmus
  • “Jim Goes To Durban” by Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay
  • “Go Big Or Die Trying” by Glen Thompson
  • “Number One With A Bullet” by Christopher McMichael
  • “Don’t Give Up, Will” by Raphael D’Abdon
  • “Homeful” by Lester Walbrugh
  • “The Cracks” by Stephen Buabeng-Baidoo
  • “The Mother (F***ing) City” by Mia Arderne
  • “Keeping Up With Mkhulu And Gogo” by Andile Cele
  • “The Viewing Room” by Diane Awerbuck
  • “The Prank” by Janine Milne
  • “James Bond Is From Pretoria West” by Werner Pretorius
  • “Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You!” by Kristien Potgieter

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Call for submissions from African writers for the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Migrations Flow Workshops

Call for submissions from African writers for the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Migrations Flow Workshops


Short Story Day Africa in partnership with the Goethe-Institut invite submissions to a series of free one-day workshops across the continent.

The seven Migrations Flow Workshops are designed to assist writers working on an entry to the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize.

Stories by African writers on the theme of Migrations are eligible for the R10,000 prize, and will be collected into an anthology, the fourth to be published by the Pan African project, which is based in Cape Town.

Space at the workshops is limited and writers wishing to attend should send a 200 word writing sample to by 1 June.

“The success of the three Water Flow Workshops held in southern Africa last year resulted in writers across the continent approaching us to hold workshops in their cities,” SSDA’s Rachel Zadok says. “We are delighted that our new partnership with the Goethe Institut has allowed us to responds to that call.”

The Migrations Flow Workshops will be held on 18 June, 2016 in Lagos (Nigeria), Windhoek, (Nigeria), Yaoundé (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya), Johannesburg (South Africa), and 25 June, 2016 in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).

Short Story Day Africa
Feast, Famine and PotluckTerra IncognitaWater


Related stories:

About Short Story Day Africa

In the five years since inception, Short Story Day Africa has developed a survival ethos: to subvert and reclaim. Reclaim the place of the short story. Reclaim a space for non-conformist writing. Subvert ideas about what it means to be a writer in Africa. Subvert ideas about what makes a story African.

Using a variety of interventions, Short Story Day Africa brings together writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, teachers and school children from all over the globe to write, submit, read, workshop and discuss stories – and foster the love of reading and writing African fiction.

The Short Story Day Africa Prize and resulting anthology have become a highlight in the African literary calendar. Details of the prize can be found here.

Contact Rachel Zadok on +27 21 447 3731 for further details.

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The best African books

The best African books


To celebrate Africa Day, we asked our Books LIVE community what their favourite African books were.

You can suggest contemporary books or classics, fiction or non-fiction. The list is a work in progress. If you feel something is missing, let us know on Twitter @BooksLIVESA or

Without further ado, the best African books – as chosen by you!
Do Not Go GentleDo Not Go Gentle by Futhi Ntshingila
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EAN: 9781920590505
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Sweet MedicineSweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi
EAN: 9781928337126
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MalikhanyeMalikhanye by Mxolisi Nyezwa
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EAN: 9780958491594
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Born on a TuesdayBorn on a Tuesday by Elnathan John
EAN: 9781911115021
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Season of Crimson BlossomsSeason of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
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EAN: 9781911115007
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Easy Motion TouristEasy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle
EAN: 9781911115069
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The Lazarus EffectThe Lazarus Effect by H J Golakai
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EAN: 9780795703195
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Half of a Yellow Sun Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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EAN: 9780007200283
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Say You're One of ThemSay You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan
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EAN: 9780349120645
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In Corner BIn Corner B by Es’kia Mphahlele
EAN: 9780143106029
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Lost and Found in JohannesburgLost and Found in Johannesburg by Mark Gevisser
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EAN: 9781868425884
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We Need New NamesWe Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
EAN: 9780099581888
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Portrait with KeysPortrait with Keys: Joburg and what-what by Ivan Vladislavic
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EAN: 9781415200209
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Nervous ConditionsNervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
EAN: 9780954702335
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Purple HibiscusPurple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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EAN: 9780007189885
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UnimportanceUnimportance by Thando Mgqolozana
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EAN: 9781431409525
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The ReactiveThe Reactive by Masande Ntshanga
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EAN: 9781415207192
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African DelightsAfrican Delights by Siphiwo Mahala
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EAN: 9781431402519
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Half of a Yellow Sun Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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EAN: 9780007200283
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Under the Udala TreesUnder the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
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EAN: 9781847088369
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The Book of MemoryThe Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
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EAN: 9780571249626
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AffluenzaAffluenza by Niq Mhlongo
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EAN: 9780795706967
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What Will People SayWhat Will People Say by Rehana Rossouw
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EAN: 9781431420247
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The FishermenThe Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
EAN: 9780957548862
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The Woman Next DoorThe Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
EAN: 9781784740344
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EfuruEfuru by Flora Nwapa
EAN: 9780435900267
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Second Class CitizenSecond Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta
EAN: 9780807610664
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'A damn fine collection of stories!' Tjieng Tjang Tjerries by Jolyn Phillips launched at The Book Lounge

Jolyn Phillips

Tjieng Tjang Tjerries by Jolyn Phillips is “something that has not been done before,” said Mervyn Sloman of The Book Lounge, where the book was launched to a full house recently.

Many of the guests had come from Gansbaai by taxi to celebrate Phillips’s success. Tjieng Tjang Tjerries is a remarkable book that reflects something different in the South African literary canon, bringing South African readers a unique new literary flavour.

Meg Vandermerwe and Jolyn PhillipsTjieng Tjang Tjerries and other storiesSloman said the power of Tjieng Tjang Tjerries went beyond the use of language and Phillips’ representation of the Gansbaai’s fishing community. The author, who is a Mandela Rhodes scholar, was joined in a fascinating conversation with Meg Vandermerwe, who supervised her MA in Creative Writing at the University of the Western Cape.

Vandermerwe spoke about the joy of watching as “the student surpasses the teacher”.

“Many things make this a damn fine collection of short stories!” she said. “In particular, one of the outstanding and original points is Jolyn’s voice. There’s more than just the account of an underrepresented facet of society, there is also polylingualism operating where a fusion of English and Afrikaans occurs. The stories are written in English, but contains a lot of Afrikaans. The voice carries with it the timbre and melody of Afrikaans.”

Jolyn’s mother tongue is Afrikaans, but she wanted in the stories to introduce her home and people’s lives, as captured in the way they speak. The author spoke about how music and translation are vibrant aspects of her life. “Something about the way people speak is more than just the words. I wanted the rhythm to come through. As I wrote, I sounded it out loud, keeping words in that enabled a kind of cultural translation,” she said.

For Phillips, the aim is to carry the culture and feelings of her people into English. She said, “I was trying to translate the people, rather than the language.” She also noted the curious experience of being somebody who appeared in the lives of her characters who came knocking on her door at 2 AM to rouse her to write!

How does Phillips explain memory? She quoted Aristotle, who said, “Memories are the scribe of the soul.”

“My memory was doing the writing for me,” she said. “This book is a collection of my soul, who I am as a human being, and how I connect to the people I come from.

“Landscape and language are the melody of the book, but the characters defined themselves in the stories.”

Tjieng Tjang TjerriesTjieng Tjang Tjerries


Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted live from the event:


Facebook album:


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Bellagio Center Residency Award winners include Lauren Beukes, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Victor Ehikhamenor

Bellagio Center Residency Award winners include Lauren Beukes, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Victor Ehighale Ehikhamenor

Alert! The Africa Centre has announced the five artists selected by The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center as part of its 2015 Artists In Residency Programme.

Books LIVE congratulates the three writers on the list: Lauren Beukes, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Victor Ehighale Ehikhamenor.

Dangarembga is the author of the critically acclaimed novels and The Book of Not and Nervous Conditions, but is also a filmmaker. Late last year Umuzi announced that she will be producing a film adaptation of Imran Garda’s novel The Thunder That Roars.

Victor Ehikhamenor is an award winning visual artist, writer and photographer based in Nigeria and the United States. He was the cover designer for Stranger, a recently released debut poetry collection by Sihle Ntuli.

Excuse Me!Nervous ConditionsBroken Monsters


The Africa Centre received a record 423 complete applications from 40 countries for its Artists In Residency programme in 2015, from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe, as well as Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Madagascar, Rwanda and Sudan. 68 artists were shortlisted in December.

The Africa Centre announced the winners of its Artists In Residency Programme in February, including writers Masande Ntshanga from South Africa and Nana Oforiatta Ayim from Ghana.

But after receiving a large number of applications, across artistic disciplines, The Africa Centre also shortlisted 24 artists on behalf of the Bellagio Center.

Based on their specific interests, the following artists have been selected:

  • Lauren Beukes (author, South Africa)
  • Tsitsi Dangarembga (author and filmmaker, Zimbabwe)
  • Victor Ehighale Ehikhamenor (author and visual artist, Nigeria)
  • Yared Zeleke (filmmaker, Ethiopia)
  • Fathy Adly Salama (performing artist, Egypt)


The addition of these five artists mean a total to 14 have been accepted into nine different residencies around the world as part of the 2015 Artists In Residency programme.

The Africa Centre will release more information about the artists over the next couple of weeks. The call for 2016 applications will go out in the second half of the year.

Related stories:

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2016 Caine Prize for African Writing shortlist announced

2016 Caine Prize for African Writing judging panel announced
Lusaka Punk and Other StoriesThe Gonjon Pin and Other Stories10 Years of the Caine Prize for African WritingA Memory This Size and Other StoriesThe Caine Prize Anthology 2009: Work in Progress and Other Stories


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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