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2 Nigerian Writers Make 2019 Caine Prize shortlist

By Nkem Egenuka on Thu, 23/05/2019 - 15:26

2019 Caine Prize shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 2019 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced, featuring stories that celebrate the diversity of Africa.

It features writers from Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroun, and Ethiopia. They include

  • Skinned by Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria)
  • The Wall by Meron Hadero (Ethiopia)
  • Sew My Mouth by Cherrie Kandie (Kenya)
  • It Takes A Village Some Say by Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti (Cameroon)
  • All Our Lives by Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor (Nigeria)


Lesley Nneka Arimah is the writer of What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky which won the 2017 Kirkus Prize, the 2017 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and was selected for the New York Times/PBS book club.  Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, Harper’s, , McSweeney’s, GRANTA and has received support from The Elizabeth George Foundation and MacDowell. Her works have also received a National Magazine Award, a Commonwealth Short Story Prize and an O. Henry Award.

Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor is a 2018 Rhodes Scholar finalist and a 2018 Kathy Fish Fellow, he won the 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction. His work has appeared in the 2018 Best of the Net, the 2019 Best Small Fictions, The Guardian, Harvard's Transition Magazine, Columbia Journal and others.

On the Judging panel is Kenyan Journalist and writer Peter Kimani, Sefi Atta, Nigerian author and playwright shortlisted for the 2006 Caine Prize; Margie Orford, “queen of South African crime-thriller writers”; Scott Taylor, professor, and director of the African Studies Program at Georgetown University; and Olufemi Terry, Sierra Leone-born author and winner of the 2010 Caine Prize.


Previous Nigerian winners are Helon Habila (2001), Segun Afolabi (2005), EC Osondu (2009), Rotimi Babatunde (2012), and Tope Folarin (2013).


The Caine Prize is awarded to a short story by an African writer published in English of about 3,000 to 10,000 words.  

This year, Caine Prize will specially celebrate to mark its twentieth anniversary. The winner of 2019 £10,000 prize will be announced at an award ceremony and dinner. The winner will also be invited to attend three literature festivals in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.


Other shortlisted writers will each get £500 and a travel award. Their stories will be printed in a special publication to mark the twentieth anniversary of the prize.




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