The Etisalat Prize for Literature Longlist is Here!

The 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature will be announced February 22, 2015 - peoplewhowrite

UPDATE: The shortlist for the Etisalat Prize was announced December 9th, culling the longlist of nine titles down to three: An Imperfect Blessing by Nadia Davids, Penumbra by Songeziwe Mahlangu, and Happiness, Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta. The winner will be revealed February 22, 2015.

The Etisalat Prize for Literature was founded in 2013 by the Nigerian telecommunications giant Etisalat to spotlight debut African novelists. Last year, NoViolet Buluwayo’s We Need New Names edged out Yewande Omotoso’s Bom Boy, Yejide Kilanko’s Daughters Who Walk This Path, Karen Jennings’ Finding Southbek, Ifeanyi Ajeagbo’s Sarah House, Jamila Safari’s The Great Agony and Pure Laughter of the Gods, Chibundu Onuzo’s The Spider King’s Daughter, Claire Robertson’s The Spiral House, and The Whispering Trees by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim. Buluwayo, who recently won the Hurston-Wright Foundation’s Legacy Award for critically-praised novel, gifted the fellowship to Omotoso, her runner-up.

This week, the prize administrators shared the 2014 longlist contending for the £15,000 cash prize and a fellowship at University of East Anglia under the mentorship of Professor Giles Foden, author of the Last King of Scotland. Judges Sarah Ladipo Manyika (Chair), Alain Mabanckou, Jamal Mahjoub, and Tsitsi Dangarembga will agree on a whittled list by December 8, 2014, and, ultimately, the winner, who will be announced on February 22, 2015.

The full 2014 longlist is here:

An Imperfect Blessing by Nadia Davids
Whoever Fears the Sea by Justin Fox
The Thunder that Roars by Imran Garda
Penumbra by Songeziwe Mahlangu
Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (the 2014 Commonwealth Prize Winner)
Fresh Air and other stories by Reward Nsirim
Happiness, Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta (this year’s Lambda Award Winner for Lesbian General Fiction)
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi (longlisted for the 2014 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award)
Shadows by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi Wins 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Winner - peoplewhowrite4,000 entries. 19 shortlisted stories. One winner. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, who won the Africa region honor for her short story “Let’s Tell This Story Properly”, has been named the overall winner of the 2014 Commonwealth Writers Prize.

Ellah Wakatama Allfrey–the Chair of the judging panel which included Doreen Baingana, (Africa), Jeet Thayil (Asia), Courttia Newland (Canada and Europe), Marlon James (Caribbean) and Michelle de Kretser (Pacific)–said Makumbi’s story “expanded our understanding of the possibilities of the short story form.” Makumbi, who is based in Manchester, UK, called the win a dream. “For Uganda, once described as a literary desert, it shows how the country’s literary landscape is changing and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Among the perks of the win is a connect with London-based literary and media agency Blake Friedmann, which has an association with Commonwealth Writers and will work with selected writers identified through the Prize. The prize has also partnered with to publish the winning story. Click over to read “Let’s Tell This Story Properly” on

The 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Shortlist is Here

New Zealand-born writer David Herkt is on the 2014 Commonwealth Writers Prize Shortlist - peoplewhowrite

New Zealand-born writer David Herkt

The finalists for the 2014 Commonwealth Writers Prize are:

Ikanre by Adelehin Ijasan (Nigeria)
All Them Savages by Michelle Sacks (South Africa)
Let’s Tell This Story Properly by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Uganda)

Grandmother by Yu-Mei Balasingamchow (Singapore)
A Day in the Death by Sara Adam Ang (Singapore)

The Night of Broken Glass by Jack Wang (Canada)
On The Other Side by Idrissa Simmonds (Canada)
Agnes Agnes Agnes by Luiza Sauma (United Kingdom)
Household Gods by Tracy Fells (United Kingdom)
Killing Time by Lucy Caldwell (United Kingdom)

Cowboy by Helen Klonaris (Bahamas)
Sending for Chantal by Maggie Harris (Guyana)
Miss Annie Cooks Fish by Charmaine Rousseau (Trinidad and Tobago)

The Dog and the Sea by Lucy Treloar (Australia)
Monkey Boy by Janine Mikosza (Australia)
Hummingbird by Daniel Anders (Australia)
Playing the Stringless Guitar by Michael Hunt (Australia)
Tenure by Julian Novitz (New Zealand)
Rhododendrons in Mist by David Kerkt (New Zealand)

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi Wins 2013 Kwani? Manuscript Prize

Ugandan Author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi wins 2013 Kwani? Manuscript Prize via - peoplewhowrite

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi‘s manuscript The Kintu Saga beat out 280 submissions to win this year’s Kwani? Manuscript Prize. As part of her award, the Kwani? Manuscript Project will publish her novel and give her $3,500. Founded in 2012 after  Kwani Trust received the Prince Claus Award in December 2010, the Project aims to provide a platform for new African literary talent. According to, Kwani Trust’s Managing Editor Billy Kahora said of the submissions and their plans for the shortlisted stories in particular: “I’m blown away by the potential these manuscripts hold, the different styles, concerns and voices that they bring to new contemporary African literature… We can’t wait to bring them out as novels in the region and partner with publishing houses across the continent to make them available across Africa.”