Kenya's Okwiri Oduor has won the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa's leading literary award, for her short story entitled 'My Father's Head' from Feast, Famine and Potluck (Short Story Day Africa, South Africa, 2013).
The Chair of Judges, Jackie Kay MBE, announced Okwiri Oduor as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner held this evening (Monday, 14 July) at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
'My Father's Head' explores the narrator's difficulty in dealing with the loss of her father and looks at the themes of memory, loss and loneliness.
Prudential plc, one of the world's leading financial services groups, and Groupe Nduom, a family business group of Ghanaian and American origin operating in the financial, hospitality, media and other industries, are the primary supporters of this year's Caine Prize for African Writing workshop taking place in Ghana this month. The Caine Prize, known as Africa's leading literary award, has held twelve workshops in Africa since 2003.
Twelve writers from eight African countries will convene at the Coconut Grove Hotel in Elmina for thirteen days (6 April - 18 April) to write, read and discuss work in progress and to learn from two experienced writers, Leila Aboulela, who is a Sudanese author and winner of the inaugural Caine Prize in 1999, and Zukiswa Wanner, a South African novelist and journalist. Both will act as tutors and animateurs.
This year's participants include Diane Awerbuck (South Africa) and Efemia Chela (Zambia/Ghana) who were shortlisted for the 2014 prize, Onipede Hollist (Sierra Leona) who was shortlisted in 2013, and nine other promising writers, Dalle Abraham (Kenya), Nkiacha Atemnkeng (Cameroon), Akwaeke Emezi (Nigeria), Timothy Kiprop Kimutai (Kenya), Jonathan Mbuna (Malawi), and Jonathan Dotse, Jemila Abdulai, Aisha Nelson and Nana Nyarko Boateng (Ghana).
During the workshop, the writers will be expected to write a short story for the 2015 Caine Prize anthology, which will be published by New Internationalist on 1 July 2015, and subsequently by nine co-publishers in Africa who will receive a print-ready PDF free of charge. Stories conceived at annual workshops are automatically entered for the following year's Caine Prize.
Matt Lilley, CEO of Prudential Africa, said: "I am delighted that Prudential Africa is working with the Caine Prize to promote the richness and diversity of African writing in English. Prudential Africa is committed to investing in education and we look forward to working with the Caine Prize to nurture and inspire the next generation of writers."
Additional support for the workshop is provided by Commonwealth Writers, the Beit Trust, the Morel Trust, Sub-Saharan Publishers, Writers Project Ghana, and the Goethe Institut, the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE, Deputy Chairperson of the Caine Prize, said: "As investment in Africa's growing economies expands it is excellent to see the support businesses can provide to the arts, especially literature, and writing and reading, as part of their corporate social responsibility goals."
Director of the Caine Prize, Dr Lizzy Attree said: "The success of the co-publishing arrangement with Sub-Saharan Publishers in Ghana, which has sold over 25,000 copies of Caine Prize anthologies in the last 18 months, suggests there is a great appetite for literature in Ghana, and yet there have been no Ghanaian Caine Prize winners to date. We hope that holding the first workshop in Ghana since 2009 will encourage entries from Ghanaian writers and strengthen local literary networks."
The judges of this year’s Caine Prize for African Writing were announced today at the Ake Arts and Book Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria. The panel will be chaired by award-winning South African author Zoë Wicomb. She will be joined by the distinguished television and radio journalist Zeinab Badawi, Indian author and Man Booker Prize shortlistee Neel Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Georgetown Cóilín Parsons, and Brian Chikwava, the winner of the Caine Prize in 2004.
During the announcement Caine Prize Director Lizzy Attree stated, “We are proud to announce the 2015 judges early this year and hope the calibre of this outstanding panel will encourage publishers to enter stories before the deadline of 31 January 2015.”
Last year a record 140 qualifying stories were submitted to the judges from 17 African countries. The judges will meet in late April 2015 to decide on the shortlisted stories, which will be announced shortly thereafter. £500 will be awarded to each shortlisted writer. The winning story will be announced at a dinner at the Bodleian Library in Oxford on Monday 6 July 2015.
The Caine Prize for African Writing is named in memory of the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc. He was Chairman of Africa 95, and Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee for almost 25 years.
The first prize was awarded in 2000, at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair 2000 in Harare, and the 2001 Prize at the Nairobi Book Fair in September 2001. The winner is announced at a dinner in Oxford in July, to which the shortlisted candidates are all invited. This is part of a week of activities for the candidates, including bookreadings, booksignings and press opportunities.
Entries for the 2016 prize are now open. The deadline for entries is 31st January 2016.
Would you like to enter this year's prize?
Learn how here....
"The Gonjon Pin", the anthology containing the five shortlisted stories for The Caine Prize for African Writing 2014 is now available.
Buy it here...
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