PREVIOUSLY SHORTLISTED WRITERS
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria), shortlisted in 2002, won the Commonwealth First Book Prize in 2005 for her novel Purple Hibiscus, published by Harper Perennial, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize in 2004. Chimamanda won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction, for her second novel Half of a Yellow Sun. A collection of her short stories The Thing Around Your Neck was published by Fourth Estate in 2009. Her short story "Ceiling" was included in the 2011 edition of The Best American Short Stories. This year she published her third novel, Americanah.
- Uwem Akpan (Nigeria), was shortlisted in 2007. His book Say You’re One of Them was published by Little Brown. It won the Best First Book award in the Africa region of the Commonwealth Literature Prize in 2009 and was critically acclaimed by Oprah Winfrey on Oprah’s Book Club the same year, prompting it to reach the top of the New York Times bestseller list.
- Mohammed Naseehu Ali (Ghana) was shortlisted in 2008. His first book, a collection of short stories titled The Prophet of Zongo Street, was published in 2006, described in the New York Times as “moving, subtle and ingeniously constructed”.
- Sefi Atta (Nigeria), shortlisted in 2006, is the author of two novels Everything Good Will Come and Swallow, and the short story collection News From Home. Winner of the PEN International 2004/5 David T.K. Wong Prize, she also won the first Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2006 for Everything Good Will Come, and the final NOMA Award for Publishing in Africa in 2009 for Lawless and other stories, now published as News From Home. Her publishers include Interlink Books in the USA, AAA Press in Nigeria and Jacana Media in South Africa.
- Doreen Baingana (Uganda)s the Managing Editor of StoryMoja in Nairobi. Featuring stories shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2004 and 2005, her collection of short stories, Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book Award (Africa region) in 2006. It was also awarded an Associated Writers and Writing Programmes Award for short fiction and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press.
- Ken Barris (South Africa), shortlisted in 2003 and 2010, is an award-winning poet and writer. He has won a Thomas Pringle Award and an Ad Donker Award for his short stories, the M-Net Book Prize for his novel, The Jailer’s Book, and the Sydney Clouts Award as well as the Ingrid Jonker Prize for his poetry. His novel What Kind of Child was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize (Best Book Africa), the Herman Charles Bosman Fiction Prize and the M-Net Book Prize. His new novel, Life Underwater, was published in May 2012 by Kwela Books and won the University of Johannesburg Literary Prize in 2013.
Jenna Bass (South Africa), writing as Constance Myburgh was shortlisted in 2012 for her story “Hunter Emmanuel”. She is a South African filmmaker, photographer, writer and retired magician. Her award-winning short film set in Zimbabwe, “The Tunnel”, premiered at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals and continues to screen internationally. She is currently working on her debut feature, “Tok Tokkie”, a supernatural noir set in Cape Town. Jenna is also the editor and co-creator of Jungle Jim, a pulp-literary magazine for African writing.
- Darrel Bristow-Bovey (South Africa) shortlisted in 2006, won the Percy FitzPatrick Prize for Youth Literature in 2009, for his young adult novel, SuperZero, published by Tafelberg.
- Shimmer Chinodya (Zimbabwe), shortlisted in 2000, won the NOMA Award for African Publishing in 2007 for his novel Strife published by Weaver Press. His novella for teens Tale of Tamari was published in 2004 and his novel Chairman of Fools in 2005. His fourteenth book Tindo’s Quest, a novel for young people, was published by Longman Zimbabwe earlier this year. In April 2012 Weaver Press published his latest collection of short stories entitled Chioniso and Other Stories.
Mia Couto (Mozambique), shortlisted in 2001, is one of the most prominent writers in Portuguese-speaking Africa. In 2007, he became the first African author to win the prestigious Latin Union literary prize, which has been awarded annually in Italy since 1990. A number of his books are published in the UK by Serpent’s Tail including A River Called Time, Under the Frangipani, Sleepwalking Land and Last Flight of the Flamingo. His most recent novel L'accordeur de silences (The Tuner of Silences) was published in 2012. Couto received the 2013 Camões Prize for Literature, a prestigious award given to Portuguese-language writers and he was awarded the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2014. The $50,000 prize is sponsored by the University of Oklahoma, the Neustadt family, and World Literature Today, the university’s award-winning magazine of international literature and culture.
- George Makana Clark (Zimbabwe), shortlisted in 2003, published his first novel The Raw Man with Jonathan Cape in April 2011. He is shortlisted for the Newton First Book Award.
- Florent Couao-Zotti (Benin) was shortlisted in 2002 for his story “Small Hells on Street Corners” from Fools, Thieves and Other Dreamers – Stories from Francophone Africa Weaver Press, Harare (2001). He teaches literature in secondary schools, and has written plays, comic scripts, and novels as well as short stories. His novel If the sheep’s yard is dirty, it's not for the pig to say it (The Plumed Serpent, Paris) won the Amadou Kourouma prize in Geneva (Switzerland) in 2010.
- Emmanuel Dongala (Congo-Brazzaville) was shortlisted in 2003. He won the 2004 Cezam Prix Littéraire Inter CE for his novel Jonny Chien Méchant (Jonny Mad Dog) which was made in to a film set in Liberia in 2008. He is currently Richard B. Fisher Chair in Natural Sciences at Bard College at Simon's Rock.
- Nurrudin Farah (Somalia), shortlisted in 2001, has written more than ten novels. His latest novel, Crossbones was published by Riverhead Press in 2011.
- Muthoni Garland (Kenya), shortlisted in 2006, is a founder member of StoryMoja, a writers’ collective based in Nairobi. In 2009 she published the romance Halfway between Nairobi and Dundori through StoryMoja. She also writes for children under the name Muthoni Muchemi.
- Rachelle Greeff (South Africa) was shortlisted in 2003 for her story “Tell him it is never too late”. In 2005 she won the Stellenbosch Woordfees, Protea Boekehuis, and LitNet's national short story competition with her story “Swiets in Rhodesië”. Her play, Die naaimasjien (The Sewing Machine), won the Nagtegaal prize for texts in 2008. At the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) it won the Herrie Kanna Popularity Prize as well as the 2010 Fleur du Cap for Best Indigenous Text. The play had its origins in a short story that appeared in BY (Saturday supplement to Die Burger). Her second play, Buitepos, opens at the 2012 Woordfees in Stellenbosch. The Sewing Machine will be performed at the Edinburgh Festival this year.
- Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone) was shortlisted in 2013 for his story “Foreign Aid” and is an associate professor of English at the University of Tampa, Florida. His first novel is So the Path Does not Lie was published in 2012 by Langaa Press, Cameroon. His short stories, “Going to America,” “BackHomeAbroad,” and “Resettlement” have appeared in Ìrìnkèrindò: A Journal of African Migration, on the Sierra Leone Writers Series website, and in Matatu 41-12 respectively.
Allan Kolski Horwitz (South Africa) shortlisted in 2001 was a founding member of the Botsotso Jesters and Botsotso Publishing. His first book of poems Call from the Free State was published in 1979. Substantial selections of his poetry have been included in Essential Things (COSAW, 1992) and Throbbing Ink (Timbila, 2003) and his fiction has been included in two collections – Unity in Flight (2001) and Un/common Ground (2002). A novel Out of the Wreckage was published in 2008 and Meditations of a Non-White White in 2012 by Dye Hard Press. There are Two Birds at My Window, a collection of poetry, was also published this year by Dye Hard Press. Allan has also published two plays The Pump Room (2011); Comrade Babble (2012) and a children’s Book Blue Wings (2008) through Botsotso.
- Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria) was shortlisted in 2013 for his story “The Whispering Trees” published in his short story collection, The Whispering Trees (Parresia Publishers, Lagos, 2012). He is a Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellow and won the BBC African Performance Prize in 2007.
- Elnathan John (Nigeria), shortlisted in 2013 for his story “Bayan Layi”, is a full time writer who trained as a lawyer in Nigeria. His writing has been published in Per Contra, ZAM Magazine, Evergreen Review, Sentinel Nigeria and Chimurenga’s The Chronicle. He writes political satire for a Nigerian newspaper and his blog.
Mamle Kabu (Ghana) was shortlisted in 2009 for her story “The End of Skill”. She has had eight other short stories published in various anthologies and journals. She has also written for young adults under the name Mamle Wolo and won the 2011 Burt Award for African Literature with her novel The Kaya-Girl. She is a director of the Writers’ Project for Ghana and is turning “The End of Skill” into a novel.
- Parselelo Kantai (Kenya), shortlisted in 2004 and 2009 is one of Africa’s leading investigative journalists. He held a Reuters Fellowship for his nonfiction and completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of London. He contributes to the Financial Times and The East African among many other publications and recently penned “The Rainbow Nation through African Eyes” for The Africa Report (June/July 2010).
- Tim Keegan (South Africa), shortlisted in 2011, has published three novels, one of which, Tromp's Last Stand, is a detective story set in Cape Town. His last novel My Life with the Duvals was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa section) in 2009.
- Stanley Onjezani Kenani (Malawi) was shortlisted in 2012 for his story “Love on Trial” and in 2008 for “For Honour” which was also shortlisted for the HSBC/SA PEN Award in 2007. His debut collection For Honour and other stories was published by Random House Struik in South Africa in 2011, and was the first publication in their e-khaya electronic book series. A poet who is also an accountant, Kenani lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland. He is currently finalising his debut novel, Drama Republic.
- Rory Kilalea (Zimbabwe), shortlisted in 2000 and 2002, won a BBC World Service African Performance prize in 2004 for his half-hour drama for radio, Colours, which he wrote at the Caine Prize Writers’ Workshop in 2003. Colours also won the Susie Smith Award in 2009 from Oxfam, which is awarded to a single piece of writing on HIV and AIDS from sub-Saharan Africa. His 2002 shortlisted story “Zimbabwe Boy” was produced as a play in London at the National Theatre and at the African Festival in 2005. He is currently teaching film at the MET film school at Ealing Studios in London and travels to teach workshops and direct shows around the world.
- Lauri Kubuitsile (Botswana), shortlisted in 2011, won the Golden Baobab Literary Prize in both 2009 and 2010. Her young adult book, Signed, Hopelessly in Love (Tafelberg, 2011) was shortlisted for the M.E.R. Prize for Best Youth Novel in South Africa. Her third romance novella, Mr Not Quite Good Enough (Sapphire) was also published in 2011. Her fourth novella Love in the Shadows (Sapphire) was published in April 2012.
- Beatrice Lamwaka (Uganda), shortlisted in 2011, is the General Secretary of the Uganda Women Writers’ Association (FEMRITE). She was a finalist for the 2009 SA PEN/Studzinski Literary Award and was a fellow of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation/African Institute of South Africa Young Scholars programme in the same year. She is currently working on her first novel and a compilation of her short stories and is studying for an MA in Human Rights at Makerere University. Last year she won the 2011 Young Achievers Award in the category art, culture and fashion.
- Laila Lalami (Morocco),shortlisted in 2006, published a short story collection Hope and Other Pursuits (2005) and had her first novel, Secret Son, published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in 2009. Her work has been translated into ten languages. She is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California at Riverside.
- Lily Mabura (Kenya) was shortlisted in 2010. Her collection of short stories How Shall We Kill the Bishop? was published by Pearson’s African Writers Series in March 2012.
- Jamal Mahjoub (Sudan), shortlisted in 2005. His novels have been widely translated. Travelling with Djinns was awarded the Prix de l'Astrolabe at the St Malo festival in France; Carrer Princesa gained the NH Mario Vargas Llosa prize in Spain. He also won the Guardian/Heinemann African short story award for The Cartographer's Angel. He has recently started a new life in Crime under the pseudonym Parker Bilal.
- David Medalie (South Africa) was shortlisted in 2011, for his story “The Mistress's Dog” which also won the Thomas Pringle Award in 2008. His debut novel, The Shadow Follows, published in 2006, was shortlisted for a Commonwealth Literary Award and the M-Net Literary Award.
- Lilia Momple (Mozambique) shortlisted in 2001, was Secretary General of the Mozambique Writers' Association from 1995 to 2001 and President from 1997 to 1999. She was appointed to the UNESCO Executive Council in 2001. Her novel Neighbours was re-published by Penguin Global in April 2012.
- Alistair Morgan (South Africa) shortlisted in 2009, won the George Plimpton Prize for Fiction for his stories Icebergs and Departure, which was also selected for the National Magazine Awards. His novel Sleeper’s Wake was published by Granta Books in 2009 and shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Africa Region). His novel Hinterland was published by Penguin in 2012.
- Hassounah Mosbahi (Tunisia), shortlisted in 2001, features in Sardines and Oranges, a collection of short stories from North Africa published by Banipal in 2005.
- Charles Mungoshi (Zimbabwe), shortlisted in 2000, has won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Africa region) twice for two collections of short stories The Setting Sun and the Rolling World (1987) and Walking Still (1997). Two of his novels, Waiting for the Rain (1975) and Ndiko Kupindana Kwa mazuva (1975), received International PEN awards. A prolific writer in English and Shona, Mungoshi won the NOMA Award for his collection of children’s stories, Stories from a Shona Childhood (1989). Most recently his short story “Sins of the Fathers” was translated into Shona for the anthology Mazambuko published by Weaver Press in 2010.
Melissa Myambo (Zimbabwe), shortlisted in 2012 for her story “La Salle de Départ”, is the author of Jacaranda Journals (Macmillan South Africa, 2004: www.jacarandajournals.com), a collection of short stories set in Zimbabwe. Her work has also been published in Prick of the Spindle, Chelsea Station, The Montréal Review, The Journal of African Travel Writing, 34th Parallel, Opening Spaces: an anthology of contemporary African women’s writing and Wasafiri. “La Salle de Départ” is part of her new collection tentatively entitled Airport Stories.
Muthal Naidoo (South Africa), shortlisted in 2005, published Jail Birds and Others in 2004 and Stories from the Asiatic Bazaar in 2007.
- Mukoma wa Ngugi (Kenya), shortlisted in 2009, published his first novel Nairobi Heat in 2009 (Penguin, SA). In 2010, he was shortlisted for the Penguin Prize for African Writing for his novel manuscript, The First and Second Books of Transition. Editions of Nairobi Heat have also been published in Kenya (East African Publishers) and Nigeria (Cassava Republic Press). The sequel Black Star Nairobi was published this year. Mukoma joined Cornell University in the fall of 2012 as an Assistant Professor of English specializing in twentieth-century Anglophone African literature.
- Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria), was shortlisted in 2013 for her story “America” published in Granta magazine. She was featured as one of Granta’s six new voices for 2012, and in 2013 her collection of short stories entitled Happiness, Like Water was published in the UK and in the US by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Okparanta has been nominated for a United States Artists Fellowship in Literature and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She currently teaches at Colgate University in the US, where she is Olive B. O’Connor Fellow in Fiction.
- Ike Okonta (Nigeria), shortlisted in 2005 for his story "Tindi in the Land of the Dead", runs a policy think tank in Abuja called New Centre of Social Research.
- Gill Schierhout (South Africa), shortlisted in 2008, had her first novel, The Shape of Him, published by Jonathan Cape in 2009.
- Namwali Serpell (Zambia), shortlisted in 2010, won the 2011 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, which is given annually to six women writers who demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers. Her work has appeared in the journal Callaloo, as well as the Bidoun and The Believer magazines. Her shortlisted story, “Muzungu,” was selected by Alice Sebold for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories 2009.
Alex Smith (South Africa), shortlisted in 2010, published her second novel Four Drunk Beauties the same year. It went on to win the Nielsen Booksellers' Choice award in 2011 and in 2012 it was published in Turkish. Alex’s third novel, Agency Blue won a silver medal in the Sanlam Youth Literature awards. Her shortlisted story “Soulmates” was also shortlisted for the 2009 PEN/Studinski Award judged by JM Coetzee and is published in the New Writing from Africa anthology.
- Ada Udechukwu (Nigeria) was shortlisted in 2007 for her story “Night Bus”. She is an artist and poet associated with the Nsukka Group.
- Chika Unigwe (Nigeria), shortlisted in 2004, was shortlisted in 2006 for the Dutch equivalent of the Orange Prize for her novel translated into Dutch, de fenicks. She won the 2003 BBC Short Story Competition for her story “Borrowed Smile”, a Commonwealth Short Story Award for Weathered Smiles and a Flemish literary prize for De Smaak van Sneeuw. Her second novel, On Black Sisters’ Street, first published in Dutch, was published in Chika’s own English version by Jonathan Cape in 2009 and Random House in 2011 and won the Nigerian Prize for Literature. Her most recent novel Nightdancer was published in June 2012 by Jonathan Cape. She won the 2013 Sylt Foundation African Writer’s Residency Award.
- Uzor Maxim Uzoatu (Nigeria), shortlisted in 2008, is the author of the collection God of Poetry. In 2010, his play Doctor of Football was published in Nigeria.
- Abdourahman Waberi (Djibouti), shortlisted in 2000, published his novel Passage of Tears with Seagull Books in 2011, distributed in the USA by the University of Chicago Press.
Among participants in the Caine Prize African Writers’ workshops, which have taken place annually since 2003, Eritrean writer Sulaiman Addonia’s first novel, The Consequences of Love, was published by Chatto & Windus in 2008, and Petina Gappah had a collection of her short stories, set in her native Zimbabwe and named for her Caine Prize workshop story An Elegy for Easterly, published by Faber and Faber in 2009. Niq Mhlongo has published three novels Dog Eat Dog (Kwela, 2004), After Tears (Kwela, 2007) and Way Back Home (2013) and Siphiwo Mahala published a novella When a Man Cries (UKZN Press, 2007) and a collection of short stories African Delights (Jacana, 2011). Yewande Omotoso, who participated in the 2012 workshop in South Africa, had her debut novel Bom Boy (Modjaji Books, 2011) won the South African Literary Award for First Time Author and was shortlisted for the South African Sunday Times Fiction Award 2012.