Lots of prizes for African writers to announce.
First, last weekend the winners of the first PEN/Studzinski Literary Award were announced and the book with the stories from the finalists was launched. My story Pulani’s Eyes was a finalist but sadly didn’t win. The winners are all South African which was likely to happen since out of the 672 entries only 155 came from non-South Africans. The winners are:
1st Prize: Where he will leave his shoes by Karen Jayes
2nd prize: Dr. Mamba by Andrew Salomon
3rd prize: (Two winners) The Visit by Nadia Davids and Survival Mechanisms by Ceridwen Dovey
Honourable Mentions went to:
NoViolet Mkha Bulawayo – Snapshots (from Zimbabwe!!! Yeah!)
Naomi Nkealah – In the Name of Peace
Isabella Morris – Bluette
Irene McCartney – Pauline’s Ghost
Congratulations to all of you!
Also just announced is the shortlist for this year’s Caine Prize.
The 2009 Caine shortlist is:
• Mamle Kabu (Ghana) ‘The End of Skill’ from ‘Dreams, Miracles and Jazz’, published by Picador Africa, Johannesburg 2008
• Parselelo Kantai (Kenya) ‘You Wreck Her’ from the St Petersburg Review, NY 2008
• Alistair Morgan (South Africa) ‘Icebergs’ from The Paris Review no. 183, NY 2008
• EC Osondu (Nigeria) ‘Waiting' from Guernicamag.com, October 2008
• Mukoma wa Ngugi (Kenya) ‘How Kamau wa Mwangi Escaped into Exile’ from ‘Wasafiri’ No54, Summer 2008, London
Two other entries were highly commended: ‘Devils at the Door’ by Sierra Leone’s Brian James, and Ghanaian writer Nii Parkes’s ‘Socks Ball’.
I’ve yet to read any of the stories so have no guess who might win. Congratulations to the short listed writers and good luck! My story The Christmas Wedding was submitted this year but failed to make the cut. My only response to not making it in contests is – I’ll get in there next year- so watch out!