Gillian Slovo
Gillian Slovo

Gillian Slovo and Helon Habila are two of those who will be judging the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2016.

In September, I mentioned that the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2016 was open for business with those who win set to go home with £2,500 (US$3,835) if win the African category and £5,000 (US$7,670) if you win the overall prize. Well the organisers of the prize have announced the those who will be judging the awards. They are Gillian Slovo who will be the chair, Helon Habila, Pierre J. Mejlak, Olive Senior, Patrick Holland and Firdous Azim.

Gillian Slovo who was born in South Africa and now lives in London has thirteen published books include five detective novels, a family memoir, Every Secret Thing, and a thriller.  Her novel, Red Dust, set around a fictional  hearing of  South Africa’s  Truth and Reconciliation Commission, won the prix RFI-Témoin du monde in France and was  made into a feature film.  Her novel Ice Road was shortlisted for the Orange Prize.  Her plays include Guantanamo – Honor Bound to Defend Freedom (co-authored with Victoria Brittain) and The Riots. Her next novel, Ted Days, will be published in March 2016. Slovo was President of English PEN from 2010 to 2013 and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Helon Habila
Helon Habila

Helon Habila is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University, USA. He worked in Lagos as a journalist before moving to England in 2002. His novels include Waiting for an Angel (2002), Measuring Time (2007), and Oil on Water (2010). In 2006 he co-edited the British Council’s anthology, New Writing 14. He also edited the Granta Book of African Short Story (2011). Habila’s novels, poems and short stories have won many honours and awards, including the regional Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel, the Caine Prize, and the Windham-Campbell Prize.  Habila has been a contributing editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review since 2004, and is a regular reviewer for the Guardian, UK.