K and L Prize 2020 shortlist

The anthology for the K & L Prize 2020 was unveiled on July 26, 2020. The shortlist for the award was then announced on June 28, 2020.

The K & L Prize, founded by New Zealand-based Nigerian writer Myles Ojabo in 2018, awards $1000 (New Zealand) to the best piece of unpublished fiction. The inaugural edition, named after the kids of its founder Kyle and Leona, was awarded to South African Sisca Julius.

For the 2020 edition, the award made a call out for the best writing from the continent around the theme, Africanfuturism a term coined by Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor. Africanfuturism often depicts aliens, and sometimes witches, and is mostly set in a recognizable future Africa, with African lineages — which “are not cultural hybrids but rooted in the history and traditions of the continent” with no element or traits drawn from Western culture (or even pop culture).

Judging the texts of those who entered the prize were to be Dione Joseph and University of Winnipeg’s assistant professor Arthur Chigbo Anyaduba. These judges announced the longlist for the prize on May 8 with all who made the cut to be featured in a new anthology. The anthology Black Skin, No Mask went live at Amazon on June 26.

Its blurb states;

The stories in ‘Black Skin No Mask’ are a piece of imaginative wonder: remarkable depth of imagination, mellifluous narrative, the stories stay with you long after you move on with your life. The stories pushed the limits of the imagination and expanded the horizon for speculating the past, the present and most especially the future. The speculated and futuristic worlds narrated in virtually all the stories draw on the same fantasy pool of African myths and legends, and popular Western sci-fi. There’s the post-apocalyptic element, alien invasion, robots, technology, witches and wizards, advanced weaponry, new/alien speciesism, among similar trends. Taken together, the image of the future in most of the stories is mass violence and war and diseases/plagues and magical/mysterious technologies of violence

You can get a copy of the book here.

With the anthology now available to the public, the shortlist for the prize was announced on Sunday and the writers still in the running are:

  • Audrey Obuobisa-Darko (Ghana), for her story, Araba.
  • Kanyisola Olorunnisola (Nigeria), for his story, Abija, the Architect of Mayhem.
  • Izuchukwu Udokwu (Nigeria), for his story, The New Colours.
  • Yvonne Nezianya (Nigeria), for her story The Wonders of Spirits.

The winner of the award will be revealed in July 2020.