Short Story Day Africa is pleased to announce the shortlist for the R10 000 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction. The six shortlisted writers are Gratitude Fisher, Mirette Bahgat Eskaros, Blaize Kaye, Megan Ross, Stacy Hardy, and TJ Benson.
This year, almost 450 entries were received for the Short Story Africa Prize. These entries came from twenty-nine countries, from writers both living on the African continent and in the African diaspora. The majority of entries come from Nigeria (166), followed by South Africa (107) and Kenya (59). For the first time, we had writers from North Africa entering the prize, with stories from Algeria and Egypt. The Short Story Day Africa Prize, which started out as a southern African celebration of the short story, has expanded across the globe to become an event on the African writing calendar.
The esteemed judging panel for this year’s prize consisted of Liberian Hawa Janda Golakai, South African Sindiwe Magona and Zimbabwean Tendai Huchu. The three judges blind-read and judged all the longlisted stories and, between the three of them, they selected a shortlist of six.
All longlisters’ stories will be collected in Migrations: New Short Fiction From Africa, Short Story Day Africa’s fourth anthology.
The shortlist is as follows:
- “A Door Ajar” by Gratitude Fisher
- “Exodus” by Mirette Bahgat Eskaros
- “Diaspora Electronica” by Blaize Kaye
- “Farang” by Megan Ross
- “Involution” by Stacy Hardy
- “Tea” by TJ Benson
The winners will be announced next week. The grand prize winner is set to win R10 000 ($700). The Short Story Day Africa Prize is sponsored by Generation Africa, Sunday Times Books Live and The Miles Morland Foundation.
The resulting anthology from the longlisted prize entries, Migrations: New Short Fiction From Africa, is edited by Efemia Chela, Bongani Kona and Helen Moffett as part of the SSDA/Worldreader Editing Mentorship. Migrations is due for e-book release in January 2017, and in print worldwide in March 2017 in partnership with New Internationalist.
All of SSDA’s previous anthologies have received critical acclaim, with two stories from Feast, Famine & Potluck shortlisted for The Caine Prize for African Writing – with one, “My Father’s Head” by Okwiri Oduor, going on to win the prize. Terra Incognita and Water likewise received wide critical praise, including reviews from the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Sunday Times and Financial Mail.
The full longlist for the Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction 2016 – and the list of stories to be published in Migrations: New Short Fiction From Africa – is as follows:
“Exodus” Mirette Bhagat Eskaros (Egypt), “Involution” Stacy Hardy (South Africa), “Leaving” Okafor Tochukwu (Nigeria), “Movement in the Key of Love” Lauri Kubuitsile (Botswana), “Diaspora Electronica” Blaize Kaye (South Africa), “Naming” Umar Turaki (Nigeria), “Things We Found North of the Sunset” Aba Asibon (Ghana), “Ayanti” Mary Ononokpono (Nigeria), “Bleed” Gamu Chamisa (Zimbabwe), “This Bus Is Not Full!” Fred Khumalo (South Africa), “Of Fire” Mignotte Mekuria (Ethiopia), “My Sister’s Husband” Nyarsipi Odeph (Kenya), “The Castle” Arja Salafranca (South Africa), “Teii mom, win rekk lah” Francis Aubee (The Gambia), “A Door Ajar” Sibongile Fisher (South Africa), “Farang” Megan Ross (South Africa), “Lymph” Anne Moraa (Kenya), “Tea” TJ Benson (Nigeria), “The Fates” Edwin Okolo (Nigeria), “Keeping” Karen Jennings (South Africa), “The Impossibility of Home” Izda L. (Kenya)