Musa Okwonga, Hanif Abdurraqib, Salena Godden, Courttia Newland, and Caleb Azuma Nelson are on the longlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2021 announced today, June 22, 2021.

Gordon Burn was an English writer who wrote four novels and several works of non-fiction who passed away in 2009. In 2013 the Gordon Burn Prize, celebrating fiction or non-fiction written in the English language, was launched. It is jointly organised by the Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North and Faber & Faber. Winners have been David Keenan, Jesse Ball, Denise Mina, David Szalay, Dan Davies, Paul Kingsnorth, and Benjamin Myers. Lemn Sissay and Paul Mendez made the shortlist in 2020.

Denise Mina is the chair of the judging panel for 2021 alongside literary journalist and editor Sian Cain, novelist and short story writer Irenosen Okojie, and writer and poet Derek Owusu. The panel has announced the longlist for the prize with the following writers of African descent making the cut;

  • A Little Devil in America (Penguin Press), Hanif Abdurraqib
  • A River Called Time (Canongate), Courttia Newland
  • In The End it Was All About Love (Rough Trade Books), Musa Okwonga
  • Mrs Death Misses Death (Canongate), Salena Godden
  • Open Water (Viking), Caleb Azumah Nelson

The winning writer to be revealed at the Durham Book Festival in October 2021 will receive £5,000 and the chance to undertake a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn’s cottage in Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders.