Zukiswa Wanner. Photo/Fungai Machirori

Zukiswa Wanner is the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2017 judge for the Africa region.

As mentioned recently, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2017 is now open for business. You the entrant will have judges’ select five winning writers and if you win share a total prize money of £15,000. The overall winner receives £5,000, one of the highest amounts for an international short story prize open to unpublished writers. Regional winners receive £2,500.

So this math from the Commonwealth writers’ prize website is a bit off. So they are giving out £2,500 to five regions which by my math comes to 12,500. Then they give the global winner £5000 and if you add that up it comes to £17,500 right? I have never been famous for my math really so I could be wrong.

The 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize judging panel has been announced and this year the team is chaired by Kamila Shamsie. Shamsie is the author of six novels, including Burnt Shadows, which has been translated into more than twenty languages and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and A God in Every Stone which was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. Three of her other novels (In the City by the Sea, Kartography, Broken Verses) have received awards from the Pakistan Academy of Letters.  A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and one of Granta’s ‘Best of Young British Novelists’, she grew up in Karachi, and now lives in London.

Shamsie will be leading a judging panel from Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific. As this is a blog that focuses on Africa, we are pleased to announce that the judge from here is Zukiswa Wanner.

Zukiswa Wanner is the 2015 winner of South African Literary Award’s K. Sello Duiker Award for her fourth novel, London Cape Town Joburg. Her third novel, Men of the South, was shortlisted for Commonwealth Best Book (Africa region) and the Herman Charles Bosman Awards. The prolific author has written eight books in prose for adult and children as well as in nonfiction since she emerged with The Madams in 2006.

This isn’t the first time that she will be judging a major literary prize as Wanner was one of the three judges of the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Fiction last year.

Some previous African judges of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize were Helon Habila (2016) and Leila Aboulela (2015).