caine-prize--2014

Hard to believe it’s nearly one year since Tope Folarin’s beautiful story won the Caine Prize for African Writing. Folarin’s win made the summer of 2013 so much more interesting.

An American born of Nigerian parents, Folarin compelled many in the African literary community to reconsider their assumptions about who counts as an African writer.

Here we are in 2014 and another edition of the prize is about to begin. The official kick-off is slated for tomorrow when Wole Soyinka announces the five shortlisted stories at the inauguration of Port Harcourt as the new World Book Capital.

Literary prizes are great not because they decide on what constitutes great fiction but because they give new writers a space to share their work with a global audience.

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What I love about the Caine Prize is that the organizers have figured out how to get the African literary community involved and invested in the success of the award.

Shortlisted stories are circulated online. Bloggers are encouraged to review the stories. These reviews become the basis for rich and lively conversations about contemporary African fiction.

I feel giddy thinking about all the cool stuff we have planned here at Brittle Paper—reviews of shortlisted stories, Q&As with the authors, and so much more. In the past few days, I’ve been sending emails, asking around to see who would like to be part of a 5-member review team. 

I’m pleased to announce that Richard Ali, Aaron Bady, Nick Ochiel, Pearl Osibu, and Kola Tubosun have all agreed to review the shortlisted stories for Brittle Paper. Expect sharp, provocative, and nuanced reviews.

Stay tuned to Brittle Paper for updates on all the fun and festivities around the 2014 edition of the Caine Prize for African Writing.