Writivism

I’m so incredibly honored to have served as a judge for the 2015 Writivism Short Story Competition.

Working with fellow judges—Chika Unigwe, Rachel Zadok, Mukoma wa Ngugi, and Tendai Huchu—was a joy. They were all always so fair, gracious, and perceptive in their appraisal of every story.

The review process was straightforward. After a series of blind readings, we whittled several batches of stories down to a long list of 14, then a shortlist of 5, and then the winning story.

Congrats to Pemi Aguda for winning the prize with “Caterer, Caterer,” her haunting urban tale written in a unique Lagos dialect.

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I am grateful to all the writers for trying in their unique way to capture something authentic, resonant, and true about the continent.  It is was a joy to read the entries and to see the staggering diversity of writing taking place all over the continent.

Thanks to everyone who sent in a story. It took courage to put your work out there. I hope the experience was rewarding to you in some way or another.

To those who did not win, do not be deterred. Keep writing! 

Writivism should be praised for all they’ve accomplished in the contemporary African literary scene. There is nothing as noble as investing time, money, and effort in new writers. Adichie and Cole and Beukes are great to have, but we need new voices in the mix. Young people should be encouraged to tell their stories. Becoming a writer is no easy task, so they need all the support they can get. Thankfully, Writivism has stepped up to the challenge with the numerous writing workshops they fund in various African cities, the mentorship program, the annual festival, and of course the short story competition. 

Thanks to the folks at Cace and Writivism for letting me use my expertise as a critic and curator of African fiction to assist in choosing this year’s Writivism Short Story Competition winner. 

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Post image via Her Zimbabwe