Writivism has announced strong longlists for both their Short Story Prize and the Koffi Addo Nonfiction Prize, and we believe that with these 35 names, the initiative is witnessing its most competitive year yet.
First awarded in 2013, the $400 Writivism Short Story Prize is organised by the Center for African Cultural Excellence (CACE) and is the highlight of the annual Writivism Festival. In the five years since, it has carved a niche for itself as a prize for short fiction by young writers. The $400 Koffi Addo Writivism Prize for Creative Nonfiction, initially open only to Ghanaians, is in its second year.
We are especially excited about the longlists: 12 of the chosen 35 have been published by us. They include the 2014 winner Saleeha Bhamjee, Eloghosa Osunde, Stephanie Wanga, Andre C. Dakalira, Ama Udofa, Keletso Mopai, Arinze Akpachukwu and Socrates Mbamalu. The other four have had their works in anthologies published by us. Ife Olujuyigbe and Munachim Amah in A Mosaic of Torn Places, John Oyewale in Enter Naija: The Book of Places, and Okwudili Nebeolisa in Gossamer: Valentine Stories, 2016.
The 2017 Writivism Short Story Prize
The judging panel comprises Sumayya Lee, Haruna Ayesha Attah, Emmanuel Sigauke, Edwige Dro, and the chair Helon Habila. Here are the nominees’ bios as gotten from Writivism’s Website.
Ollier Lemvo Dondedieu Richtel was born on 16th March 1995 in Brazaville, Congo. He is currently studying for a masters in Law despite being a lover of literature. Stutter brought him to literature, poetry especially, which he used as an existential expression to cure this speech impediment. He has written since then to be free, wielding what is sensitive.
Maureen Wakarindi is a lover of words in all forms. She enjoys learning new things and collecting memories. When she’s not writing or thinking about writing, she reads, she bakes, she puts her earphones on and she people-watches.
Stephanie Wanga is from Nairobi, Kenya. She has been selected for the Writivism Mentoring Programme 2017, as well as been part of the inaugural group of Amplify Fellows. She has also been previously published on Brittle Paper. She has just finished her undergraduate degree in law.
Andrew C. Dakalira‘s stories have appeared on, Brittle Paper and The Kalahari Review. His novella, VIII, appeared in the second volume of AfroSF, an anthology of five science fiction novellas. He lives in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Ama Udofa is a Nigerian student of biochemistry by day, and writer of short stories, songs and poetry at night. When he is not busy memorizing biochemical pathways, he can be found talking to himself, schlepping around, Facebooking, or testing the limits of his culinary abilities.
Blessing J. Christopher lives in Nigeria. She is freelance writer and blogger.
Eloghosa Osunde (Nigeria) is a writer and visual artist. Her memoir work was recently published by Catapult and her visual art was selected for the 2017 New York Times annual portfolio review. She is working on her debut novel.
Ife Olujuyigbe is a Nigerian writer, editor and film critic. A Chemical Engineering graduate, her works have appeared on Brittle Paper, Akoma, Short Sharp Shot Literary Magazine, and A Mosaic of Torn Places anthology. In 2016, she won the Flash Fiction Competition, Blackout and the SGNT Media Short Story Prize.
John ‘Lighthouse’ Oyewale’s (Nigeria) works are in What’s On Africa, Short Story Day Africa, Itch, Sankofa, This Is Africa, Enter Naija: The Book of Places anthology, etc. An alumnus of the British Council, Aké Arts and Books Festival, and Goethe-Institut writing workshops, he recently became fiction editor at Praxis Magazine for Arts and Literature.
Munachim Amah (Nigeria) explores family, loss, and gender through his writing. He is an alumnus of the 2016 Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop and has short fiction and creative non-fiction published in Saraba Magazine, African Writer, Kalahari Review, and forthcoming in Bakwa Magazine.
Suyi Davies Okungbowa writes speculative fiction and associated matters from Lagos, Nigeria. His works are published or forthcoming in Lightspeed, Fireside, The Dark, Omenana, and other places. He’s co-curator at WordsAreWork literary hub. He lives online at, tweets @IAmSuyiDavies and runs a monthly Jabberwock: After Five Writing Shenanigans.
Rafeeat Aliyu (Nigeria) loves food, learning about pre-colonial African history and watching horror movies. She writes weird and speculative fiction.
South Africa’s Keletso Mopai has had her short fiction featured in print and online publications such as Drum Magazine, Brittle Paper and Tuck Magazine. She was recently selected as one of the 29 mentees for the 2017 Writivism mentorship programme. She earned her Honours degree in Geology, in 2016.
Kyle Allan is a writer, recording artist and events organiser from the KwaZulu Natal midlands, South Africa.
Saaleha Bhamjee (South Africa), serial Writivist, is a mother, baker, chef and writer. Entirely unschooled in any of these, she has 5 children, owns a bakery, a little restaurant as well as the dubious honour of having completed the umpteenth rewrite of a novel and a collection of sometimes funny short stories. Her Writivism entry is a chapter from her novel.
Derek Lubangakene is a fiction writer and screenwriter based in Kampala, Uganda. He is also a contributing editor for Deyu African Magazine. His work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, River River Journal, The Missing Slate, The Kalahari Review, Lawino Magazine, and the Imagine Africa 500 Anthology, among others.
Joel Benjamin Ntwatwa loves the arts. He is a Ugandan writer, poet, blogger, books and arts reviewer, and a digital content manager. He lives in Uganda and blogs at, reviews at and has trained with British Council, Writivism, Success Spark Brand, FEMRITE, Babishai Niwe, Lantern Meet of Poetry, and Kampala Writes Bremen.
Precious Colette Kemigisha discovered a love of words at the age of six. Later she obtained her BA in English Literature from Manchester Metropolitan University and a Postgraduate degree from Edinburgh University. After working in publishing, she returned to Uganda to work at the Christian publishing house, Quiet Garden Publishing.
Tariro Ndoro is a Zimbabwean poet and short story writer. She received her MA in Creative Writing from Rhodes University in South Africa. Her poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in several journals and anthologies including Fireside Fiction, Kotaz, New Contrast and Oxford Poetry.
Régine Gwladys Lebouda (Cameroon) is a writer.
The Koffi Addo Creative Nonfiction Prize
The judging panel comprises E. C. Osondu, Angela Kintu, and Panashe Chigumadzi. Here are the nominees’ bios as gotten from Writivism’s Website.
Emmanuel Yew Sekyere was born on December 14, 1989 at South Suntreso, Kumasi, Ghana. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Science from KNUST. He is a talented writer, graphic designer and singer, and he is passionate about pushing agenda through creative arts to make a difference in society.
Ivana Akotowaa Ofori, mononymously known as Akotowaa, is a Ghanaian writer, blogger, poet and spoken word artist. She lives in Accra, Ghana, but is currently enrolled in college in California, USA. She hopes to use her life to promote honesty, quality and boundless imagination, particularly through lyrical art.
Barbara Wanjala is a Kenyan writer. Her writing appears in Safe House (Dundurn, 2016). She was shortlisted for the 2015 Haller Prize for Development Journalism. She was awarded a 2016 Investigative Journalism Fellowship with Africa Uncensored in 2016 and a 2017 Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism.
Winnie Ochieng currently lives in Nairobi, Kenya. She has a B.A in Literature and Political Science from the University of Nairobi.
Akpa Arinzechukwu is a Nigerian photographer and writer. His work has appeared in Litro, Sou’wester, Brittle paper, New Contrast, Kalahari Review, Packingtown Review, ITCH, Eastlit, London Grip Poetry, The Flash Fiction Press, and elsewhere.
Kadiri Alex writes from Nigeria. He holds a BA in English and literary studies. Like beads, he enjoys stringing individual words together to make wholesome, beautiful stories. Some of his works have appeared in ShortSharpShot, Problem House and Afreada amongst others.
Ugochukwu Evans Nwankwo was born in Lagos, but grew up in Enugu. He holds a B.Sc in Applied Biochemistry, and a diploma in Project Management. His short story was shortlisted for the 2016 Rusty Scythe awards. He currently works as an instructor in The Finishers Academy International.
Born in 1993, Okwudili Nebeolisa is a Nigerian writer. His works have been (or will be) featured in Threepenny Review, Commonwealth Writers, Cincinnati Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Salamander Magazine etc. He was on the shortlist of the 2016 Sillerman Prize and won 2nd place in the Okot P’ Bitek Prize.
Sada Malumfashi is a writer living in Kaduna, Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Saraba Magazine, Transition Magazine and New Orleans Review amongst others. He is interested in the intricacies of languages and works on translations bilingually in English and Hausa.
Socrates Mbamalu was born in Nigeria and grew up in Kenya. His nonfiction piece, “Lives of Trailer Drivers,” was published in adda. He is a 2016 Saraba Nonfiction Manuscript prize awardee. His Saraba nonfiction manuscript The Kenyan Boy is due for publication as an e-book this year. Twitter: @linsoc
Vivian Ogbonna has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. In 2015, she participated in the Writivism Creative Writing Workshop in Lagos, Nigeria. Her short story, “A Ball of Thread,” was long-listed for the 2015 Writivism Short Story Prize. She has also been published in The New Black Magazine, Olisa TV, etc.
Man with a beautiful mind: Charles King is a lecturer and writer in Cape Town where, amongst others, he teaches how to report climate change, homophobia. He knows the world’s not perfect, but that it can be improve
Rufaro Samanga is a Microbiology graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is a passionate feminist and activist providing social commentary both through her critical thought-pieces for OkayAfrica and frequent panel discussions on radio PowerFM. She is currently working on her debut novel and lives in South Africa.
Godfrey E. Mishomari is a writer, social science editor and entrepreneur who based in Dar es Salaam. He has written several articles for youth and Swahili children books such as Siku Yangu ya Kuzaliwa, Kisa cha Mbuni, Kadogoo Afanya Mabadiliko and co-author in Fundamentals of Geography: Questions and Anwers.
Marko Phiri is a Zimbabwean writer and journalist. His short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and essays have appeared in Kalahari Review, African Arguments, Afreada, Afridiaspora, The Conmag, Bahati Books. He has also contributed to Writing Lives, a short story anthology of Zimbabwean writers published by Weaver Press.
The judges’ comment on their choices is more of a poem:
What a joy to know that our beloved continent is still the home of many stories
What a pleasure to read these entries
What a feast of diverse voices
What more can we ask for than that we continue to tell our stories
What we hope for is that the pool from which these stories came will never run dry
What more …
The Writivism Short Story Prize was won in 2013 by Uganda’s Anthea Paelo, in 2014 by South Africa’s Saaleha Bhamjee, in 2015 by Nigeria’s Pemi Aguda who we interviewed, and in 2016 by Uganda’s Acan Innocent Immaculate who we have published.
The inaugural Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Nonfiction was won last year by Ghana’s S.Y. Tetteh.
Congratulations to the 35 longlistees!