Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Twenty-one writers have been longlisted for the 2018/19 Short Story Day Africa Prize. Founded in 2011, the Short Story Day Africa Prize—which offers US$800 for first place, $200 for second place, and $100 for third place—recognizes the best short stories submitted for Short Story Day Africa‘s themed anthologies. Works that have won or been shortlisted for the SSDA Prize have gone on to both win and be shortlisted for the Brittle Paper Award for Fiction and the Caine Prize, establishing Short Story Day Africa as the continent’s most influential institution for short fiction.

The 2018/19 prize theme is “Hotel Africa”:

innovative short fiction set in the rooms, the passages, the bars and the lobbies of hotels across the continent, as well as metafiction exploring Africa as a hotel herself. If these walls could talk, what story would they tell?

The longlisted stories will appear in an anthology, Hotel Africa: New Short Fiction from Africa, to be edited by Helen Moffett, who will work with three editing fellows as part of the SSDA/Worldreader Editing Mentorship.

Here is the longlist:

  • ‘The Satans Inside My Jimmy’ by Harriet Anena (Uganda)
  • ‘The Jollof Cook-off’ by Nkiacha Atemnkeng (Cameroon)
  • ‘The Last Resident’ by Jayne Bauling (South Africa)
  • ‘Mr Thompson’ by Noel Cheruto (Kenya)
  • ‘The Layover’ by Anna Degenaar (South Africa)
  • ‘A Miracle In Valhalla’ by Nnamdi Fred (Nigeria)
  • ‘Of Birds and Bees’ by Davina Kawuma (Uganda)
  • ‘Maintenance Check’ by Alinafe Malonje (Malawi)
  • ‘Why Don’t You Live in the North?’ by Wamuwi Mbao (South Africa)
  • ‘Slow Road to the Winburg Hotel’ by Paul Morris (South Africa)
  • ‘The Snore Monitor’ by Chido Muchemwa (Zimbabwe)
  • ‘Outside Riad Dahab’ by Chourouq Nasri (Morocco)
  • ‘Broken English’ by Adorah Nworah (Nigeria)
  • ‘Queens’ Children’s Little Feet’ by Godwin Oghenero Estella (Nigeria)
  • ‘Door of No Return’ by Natasha Omokhodion-Banda (Zambia)
  • ‘An Abundance of Lies’ by Faith Oneya (Kenya)
  • ‘The Match’ by Troy Onyango (Kenya)
  • ‘Supping at the Fountain of Lethe’ by Bryony Rheam (Zimbabwe)
  • ‘Happy City Hotel’ by Adam El Shalakany (Egypt)
  • ‘The Space(s) Between Us’ by Lester Walbrugh (South Africa)
  • ‘Shithole’ by Michael Yee (South Africa)

“This year’s longlist was particularly difficult to decide,” said SSDA founder Rachel Zadok. “Like last year, the slushpile was read by a team of professional editors with an eye on development, so that no talent, no matter how raw, was overlooked. Instead of looking simply to the most polished stories to make up the list, we looked at the originality of the story. We looked for that sparkle in a writer’s voice that’s almost impossible to define, but when you see it, it creates a buzz in your brain. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there are no polished writers on the list, just that the playing field was more equal. The stories on the longlist each explore the theme in unique and fascinating ways.”

Here is the rest of the press release.

‘We’re pleased to see that quite a few stories come from writers who attended the Flow Workshops, and that writers who have previously been longlisted and have participated in Flow Workshops and the Development Editing Process, like Harriet Anena and Lester Walbrugh, have come so far in their storytelling. They’ve gone from “good” to ‘”wow, fantastic!”

‘We’re also seeing a greater number of stories from previously under-represented countries. It’s wonderful to be publishing writers like Adam El Shalakany from Egypt, who has entered the SSDA Prize in the past but has never been placed. His story “Happy City Hotel” was one of the unanimous decisions, of which there were only six out of the twenty-one. After months of reading, which culminated in three and a half hours of deliberation, arguing and tears, each of us walked away a little heartbroken for the favourites we had to sacrifice. So to the writers who didn’t make the list this year: don’t give up. We’ve got our eyes on you.

‘We want to extend express thanks to our sponsors, the Goethe-Institut, the Miles Morland Foundation, Worldreader and the Beit Trust, and our publishing partner New Internationalist.’

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

African Literary Digest: 101 Notable Pieces of 2018

AFRICAN LITERARY DIGEST (1)

It was inevitable: compiling a list as monstrous as this would consume time, cause a delay. But here we are. […]

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Diana Evans Longlisted for the 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize

DIANA EVANS, NOVUYO BOOKS

The Zimbabwean novelist Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and the British-Nigerian novelist Diana Evans have been longlisted for the £30,000 Rathbones Folio […]

Ben Okri to Headline the 2019 African Book Festival in Berlin, with Ainehi Edoro, Musa Okwonga as Moderators | All the Guests + Key Events

berlin festival of african writers

Ben Okri will headline the 2019 African Book Festival in Berlin, curated by Tsitsi Dangarembga, where panels will be moderated by Brittle […]

Gerald Kraak Prize Anthology, Trifonia Melibea Obono, Uzodinma Iweala Shortlisted for the 2019 LAMBDA Literary Awards

lamda awards 2019

Four books by Africans have been shortlisted for the 2019 LAMBDA Literary Awards for literature about LGBTQI+ people. Equatoguinean writer […]

Praxis Magazine Announces Seven Poetry Chapbooks for Its 2019-20 Publication Series

praxis chapbook series graph

Praxis magazine has selected seven poetry chapbooks for its 2019-20 publication series. The announcement, made on its website, included submissions from […]

Poetry Collective & Press Konya Shamsrumi Gets New Columnist-Bloggers in Tafirenyika, Anena, Grieder, Gatawa, and Sabuke

konya shamsrumi

The poetry collective and press Konya Shamsrumi (KSR) has announced new columnist-bloggers for its website. They are: Tinashe Tafirenyika, the two-time National Arts Merit […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.