E.C. Osondu. Credit: unknown.

The Nigerian writer E.C. Osondu has won the $1,000 BOA Short Fiction Prize for the manuscript of his short story collection Alien Stories. The recognition comes with a spring 2021 publication deal with BOA Editions, Ltd., as part of its American Reader Series.

“With nimble dexterity and startling originality, E.C. Osondu shifts from Africa to America to outer space, uniting us all as ‘aliens’ within a complex and interconnected universe,” said BOA Publisher Peter Conners, who selected the winning manuscript from 320 submissions. The prize recognized one finalist who will also be published: Michael Martone’s The Complete Writings of Art Smith, The Bird Boy of Fort Wayne, Edited by Michael Martone; and three semifinalists: Nina Sudhakar’s Excavations, Spencer Fleury’s I Blame Myself But Also You, and Phong Nguyen’s Senior Skip Day.

“Thank you, BOA Editions, for opening your arms and giving a home to Alien Stories,” Osondu said. “Particularly poignant because these are for the most part stories about characters who seesaw between finding a home and being cast out. Thank you for helping Alien Stories make its way into the often alienating world in which we live today.”

Osondu, winner of the Caine Prize in 2009, is the author of one previous collection of stories, Voice of America (2010), and of a novel, This House Is Not For Sale (2015). A Syracuse University Fellow, his fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, AGNI, n+1, Guernica, Kenyon ReviewMcSweeney’sZyzzyvaThe Threepenny Review, Lapham’s Quarterly, and New Statesman. His work has been translated into Icelandic, Japanese, and Belarusian. A contributing editor at AGNI, he has been a Visiting Professor at UT Austin and currently teaches at Providence College in Rhode Island.

The 2020 BOA Short Fiction Prize will be open for submissions from April 1 to May 31, 2020. Find out more HERE.

Brittle Paper congratulates E.C. Osondu.