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Winners of the 2019 Nommo Awards

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On October 25, the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) announced the winners of the 2019 Nommo Awards. The award announcement and presentation of prizes were held at a ceremony during the Ake Book and Arts Festival, which took place from October 24 to October 27 in Lagos.

The ASFS is a body of African writers, editors, publishers and graphic artists who nominate shortlisted works and vote for the winners. The Nommo Awards, established in 2016, recognizes the finest fantasy or science fiction works by Africans. The awards are given in four categories: Best Novel ($1000), Best Novella ($500), Best Short Story ($500), and Best Comic or Graphic Novel ($1000).

Akwaeki Emezi’s Freshwater was announced winner for the category of Best Novel. The shortlist of six included Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, Empty Monsters by Cat Hellisen, Knucklebone by Nechama Brodie, The Strange by Masha du Toit, and A Spy in Time by Imraan Coovadia.

Nerine Dorman’s The Firebird was announced winner for the category of Best Novella.The other shortlisted works were Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor, Hard Mary by Sofia Samatar, and Neid-Fire by Caldon Mull.

Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald’s “The Witching Hour,” published in Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, was announced winner for the category of Best Short Story. The other shortlisted writers include: “Brand New Ways (to lose you over and over again)” by Blaize Kaye, published in Omenana; “The Girl Who Stared at Mars” by Cristy Zinn, published in AfroSFV3; “The Luminal Frontier” by Biram Mboob, published in AfroSFV3; “Memento Mori” by Tiah Marie Beautement, published in Omenana; “Njuzu” by T.L. Huchu, published in AfroSFV3; and “Origami Angels” by Derek Lubangakene, published in Omenana. 

Nnedi Okorafor’s Shuri: The Search for Black Panther (illustrated by Leonardo Romero) was announced winnter for the category of Best Graphic Novel. The other nominees include Akissi: Tales of Mischief by Marguerite Abouet (illustrated by Mathieu Sapin and translated by Judith Taboy and Marie Bédrune);  Black Panther: Long Live the King by Nnedi Okorafor (illustrated by André Araújo); Eru, by Tobe Max Ezeogu and Oz Ezeogu; Kwezi by Loyiso Mkize, Mohale Mashigo and Clyde Beech; Karmzah by Farida Bedwei and Ravi Allotey; Malika Warrior Queen Part Two by Roye Okupe and Chima Kalu; Rovik by Yvonne Wanyoike, Kendi Mberia, and Salim Busuru; Shaka Rising by Luke Molver; Tàtàshé, by Cassandra Mark and Tobe Max Ezeogu; and Under the Sun by Austine Osas, Abiodun Awodele,  and Yusuf Temitope.

Congratulations to Akwaeke Emezi, Nerine Dorman, Ekpeki Donald Oghenechovwe and Nnedi Okorafor!

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Chukwuebuka Ibeh is a Staff Writer at Brittle Paper. An alumnus of the Purple Hibiscus Trust Creative Writing Workshop, his work has been published in McSweeneys, Clarion Review, Charles River Journal and elsewhere. He was longlisted for the Awele Creative Trust Award in 2017 and was a finalist for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award. In 2019, he was named by Electric Literature as 'One of the Most Promising New Voices of Nigerian Fiction' in a feature introduced by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. He is a regular contributor with the New England Review of Books and lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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