Photo sourced from Carol Coelho.

Nine writers have been longlisted for the the 2023 Island Prize for African Fiction.

As noted in the press statement, the “quality of this year’s submissions were incredibly strong, flooding in from across the entire continent.” Submissions came from all over the continent, including  Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Mauritius, Zambia, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Ghana.

9 Writers Longlisted for the 2023 Island Prize For African Fiction

The Island Prize is a manuscript prize and was founded in honor of South African author Karen Jennings’ Booker-longlisted novel An Island. It’s objective is to discover new writers from the continent and provide them with the resources and support to bring their work to a wider audience. This prize is open to unpublished debut novelists from all African countries, or the diaspora. First place will be awarded £500, £300 for second, and £200 for third place. These winning three manuscripts will all be considered for publication, in addition to their authors being introduced to an agent.

This year’s longlist is diverse, featuring writers from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and South Africa,

The longlisted books for the 2023 edition include:

  • Bobo Hamham by Aganaba, Jesudubami Jemima  (Nigeria)
  • The Becoming-Nothing of Bodies by Olubunmi Familoni (Nigeria)
  • A Mouth Full of Salt by Reem Gaafar (Sudan)
  • No Poison, No Paradise by Nzeru Aquilar Nsaí (South Africa)
  • Braids and Migraines by Andile Cele MaShandu (South Africa)
  • Choosing an Outfit for the End of the World by Robyn Perros (South Africa)
  • Carrying a Country on Your Forehead by Tanaka Chidora (Zimbabwe)
  • Night’s Last Secrets by Felix Otis (Kenya)
  • Captured by Immaculate Halla (Tanzania)

This year’s judges include Karen Jennings (author and founder of The Island Prize), Rachel Edwards (author), and Hamza Koudri (runner up for The Island Prize 2022).

The shortlist will be released shortly. Fingers crossed for the longlisted writers!