Aspen Words Literary Prize

Aspen Words Literary Prize 2024 longlist announced.

The longlist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize 2024 was announced on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. Here are the writers of African descent on the list.

The Aspen Words Literary Prize is an annual award for an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture. Eligible works include novels or short story collections that address questions of violence, inequality, gender, the environment, immigration, religion, race or other social issues. Past winners include Mohsin Hamid (2018), Tayari Jones (2019), Christy Lefteri (2020), Erdrich (2021), and Dawnie Walton (2022).  Laila Lalami and Nicole Dennis-Benn have made the shortlist.

The selection committee that reads all nominated works published in the United States in 2023 and determines the longlist comprised Nora Gonzalez, Lois Nemcovsky, and Jerid P. Woods. This team came up with the longlist with the following writers of African descent;

  • Chain-Gang All-Stars, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Pantheon – Random House
  • Temple Folk, Aaliyah Bilal, Simon & Schuster
  • Witness, Jamel Brinkley, Farrar, Straus and Giroux – Macmillan
  • The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa, Stephen Buoro, Bloomsbury Publishing
  • The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, James McBride, Riverhead Books – Penguin Random House
  • When Trying to Return Home: Stories, Jennifer Maritza, McCauley Counterpoint Press – Penguin Random House
  • Let Us Descend, Jesmyn Ward, Scribner – Simon & Schuster


Honored to be here with friends and LEGENDS!

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

The longlist will now go to the jury comprising authors Lan Samantha Chang, Christina Baker Kline, Anthony Marra, Chinelo Okparanta, and Simran Jeet Singh who select the shortlist and winner.


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