Caine Prize for African Writing 2023 shortlist announced.

Caine Prize for African Writing 2023 shortlist announced.

The shortlist for the Caine Prize for African Writing 2023 has been announced in London, UK today, July 6, 2023.

The Caine Prize for African Writing is awarded annually to an African writer published in English for an outstanding short story since the year 2000. It has recognised some of the most famous writers working today like Leila Aboulela, Helon Habila, Yvonne Adhiambo Owour, and many more. In recent times, winners of the prize have been Idza Luhumyo (2022), Meron Hadero (2021), Irenosen Okojie (2020), Lesley Nneka Arimah (2019), Makena Onjerika (2018), Bushra al-Fadil (2017), Lidudumalingani Mqombothi (2016), and Namwali Serpell (2015).

For 2023, the prize is judged by an all-woman jury chaired by SOAS professor of Law Fareda Banda who is joined by Edwige-Renée Dro, a writer, literary translator, and literary activist; Kadija George Sesay, editor and founder of Mboka Festival; Jendella Benson, author and Head of Editorial at Black Ballad; and Warsan Shire, a multi-award-winning writer and poet who recently collaborated with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter on her Peabody Award-winning visual album Lemonade and the Disney film Black Is King.

The entries this year encompassed a diverse range of talent from 28 different countries; The stories that made the cut are;

  • This Tangible Thing, Yejidé Kilanko (Nigeria), HarperVia (2023)
  • Peeling Time (Deluxe Edition), Tlotlo Tsamaase (Botswana), TorDotCom (2022)
  • ‘A Soul of Small Places, Mame Bougouma Diene and Woppa Diallo (Senegal, TorDotCom (2022)
  • ‘Daughters, By Our Hands, Ekemini Pius (Nigeria), Isele Magazine (2022)
  • Weaving, Yvonne Kusiima (Uganda), Isele Magazine (2022)

Ellah Wakatama, Chair of The Caine Prize Board of Trustees, expressed her thoughts on the judges and shortlist: “This year we have, for the first time, an all-female judging panel for The Caine Prize for African Writing, which for me, is a particular delight. We set out to put together a group of formidable talent and experience across a range of art forms and disciplines. The judges have presented a shortlist that shows range and ambition, across genres and with diverse approaches to storytelling – the quality and innovation that is a hallmark of our annual shortlist.”

Fareda Banda, Chair of Judges, and a professor of Law at SOAS, University of London, expressed her thoughts on the shortlist: “Together, we have meticulously reviewed and debated 230 eligible submissions, ultimately narrowing it down to the final five. The entries we received showcased the depth and breadth of writing on the continent and beyond. These stories span generations, genres, and themes; challenging, stimulating, and delighting us. They embrace speculative fiction and artivism, highlighting the power of engaging and innovative storytelling in addressing gender-based violence and reproductive autonomy. Additionally, they explore inter-generational wisdom and the sense of alienation experienced by diasporic youth. Each story deserves recognition, as they all captivated us.”


Praise God!!! 💜 I’m so honored. This time it’s my story on the @CainePrize website!

Yvonne Kusiima

I’m still quite speechless! Surreal! Blessed. So lovely to see another story from Africa Risen: @mame_bougouma and Woppa Diallo, congrats! Thank you @blackpotmojo @AuthorZKnight @CainePrize thank you all for believing in this story! Congrats to @YejideKilanko @PiusEkemini

Tlotlo Tsamaase

An absolute surprise and honour. Congratulations to the other writers. Thankful to God who keeps holding my head up. 💖

Yejide Kilanko

Delighted to announce that I have been shortlisted for the 2023 Caine Prize for African Writing. All glory be to Jesus. Special thanks to my lovely editor, Ukamaka Olisakwe ( @MsOlisakwe ) for trusting my story and giving it wings.

Ekemini Pius

The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony held in London, UK on Monday, October 2, 2023.


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