Jhalak Prize

Jhalak Prize 2024 longlists announced.

The longlists for the Jhalak Prize were announced on Thursday, March 14, 2024. These are the writers of African descent in the running.

The Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour is an annual literary prize awarded to British or British-resident BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) writers created by writers Sunny Singh and Nikesh Shukla in 2016. Some previous winners have been Jacob Ross, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Guy Gunaratne, Johny Pitts, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Patrice Lawrence, and Travis Alabanza. In 2020, the award expanded to celebrate writing for Children & Young Adults.

The jury for 2024 are actress, director, and writer Anni Domingo, novelist Stella Oni, poet Denise Saul, author and screenwriter Danielle Jawando, author J. P. Rose, and award-winning children’s author Rashmi Sirdeshpande.

The longlists in the two prizes were announced with the statement; “Delighted to announce the longlist for Jhalak Prize 2024 Each of these books is a literary gem, to be admired, loved, and treasured forever. Our immense gratitude to the writers, creatives, publishers for bringing us this treasure trove!”

The following writers of African descent made the list;


Jury: Anni Domingo, Stella Oni, Denise Saul,

  • River Spirit, Leila Aboulela (Saqi Books)
  • Self-Portrait as Othello, Jason Allen-Paisant (Carcanet)
  • Azucar, Nii Ayikwwei Parkes (Peepal Tree Press)
  • Small Worlds, Caleb Azumah Nelson (Penguin)
  • Twelve Words for Moss, Elizabeth Jane Burnett (Penguin)
  • Fire Rush, Jacqueline Crooks (Vintage)
  • Anansi’s Gold:  The Man Who Swindled The World, Yepoka Yeebo (Bloomsbury)

Children and Young Adult

Jury: Danielle Jawando, J. P. Rose, and Rashmi Sirdeshpande.

  • Koku Akanbi and the Heart of Midnight, Maria Montunrayo Adebisi & Simone Douglas  (Hachette Children’s)
  • My Life as a Chameleon, Dianya Anyakwo (Little, Brown)
  • Poetry Prompts; Joseph Coelho, Georgie Birkett, GrasyaOliyko, Amanda Quartey & Viola Wang (Quarto)
  • How to Die Famous, Benjamin Dean (Simon & Schuster)
  • Part of a Story that Started Before Me, Chosen by George the Poet (PRH Children’s)
  • Friendship Never Ends, Alexandra Sheppard (Knights Of)


“More good company to be in. Thanks @jhalakprize, one I get excited about every year.”

Jason Allen-Paisant

“Three #Ghana people? Ei, Sobolo and Supermalt will finish today!! Buy your eggs now too; supermarkets will report shortages 😅 (But, seriously, I’m honoured. Thanks, @jhalakprize)”

Nii Ayikwei Parkes

“So unbelievably proud to see #FriendshipNeverEnds on the Jhalak Prize longlist alongside these incredible titles! Couldn’t have done it without my superstar editor @EisharKaur, who knows exactly how to get the best out of her authors😘”

Alexandra Sheppard

“A lovely surprise to wake up and see HOW TO DIE FAMOUS on the @jhalakprize children’s and YA longlist. Could not be more grateful 💖”

Benjamin Dean

The shortlists will be announced on April 18 before the winners are revealed on May 30, 2024.

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