SOAS University of London

2019 Caine Prize for African Writing returns to SOAS next month

14 June 2019

SOAS University of London’s Centre for African Studies will be hosting the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing award ceremony next month.

The Caine Prize for African Writing, now in its 20th year, is a literature prize awarded to an African writer of a short story published in English. The winner of this year's £10,000 prize will be announced at an award ceremony and dinner in the Beveridge Hall at Senate House, SOAS, on Monday 8 July 2019. This is the third time in the 20 year history of the prize that the award will be announced in collaboration with SOAS.

The five-writer shortlist, which includes authors from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria, was announced by this year’s Chair of judges, Kenyan author Dr Peter Kimani. Joining Dr Peter Kimani on the 2019 judging panel are Sefi Atta, Nigerian author and playwright shortlisted for the 2006 Caine Prize; Margie Orford, acclaimed author, Scott Taylor, professor, and director of the African Studies Program at Georgetown University; and Olufemi Terry, Sierra Leone-born author and winner of the 2010 Caine Prize.

The shortlisted writers for the 2019 Caine Prize are:

  • Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for ‘Skinned’, published in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Issue 53 (2018).
  • Meron Hadero (Ethiopia) for ‘The Wall’, published in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Issue 52 (2018).
  • Cherrie Kandie (Kenya) for ‘Sew My Mouth’, published in ID Identity: New Short Fiction From Africa (2018).
  • Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti (Cameroon) for ‘It Takes A Village Some Say’, published in The Baffler (2017).
  • Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor (Nigeria) for ‘All Our Lives’, published in ID Identity: New Short Fiction From Africa (2018).

The shortlisted writers will be in conversation at a special event held at SOAS on 3 July.

The Prize was launched in 2000 to encourage and highlight the richness and diversity of African writing by bringing it to a wider audience internationally. The focus on the short story reflects the contemporary development of the African story-telling tradition.