Three Nigerian writers shortlisted for Writivism Literary Prize

Three Nigerian writers have been shortlisted for the 2016 Writivism prize ahead of this year’s writing festival holding in Kampala, Uganda.

Aito Joseph, Okwudili Nebeolisa and Gbenga Adesina made the short story and poetry categories respectively.

The names were announced on Monday by Writivism Literary Initiative, organisers of the award and creative writing festival.

Nationals of Kenya, Uganda and Ivory Coast also made the list.

The short story category has four other contenders, namely, Boyi by Gloria Mwaniga Odary (Kenya); SunDown by Acan Innocent Immaculate (Uganda); Jene suis pas rentree by Laure Gnagbé Blédou (Ivory Coast) and The Swahilification of Mutembei by Abu Amirah (Kenya).

Mr. Nebeolisa and Adesina are contending for the Okot P Bitek Prize for Poetry in Translation with a Kenyan, Redscar K’Oyuga.

No Nigerian made the Kofi Addo Prize for Non Fiction category as an all Ghanaian trio clinched it. They include: Lost Futures by S. Y. Tetteh; Missing Wombs by Ama Asantewa Diaka and Another One of Those by Kofi Konadu Berko.

“The five shortlisted short stories will be published on Munyori Literary Journal later in the week, as in previous years. All the five short fiction shortlisters will attend the 2016 Writivism Festival in Kampala, from August 22, to 28, 2016,” the Writivism Initiative stated on its website.

“The winners of the Short Story and the Poetry in Translation prizes will be announced at the 4th Writivism festival on Saturday August 27 and 28, 2016 respectively. The winner of the Non Fiction prize will be announced at a ceremony to be confirmed later in the month.

“The winner of the Short Story Prize will take home a cash prize of 400 US$ and take up a one month writing residency at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Short Story prize shortlisters will attend the Writivism festival and win 100 US $ each. Winners of the Poetry in Translation and Non Fiction prizes will take home a cash prize of 500 US $ each.”

According to the literary initiative, the shortlist was selected by three different panels of judges for the three respective categories of the 2016 prize.

The Short Story Prize was judged by Tsitsi Dangarembga (chair), Sumayya Lee, Richard Ali A Mutu, Okwiri Oduor and Mamadou Diallo. The Non Fiction prize panel comprised NoViolet Bulawayo (chair), Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah and Yewande Omotoso while the Poetry in Translation judging panel includes Duduzile Mabaso (chair), Juliane Bitek and Toni Stuart.

Though East Africa’s leading literary festival, the Writivism Festival brings together established writers from the African Continent and beyond. Organised by the Centre for African Cultural Excellence (CACE), it grooms young talent in the writing craft and engages in workshops and panel discussions revolving around critical issues relating to the creation and dissemination of African Literature.

This year’s edition of the festival will be held from August 22 to August 28 at the Uganda Museum under the theme of “Restoring Connections”.

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