Commonwealth Short Story Prize and other News

Kritika Pandey wins the 9th annual Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Indian writer, Kritika Pandey has emerged the overall winner of the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for her story, The Great Indian Tee and Snakes. The announcement was made by the prize chair, Nii Ayikwei Parker in the award’s first ever online ceremony, anchored by Shelly King.

According to Nii, “… Kritika Pandey infuses the tale with empathy and balance, allowing the characters to inhabit themselves fully, while dragging the narrative to its inevitable end. It’s a story that asks important questions about identity, prejudice and nationhood, using metaphors with devastating effect, while still brimming with its author’s revelry in the possibilities of language.”

An emotional Kritika said, “This is a very incredible moment for me.” She hopes this award “helps more people trust their daughters and their dreams.”

As earlier announced, the regional winners for this year’s prize are: Africa, Innocent Chizaram Ilo (Nigeria); Asia, Kritika Pandey (India); Canada and Europe, Reyah Martin (United Kingdom); Caribbean, Brian S. Heap (Jamaica); Pacific, Andrea E. MacLeod (Australia)

Congratulations to Kritika and all of the regional winners.

Oyinkan Braithwaite Shortlisted for UK’s Most Prestigious Crime Writing Prize.

Nigerian author, Oyinkan Braithwaite has been shortlisted for the 2020 edition of the Theakston Award. She was nominated for her wave-making book: My Sister, the Serial Killer. This she made known on her Instagram page @oyinbraithwaite.

“My Sister, the Serial Killer (otherwise known as the little book that could) has been shortlisted for the #TheakstonAward @harrogatefestivals. Thank you, to everyone who voted for my book, I cannot thank you enough. If you’d like this book to win, please click on the link in my bio. Thank you!”

The shortlisted books are Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee; The Chain by Adrian McKinty; Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald; The Lost Man by Jane Casey; Joe Country by Mick Herron; My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. The winner will be decided by votes currently going on at https://harrogatetheakstoncrimeaward.com/vote/

This year’s winner will receive the sum of £3,000 and a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakson at a virtual ceremony on July 23rd.

Go Oyinkan. Ayamba is rooting for you.

Bernadine Evaristo and Oyinkan Braithwaite win big at The British Book Award.

Photo from @brittlepaper

Bernardine Evaristo was named Author of the Year at this year’s Nibbies, as well as having her Booker-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other named the Fiction Book of the Year. Oyinkan Braithwaite has won the Crime & Thriller Book of the Year award at the British Book Awards for her novel My Sister, The Serial Killer.

Oyinkan Braithwaite showed appreciation for winning the award in an Instagram post saying:

“I learnt just moments ago that I am the first black author to win this category of the British Book Awards! I cannot put into words what this means to me. But I wasn’t alone, three black women made history today: @candicec_w crushed two categories, and @bernardineevaristowriter crushed two categories. We owned our space and I’m glad to have won alongside women who have done so much for the industry. #blackrepresentation”

Bernadine also tweeted: “Happy to just win two awards at the British Book Awards #Nibbies:
Fiction Book of the Year & Author of the Year…”

According to stylist.co.uk, Bernardine Evaristo beat joint Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood to the Fiction Book of the Year. Both Oyinkan and Bernadine are the first black authors to win their categories at the Nibbies.

Chuma Nwokolo Joins Panel of Judges for Morland African Writing Scholarships 2020.


Veteran Nigerian author of books like How to Spell Naija … and The Extinction of Menai, Chuma Nwokolo has been announced as a judge for 2020 edition of Morland African Writing Scholarships. He replaces Otosirieze Obi-Young who was on the panel in 2019. Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and Muthoni Garland (Chair) return to complete the panel.

Founded in 2013, previous winners of the prize include Kola Tubosun, Edwige Renee Dro, Yewande Omotoso, Noo Saro-Wiwa, Akwaeke Emezi, Karen Jennings, and Ayesha Haruna Attah.

The Morland Writing Scholarships for African Writers announced by Miles Morland Foundation gives writers a grant of £18,000, paid monthly over the course of twelve months. At the discretion of the foundation, scholars writing non-fiction may receive up to £27,000 paid over a period of eighteen months.
Entries open on July 1, 2020. For more information, kindly visit https://milesmorlandfoundation.com/about-2/

Sarah Ladipo Manyika among Judges for Aspen Words Literary Prize.

British-Nigerian writer Sarah Ladipo Manyika has been announced as part of the Aspen Words Literary Prize jury for the 2021 edition. The other jurors are Vietnamese-American novelist, Viet Thanh Nguyen; and American writers: Emily Bernard, Daniel Shaw and Luis Alberto Urrea.

The Aspen Words Literary Prize, one of the largest writing prizes in the US is open to novels and short story collections from writers of any nationality, addressing violence, inequality, gender, the environment, immigration, religion, race or other social issues. Submissions are open until August 3, 2020.

Further information is available at http://www.aspenwords.org/programs/literary-prize/eligibility-submissions/

Ngala Chome wins the African Author Prize for 2019.


Ngala Chome is the winner of the Royal African Society’s African Author Prize 2019 for his article, “From Islamic reform to Muslim activism: The evolution of an Islamist ideology in Kenya”.
The biannual prize is awarded for the best article published in the journal by an author based in an African institution, or an African PhD student based in an overseas university in recognition of excellent African scholarship, which often does not reach audiences outside the African continent. 
According to the judges, the paper by Ngala Chome addressed an important political issue in an interesting and original way, and it weaves together primary and secondary material to construct a rich and persuasive narrative. It also has wider theoretical relevance beyond the Kenyan case.
Chome receives a cash prize of £500, one year’s free subscription to African Affairs, an economy airfare to London, and £500 for expenses to attend the ASAUK Conference in Oxford. The runner-up was J Siguru Wahutu for “Representations of Africa in African media: The case of the Darfur violence.”
The articles can be accessed for free on https://academic.oup.com/afraf/article/118/472/531/5363942

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