Pemi Aguda wins…


Nigerian writer, Pemi Aguda has won the 2020 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award for her forthcoming fictional work, The Suicide Mothers. The 2020 judges, Sarah Perry, Max Porter, and Ian Rankin (Chair) made the announcement on the Deborah Rogers Foundation website, naming Pemi as the winner of the 2020 prize and the £10,000 that comes with it.

“Some good news that has me weeping into my pillow.”

Pemi Aguda

In second place was 2018 recipient of the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship, Stephen Buoro for The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa, and in third place, S. Bhattacharya-Woodward for Zolo and Other Stories. Both authors will each receive £1,000.

Taking to her Facebook page where friends and followers trooped out en masse to congratulate her, Pemi shared the news with the words: “Some good news that has me weeping into my pillow.”

Pemi Aguda

The Deborah Rogers Foundation (DRF) was set up in memory of Deborah Rogers to continue to seek out and support emerging talent specifically by means of two biennial awards: The Writers Award which gives £10,000 to an unpublished writer to enable them to complete a first book; and The DRF David Miller Bursary which offers work placements in publishing houses worldwide, together with £10,000 to help a young agent or publisher gain international work experience.

Aminya-Trust, an imprint of Daily Trust newspapers in conjunction with Gandun Kalmomi and Open Arts Kaduna calls for submissions for the debut Hausa Short Story Writing Competition for 2020. The competition aims to boost Hausa literature and will be an annual event.

The theme for the 2020 edition is “Challenges of Democracy and Politicking in Nigeria.”

All entries should be a piece of creative writing in Hausa that falls between 1000 – 1500 words, and should be sent to as a Microsoft Word attachment. The body of the email should include the writer’s full name, a short bio, address and phone number.

The top 3 entries will be awarded prizes as follows: 1st Position – N250,000; 2nd Position – N150,000, 3rd Position – N100,000.

Winners of the 2020 Aminiya-Trust Hausa Short Story Competition will be announced in September 2020. Between September and October 2020, the top 15 entries will be edited and published in an anthology, with the top 3 entries translated into English for worldwide distribution. In December 2020, an award ceremony will be held in Kaduna.

Source: Open Arts Kaduna


After sifting through 131 eligible submissions from 21 countries, the 2020 shortlist of the AKO Caine Prize has finally been announced. Three of the five shortlisted writers are from Nigeria, with writers from Tanzania and Rwanda/Namibia completing the list.

The 5 shortlisted writers are: Erica Sugo Anyadike (Tanzania) for How to Marry an African President; Chikodili Emelumadu (Nigeria & UK) for What to do when your child brings home a Mami Wata; Jowhor Ile (Nigeria) for Fisherman’s Stew; Rémy Ngamije (Rwanda & Namibia) for The Neighbourhood Watch; and Irenosen Okojie (Nigeria & UK) for Grace Jones.

Five shortlisted writers

The 2020 judging panel include Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp (Chair), Audrey Brown, Gabriel Gbadamosi, Ebissé Wakjira-Rouw, and James Murua. This year’s shortlist was determined virtually unlike before where the judges convene in London to select the top five from the submissions received.

The winner of this year’s prize will take home the sum of £10,000, while each shortlisted writer receives £500. The AKO Caine Prize has postponed the year’s annual award ceremony until autumn.


The Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation (YELF) has held its first ever virtual literary session. The session which ensued on Instagram was hosted by writer and journalist Sada Malumfashi, with poet, Saddiq Dzukogi coming in as the first guest. Both creatives treated their audience to a good evening with topics ranging from the effects of the pandemic, their coping mechanisms, their writing influences, how social media has proven to be more useful than ever, and much more.

Saddiq, who just secured a book deal with Nebraska Press read his first ever poem as a child; a poem inspired by NEPA (now PHCN). He also read ‘Wineglass’, the first poem from his forthcoming book, Your Crib, My Qibla, which he wrote in memory of his late daughter, Bahra. He stated that these poems are the only way for her and him to have conversations that time did not give them the luxury of having. He shared with the audience that he wrote most of the poems in Sunbeams and Shadows, an earlier collection of his works on a hospital bed, taking inspiration from the fact that if he died then, there would be nothing of him to be remembered by.

YELF Literary Evening is an event created for literary enthusiasts both young and old to share their works with the world at large. It usually takes place at Creativity Court, Kaduna, on the last Saturday of every month, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, convening physically has become a challenge.

With social media presenting an alternative, it is no surprise that YELF, like many other literary platforms since the start of the pandemic, has taken the option to begin virtual sessions. With the quality of the conversation achieved with the first one, these virtual sessions are definitely one that YELF’s teeming audience will be looking forward to.


Goethe-Institut NG has begun an interview series on staying abreast with literary works and journalism in this period of crisis. This was stated in a tweet released on May 14th, 2020 as follows:

“For our #CoronaChronicles interview series, we asked 10 Nigerian Artists and Journalists what the crisis means for them and their work, how they deal with it and what lessons they have learnt for the future. The videos will be posted across our channels starting from tomorrow.”

Similarly, AFREADA has started a reading series as they reported on their twitter handle @AFREADA saying;

“It’s been a tough couple of weeks for us all, but stories have always been the best form of escape, so we’re pleased to share that we are starting a new reading series for anyone and everyone who needs a break from depressing news articles and worrying statistics.

“It’s a simple idea. We’ve collated a selection of fictional stories by African writers, and we’ll start each day with a link. That’s it. New day, new link, new opportunity to temporarily escape. We’ll keep it going for as long as we need to & our DMs are open for recommendations!”

As stated from the tweets, they will be sharing daily links to works by African writers. This already started March 25th, 2020 with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s She is Our Stupid, followed by Birdsong by Chimamanda Adichie, and Changing Time by Temo Buliro.

Other writers who have been featured in the series include: Chinua Achebe, Chigozie Obioma, Leila Aboulela, Taiye Selasi, and Lesley Nneka Arimah.


The virtual Literary Festival is founded by author and curator, Zukiwa Wanner with the aim of connecting with writers in the period of quarantine and lockdown where literary festivals cannot hold due to a ban on all public gathering. The festival is an eight-day event that is being broadcasted live via Facebook and Instagram to all literary enthusiasts across the African continent and the entire globe.

The first and second edition took place between 23rd-30th March, 2020 and 20th-27th April, 2020 respectively. Writers featured were, Richard Ali, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Mohale Mashigo, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Chris Abani, Lola Shoneyin, Mona Eltahawy and others.

The third edition is scheduled for May 25th to June 1st 2020 with Mohale Mashigo as co-curator. It will feature 16 writers including Nigerian writers Tochi Onyebuchi, Ayesha Haruna Atta, Molara Wood, and other famous African writers like Leila Aboulela, Vamba Sherif, Tanella Boni, and Angela Makolwa.

The theme for the third edition is, “Past. Present. Future.”

All sessions will be live on

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