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Announcing the Judges, Afrocritik Prize for Criticism

Announcing the Judges, Afrocritik Prize for Criticism

Each judge brings a wealth of experience and expertise garnered over the years, writing riveting works of prose and poetry. 

By Sybil Fekurumoh

Afrocritik announces its panel of four African writers presiding over its inaugural prize for criticism. The panel comprises Adedayo Agarau and Joshua Chizoma from Nigeria, and Kenyan writers Gloria Mwaniga Odary and Peter Ngila Njeri. 

Announcing the Judges - Afrocritik Prize for Criticism

 

The Afrocritik Prize for Criticism is an initiative set up to encourage cultural engagement while also promoting constructive criticism in the arts. The 2024 edition will spotlight reviews within the works of contemporary African writers; Affection & Other Accidents by Dami Ajayi; Dreaming of Ways to Understand You by Jerry Chiemeke; and His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie, with prizes up to $600 allotted for the best reviews. Entries are open to young Africans (ages 17 to 24) residing in Africa. Entries are open until April, 30th, 2024. See here for more information on how to apply.

Afrocritik prize for criticism 2024

Each judge brings a wealth of experience and expertise garnered over the years, writing riveting works of prose and poetry. Their respective contributions to African literature have been recognised and celebrated through awards and accolades.

About the Judges

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Adedayo Agarau is a poet and author of the chapbooks, Origin of Names and The Arrival of Rain. He obtained his MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop ’23. He is a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Cave Canem Fellow, 2022 Robert Hayden Scholarship fellow, and a recipient of the 2022 Stanley Awards for International Research at the University of Iowa. Agarau’s poems have been featured in Poetry Magazine, Poetry Society of America, World Literature Today, and elsewhere. He is also the Editor-in-Chief at Agbowó, An African magazine of literature and art.

Adedayo Agarau
Adedayo Agarau

Joshua Chizoma is a Nigerian lawyer and writer whose works explore the themes of family, belonging and place. His short story, “Collector of Memories” was a finalist for the Afritondo Short Story Prize 2020 and was subsequently selected as a finalist for the 2022 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing. He is a 2022 finalist for the Miles Morland Scholarship finalist and a nominee for the Pushcart Prize. Chizoma won the 2021 Ken Saro Wiwa Prize for Review, the 2020 Awele Creative Trust Short Story Prize, and the 2018 Kreative Diadem Prize in the Flash fiction category and returned to judge the prize in 2022. His works have been published or forthcoming in Isele Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Lolwe, AFREADA, Entropy Magazine, Kalahari Review, Prachya Review, and elsewhere. He was selected for the 2019 Purple Hibiscus Workshop taught by Chimamanda Adichie. Chizoma has a law degree from the University of Nigeria and was the second-best graduating student at the Nigerian national bar examinations in 2022. He currently practices law in Lagos, Nigeria.

Joshua Chizoma - Afrocritik
Joshua Chizoma

Gloria Mwaniga Odary is a writer and educator from Kenya currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at the University of Memphis. Her work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from Mukana Press, Isele Magazine, The Johannesburg Review of Books, The White Review, The Writivism Anthology and elsewhere. She has published book reviews and author interviews in The East African and the Nation newspapers. Mwaniga has also written children’s books, school textbooks and business articles. She is a recipient of the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and the African Land Policy Centre Story Prize, and was longlisted for the 2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the 2024 Isele Nonfiction Prize. Odary is an alumnus of Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus Trust Writing Workshop and has been writer-in-residence at the Ebedi Writers Residency in Nigeria. She has also judged literary prizes like the Hamza El-Rufai Short Story Prize and the Afritondo Short Story Prize. Odary worked as a high school teacher of Geography and Business studies for seven years.

Gloria Mwaniga Odary
Gloria Mwaniga Odary

Peter Ngila Njeri’s novel manuscript, The Legend of Beach House, won the 2023 James Currey Prize for African Literature and is forthcoming from Abibiman Publishing in the UK. He is a recipient of an Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award and a Fellow for the Nigerian-based Ebedi International Writers Residency. His short stories have been published in Jalada Africa, Brittle Paper, The Dreaming Machine, Anthology Magazine, The Antonym, Ghana Writes, Barren Magazine, Daily News, Praxis Magazine, Daily News and Lawino Magazine. Njeri is currently a Judge of the 2024 James Currey Prize for African Literature. He drinks black coffee in a small sanctuary near Nairobi.

Peter Ngila Njeri
Peter Ngila Njeri
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