December 2, 2023

The literary prize winner will receive £500, while two runners-up will walk away with £200.

By Hope Ibiale

The Island Prize for African fiction has announced the writers longlisted for the 2023 edition of the award. The award organisers said, “The quality of this year’s submissions was incredibly strong, flooding in from across the entire continent. We received many submissions from Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, with further contributions from Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Uganda, Sudan, Mauritius, Zambia, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Ghana.”

The longlisted writers include:

Aganaba, Jesudubami Jemima (Nigeria) – Bobo Hamham

Olubunmi Familoni (Nigeria) – The Becoming-Nothing of Bodies

Reem Gaafar (Sudan) – A Mouth Full of Salt

Nzeru Aquilar Nsaí (South Africa) – No Poison, No Paradise

Andile MaShundu Cele (South Africa) – Braids and Migraines

Robyn Perros (South Africa) – Choosing an Outfit for the End of the World

Tanaka Chidora (Zimbabwe) – Carrying a Country on Your Forehead

Felix Otis (Kenya) – Night’s Last Secrets, and

Immaculate Halla (Tanzania) – Captured.

Karen Jennings
Karen Jennings

The Island prize

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The literary prize winner will receive £500, while two runners-up will walk away with £200, and all three manuscripts will be considered for publication and mentorship from the Holland House and The Island Prize judges.

The Island Prize is a literary prize that has been curated with the primary aim of helping African writers break into the UK publishing scene. This prize is open to unpublished debut novelists from all African countries, or the diaspora. It was founded in honour of South African author Karen Jennings‘ Booker-longlisted novel, An Island.

This year’s judges include Karen Jennings (author and founder of The Island Prize), Rachel Edwards (author), and Hamza Koudri (runner-up for The Island Prize 2022).

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