Literature

Third decade of AKO Caine Prize for African Writing has a record 222 Submissions from 28 countries across the Continent

Now entering its third decade, the AKO Caine Prize has received a record total of 222 submissions – the largest number of entries since its inception. The 2020 entries come from 28 African countries, including Botswana, Egypt, Mauritius and Rwanda. A full list of countries represented can be found in the Notes to Editors.

The judges will select only five stories to constitute this year’s shortlist when they meet in London at the end of April. The judging panel will be chaired by Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp CBE, a British-Nigerian, and renowned figure of the arts in the United Kingdom, based in London. He will be joined by Kenyan blogger James Murua; Irish-Nigerian poet and playwright Gabriel Gbadamosi; South African broadcaster Audrey Brown and Ethiopian-born non-fiction editor and podcaster Ebissé Wakjira-Rouw, currently a policy advisor at the Dutch Council for Culture in the Netherlands.

The shortlisted stories for the 2020 AKO Caine Prize will be announced in May.

Each writer shortlisted for the AKO Caine Prize will be awarded £500, and the winner will receive a £10,000 prize. If a work in translation is chosen as the winning story, the prize will be shared between the author and the translator.

Commenting on this year’s submissions, Chair of the Prize Ellah Wakatama OBE said: “It’s wonderful to see the Prize receive a burgeoning number of submissions. Authors across African countries are producing remarkable literary works, and we have a ringside seat to read all 222 of them. To bring in our twenty-first year with an abundance of stories from so many countries is extraordinary. It will be hard for our judges to boil it down to just five shortlisted works for this year’s award so I wish them good luck, and I can’t wait to read their selection.”

The five shortlisted stories will be compiled into the official AKO Caine Prize anthology and published by New Internationalist in the UK, Interlink Publishing in the USA, and a variety of international publishers around the world.

In 2020, the anthology will be published by the New Internationalist.

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