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Longlist for the Inaugural Jalada Prize for Literature

Longlist for the Inaugural Jalada Prize for Literature


Longlist for the Inaugural Jalada Prize for Literature

Jalada is pleased to announce the long list of its inaugural Jalada Prize for literature. Since Jalada was started in 2013, we have consistently worked hard to ensure that African writers, regardless of age, nationality or experience, are given a chance for their voices to be heard. The prize is in recognition of these efforts, of writers from different parts of the continent and in the diaspora who are committed to reimagining the continent in fresh and interesting ways.

The inaugural Jalada Prize is offered to the best stories published in the Afrofuture(s) anthology. The award was first announced during the call for the submissions for the anthology, supported in part by Kwani Trust. We received more than a hundred qualifying submissions for the anthology, and the editors keenly selected the stories that would be published in the anthology and the bonus section. All stories underwent a thorough editorial process, and the editors have further voted for the best from this pile. The selection has been described by Richard Ali, a founding member of Jalada and one of the judges, as stories “best able to avoid the ‘self-consciousness’ that is always a danger where stories are written with a theme in mind.”

The longlisted stories comprise:

  1. “Last Wave” by Ivor W. Hartmann
  2. “eNGAGEMENT” by Richard Oduor Oduku
  3. “Discovering Time Travel” By Suleiman Agbonkhianmen Buhari
  4. “For Digital Girls Who Drink Tonic Water at the Bar When Purple Rain Isn’t Enough” By Ytasha L. Womack
  5. “Black Woman, Everybody’s Healer” by Hawa Y. Mire
  6. “Where Pumpkin Leaves Dwell” by Lillian Akampurira Aujo
  7. “Onen and his Daughter” by Dilman Dila

The poetry submissions were also of exceptional quality, and the editors have selected the following combination for consideration as “the best single line of poetry” or “best opening to a poem”.

‘We built ourselves like a Tetris town’ – Bethuel Muthee.
‘I saw fireflies in an open field in Morogoro’ – Lydia Kasese.
‘As a Tamil naiad woven of elements, we spy her whirling’ – Richard Ali.
‘Oh Bismarck, Merci beaucoup‘ – Babatunde Fagbayibo.
‘water becomes silk becomes fumes curdling’ – Okwudili Nebeolisa
‘All us kids, here and now, we know what we’re doing, no?’ Alexis Teyie.

The winners will be announced on the 31st of March, to coincide with the publication of our bonus edition of the Afrofuture(s) anthology.

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