Jul 22, 2013

Fourteenth Caine Prize shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced today (Wednesday 15 May) – and among the five stories chosen are an unprecedented four Nigerian entries.

The Chair of judges, art historian and broadcaster, Gus Casely-Hayford said, “The shortlist was selected from 96 entries from 16 African countries. They are all outstanding African stories that were drawn from an extraordinary body of high quality submissions.”

Gus described the shortlist saying, “The five contrasting titles interrogate aspects of things that we might feel we know of Africa – violence, religion, corruption, family, community – but these are subjects that are deconstructed and beautifully remade. These are challenging, arresting, provocative stories of a continent and its descendants captured at a time of burgeoning change.”

The winner of the £10,000 prize is to be announced at a celebratory dinner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 8 July.

The 2013 shortlist comprises:



As always the stories will be available to read online on our website www.caineprize.com and will be published with the 2013 workshop stories in our forthcoming anthology A Memory This Size in July 2013 by New Internationalist and seven co-publishers in Africa.

Alongside Gus on the panel of judges this year are award-winning Nigerian-born artist, Sokari Douglas Camp; author, columnist and Lord Northcliffe Emeritus Professor at UCL, John Sutherland; Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, Nathan Hensley and the winner of the Caine Prize in its inaugural year, Leila Aboulela. Once again, the winner of the £10,000 Caine Prize will be given the opportunity of taking up a month’s residence at Georgetown University, as a Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. The award will cover all travel and living expenses. The winner will also be invited to take part in the Open Book Festival in Cape Town in September 2013.

Last year the Caine Prize was won by Nigerian writer Rotimi Babatunde. He has subsequently co-authored a play ‘Feast’ for the Young Vic and the Royal Court theatres in London.

Read a short biography of the five shortlisted writers here.

View this press release as a PDF here...


Dates for the Diary

This year the shortlisted writers will be reading from their work at the Royal Over-Seas League on Thursday, 4 July at 7pm and at the Southbank Centre, on Sunday, 7 July at 6.30pm. On Friday, 5 July at 2-5pm and Saturday, 6 July at 5pm the shortlisted writers will also take part in the Africa Writes Festival at The British Library, organised by ASAUK

Tope Folarin wins fourteenth Caine Prize for African Writing

Nigeria’s Tope Folarin has won the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled ‘Miracle’ from Transition, Issue 109 (Bloomington, 2012).

The Chair of Judges, Gus Casely-Hayford, announced Tope Folarin as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner held this evening (Monday, 8 July) at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

‘Miracle’ is a story set in Texas in an evangelical Nigerian church where the congregation has gathered to witness the healing powers of a blind pastor-prophet. Religion and the gullibility of those caught in the deceit that sometimes comes with faith rise to the surface as a young boy volunteers to be healed and begins to believe in miracles.

Gus Casely-Hayford praised the story, saying: "Tope Folarin's 'Miracle' is another superb Caine Prize winner - a delightful and beautifully paced narrative, that is exquisitely observed and utterly compelling".

Tope Folarin is the recipient of writing fellowships from the Institute for Policy Studies and Callaloo, and he serves on the board of the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Tope was educated at Morehouse College, and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Master's degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. He lives and works in Washington, DC.

Also shortlisted were:



The panel of judges is chaired by Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, art historian and broadcaster, who presented the eight part documentary series 'Lost Kingdoms of Africa' on the BBC. He is currently a Research Associate at SOAS and consultant to the King's Cultural Institute. Gus sits on the Tate Britain Council and the National Portrait Gallery Board of Trustees.

Alongside Gus on the panel of judges this year are award-winning Nigerian-born artist, Sokari Douglas Camp; author, columnist and Lord Northcliffe Emeritus Professor at UCL, John Sutherland; Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, Nathan Hensley and the winner of the Caine Prize in its inaugural year, Leila Aboulela. This is the first time that a past winner of the Caine Prize has taken part in the judging.

Once again the winner of the £10,000 Caine Prize will be given the opportunity to take up a month's residence at Georgetown University, as a Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice and will be invited to take part in the Open Book Festival in Cape Town in September.

Last year the Caine Prize was won by Nigerian writer Rotimi Babatunde. He recently co-authored Feast, a Royal Court/Young Vic co-production which ran at the Young Vic as part of World Stages for a World City.

Previous winners are Sudan's Leila Aboulela (2000), Nigerian Helon Habila (2001), Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina (2002), Kenyan Yvonne Owuor (2003), Zimbabwean Brian Chikwava (2004), Nigerian Segun Afolabi (2005), South African Mary Watson (2006), Ugandan Monica Arac de Nyeko (2007), South African Henrietta Rose-Innes (2008), Nigerian EC Osondu (2009), Sierra Leonean Olufemi Terry (2010) and Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo (2011).

View the press release here (PDF)...

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