By Chika Unigwe (Chair of the 2015 Writivism Short Story Prize Judging Panel)
The WRITIVISM Short Story Competition is a fantastic chance for us to discover new voices (in writing) on the continent. It has been a great honor and pleasure for us to read the stories and to select the winning entrants.
As usual, the stories for this year’s competition were read blind. We were pleased to discover, after we had decided on the longlist of 14, that the continent’s different regions were very well represented.
The shortlisted stories vary widely in theme and setting. They distinguish themselves from the other entries by managing to be boldly imaginative, wonderfully entertaining and (mostly) emotionally gripping. There were some original ideas which challenged our understanding of the short story form.
A good short story leaves a lasting impression. Some of the stories submitted relied heavily on stereotypes, had characters that seemed to be clones of each other or characters that were not developed enough for the reader to care about them. A good short story grabs you by the neck and never lets go.
The shortlisted stories demonstrate a knowledge of how short stories work. The judges congratulate the writers on their incredible talent.
Finally, we thank all the writers who gave us a chance to read their work. We hope that you continue writing.
And the five shortlisted stories are:
Being a Man by Adeola Opeyemi (Nigeria)
Caterer, Caterer by Pemi Aguda (Nigeria)
Devil’s Village by Dayo Adewunmi Ntwari (Rwanda)
Dream by Saaleha Bhamjee (South Africa)
Social Studies by Nnedinma Jane Kalu (Nigeria)
The five shortlisted stories will be published in the Munyori Literary Journal and in the 2015 Writivism annual anthology. Their authors will be invited to the 2015 Writivism Festival in Kampala, where the winner will be announced.
Congratulations once again.