We have just announced the 2016 Short Story Prize longlist. It is our longest, at 21 stories and for the first time, we have stories originally written in French, making the list. This year also marked a record for the prize. We received over 500 entries from 20 African countries, in English and French. Below is the process the entries went through up to this point.
We sieved out the entries that did not abide by the set requirements in the guidelines for submissions. About 80 entries were deemed ineligible for flouting one or another guideline for submission. We constituted a team of readers comprising partners, supporters, friends and previous winners of the prize to whittle down the numbers.
From the readers’ recommendations, a list of 100 stories was reached at, which was then sent to the judges to select the long list. The long list of 21 stories announced today has been agreed upon by the team of judges, under the guidance of the chair, Tsitsi Dangarembga.
Tsitsi will continue working with the judges to lead the process of selecting a shortlist of five stories, from which one story (irrespective of whether it was originally written in English or French) will be announced as a winner. All authors, whose stories have been long listed will work with this year’s annual anthology editor, Emmanuel Sigauke to prepare the stories for publication.
The stories are currently being translated to French and to English to enable the selection of the shortlist. We shall have a French edition of the anthology besides the English edition. We wish all the longlisted authors the best of luck.
We are grateful to the judges, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Sumayya Lee, Richard Ali A Mutu, Okwiri Oduor and Mamadou Diallo for their time, skill and support for the prize and continue to count on them for the remaining stages of the process. We are also grateful to Emmanuel Sigauke for accepting to edit this year’s English edition of the anthology and to Sumayya Lee, who on top of judging is acting as the liaison for the publishing process.
We also extend our thanks to Zachary Rosen, Anthea Paelo, Saaleha Idrees Bamjee, Princess Ikatekit, Marcia Lynx Qualey, Tiffany Mugo, Emmanuel Sigauke, Nancy Adimora, Kinna Likimani, Pemi Aguda, Kelechi Njoku, Sima Mittal, Marcelle Akita and Patricia Egessa, who constituted our reading team. The adage that it takes a whole community to raise a child can’t be any truer. The judging and publishing process takes so many pairs of hands, all that give their time, skills and support at no cost.
We can only continue working towards a high standard.