The Writivism Literary Initiative has received 504 stories for it’s annual prizes for short fiction and creative nonfiction by African unpublished writers. 387 stories are fiction and 117 are nonfiction. 66 writers followed the advice by the initiative to submit for both categories.
“We are excited to read all the entries. There is so much talent. I think the biggest opportunity here is for the writers that will be selected for mentoring. You don’t get that anywhere.”, said Esther Mirembe, the Writivism managing editor.
Eighteen countries are represented out of the possible 54 members of the African Union. 54.3% of the entries come from Nigeria, 14.4% from Kenya, and 8.7% from Uganda. South Africa is represented at 4.3%, Ghana 3.9%, Zimbabwe 3.7%, Malawi 2.7%, Zambia 2.1%, Lesotho 1.8%, Botswana 0.9%, Cameroon 0.9%, Egypt 0.7%, Gambia 0.5%, Democratic Republic of Congo 0.2%, Liberia 0.2%, Morocco 0.2%, Namibia 0.2%, and Rwanda 0.2%
The stories will now undergo screening to ensure that the entries meet the formatting and other technical requirements before they are sent off to a team of readers, who will whittle them down to 100 in each category, that will be forwarded to the judges.
A long list of 20 stories, 10 for each category will be announced on March 1, 2019. The judges for fiction are Jennifer Makumbi (Uganda – Chair), Kinna Likimani (Ghana), and Emmanuel Sigauke (Zimbabwe). Nonfiction judges are Ayesha Harruna Attah (Ghana – Chair), Karen Jennings (South Africa) and Dr. Christopher Ouma (Kenya).
The 2018 winners of the prizes are Mbogo Ireri (Kenya) for Hopes and Dreams and Chisanga Mukuka (Zambia) for Belonging. The Writivism prize is one of the top African judged and based prizes for African writing in English. It charges no entry fees, has no themes and attracts hundreds of stories from unpublished writers who live on the continent.