What the Judges Said About the #Writivism2019 Longlists

The Writivism Literary Initiative released the much-anticipated #Writivism2019 Short Story Prize and the Koffi Addo Creative Nonfiction Prize longlists on Monday 25 March, 2019. Following their release, the lead judges and the managing editor of Writivism shared their thoughts on this year’s stories.

Ayesha Harruna Attah, who chaired the nonfiction judging, said: “Of the entries we read, these eight nonfiction pieces showed the most promise in the strength of their writing, the range of their themes, and their ability to take their realities and render them universal. One of the pieces was praised by the judges for its ‘visceral rendition.'”

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, who chaired the fiction judging, said: “It was a pleasure and exciting for the judges to sift through what this year’s crop of African writers are doing. Subject matter and style were diverse and surprising. All pieces submitted had potential to bloom into something magical and beautiful but we had to choose a few. Congratulations to those who made the list. Thank you to everyone who submitted. A great thank you to the wonderful judges Kinna Likimani and Emmanuel Sigauke for their time and skill and, the Writivism team for putting this project together.”

Esther Nangobi Mirembe, the managing editor of Writivism had this to say: “You receive about 500 stories and all of this comes down to just 20 that we can mentor and publish. There’s something bittersweet about that, like, wow, there’s so much talent here. I’m really proud of all the writers who decide to put their work out there. It’s important. I’m also grateful to our preliminary readers who make the judges’ work easier. The long listed stories are all excellent in fresh, exciting ways and I’m looking forward to the shortlist.”

The longlisted writers now begin the mentoring process with established African writers, who will help them improve their stories ahead of the shortlisting.

At Writivism, we wish all the longlisted writers luck in the coming months of hard work.


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