The Caine Prize for African Writing is a literature prize that is awarded to an African writer of a short story published in English. Since its inception in 2000 in the United Kingdom, the Caine Prize for African Writing encourages and highlights the diversity and richness of African writing by bringing it to a broader audience on a global level. The focus on the short story shows the contemporary development of the African storytelling tradition. The Caine Prize for African Writing was named in memory of Sir Michael Harris Caine, former Booker Group plc chairman. Sometimes this prize is also referred to as the African Booker.
The first winner of this award was Leila Aboulela, a Sudanese writer for her short story, “The Museum.” During its first year, The Caine Prize for African Writing attracted more than 20 African entriesAfrican Literary Awards and Their Impact
Announcing the winner
After the entries are made, the winner is usually announced at a dinner in July. All the shortlisted candidates are invited, and they participate in a week-long activity, which includes reading books, signing books as well as press opportunities.
Supporters of the Caine Prize for African Writing
The Caine Prize for African Writing is supported by friends of Sir Michael Cine in the United Kingdom, the United States and Africa. Other supporters of the prize include the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, Zochonis Foundation, The Marit & Hans Raising Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, The Headley Trust, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and others. It has also received support from the four African winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. They are Wole Soyinka, Naguib Mahfouz, Nadine Gordimer and J. M. Coetzee.
The Caine Prize for African Writing has recognized many African short story writers in its 20-year existence. Some of them include Leila Aboulela, Helon Habila, Binyavanga Wainaina, Yvonne Adhiambo Awuor, Brian Chikwava, S.A. Afolabi and many other writers from Africa. The award comes with prize money of £10000. The winner is also invited to three literature festivals happening in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. The shortlisted candidates also receive £500 each.
2020 applications and eligibility
The deadline for The Caine Prize for African Writing 2020 applications is January 31st. The event takes place in a different African country each year. It’s open to African writers with published works. Submissions are made by publishers only. There is no application form, and the applicants have to send six original published copies of their work for consideration and include a letter from the publisher.