The 2023 Writivism Prizes’ Shortlist Announced

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After a hiatus announced in 2019, The Writivism Initiative returned in August 2023 and opened submissions for the 2023 Writivism Prizes: The Writivism Prize in Poetry, The Writivism Prize in Fiction, and The Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Nonfiction. The 2023 Writivism jury chaired by Sumayya Lee have now announced that they’ve whittled down over 500 submissions that were received to 15 finalists across the three categories. The shortlists are as follows:

Poetry (Jury: Ber Anena and Yaa Asantewa)

  • A History That Once Was and Still Is, by Chinua Ezenwa Ohaeto
  • Dear Virgin Mary, by Chiwenite Onyekwelu
  • Scientific Inquiry on I, by Obasiota Ibe 
  • The Evening News, by Damilola Omotoyinbo
  • sometimes a constellation is your lover and 1000 others, by Kwame Boateng

NonFiction (Jury: Paula Akugizibwe and Tiffany Kagure Mugo)

  • If You’re Gay and Waiting to be Sent Out of the Line, by Ekpeyong K.Collins
  • Lilies, by Tamani Tatiana Sale
  • Sticking the Landing, by Kosisochukwu W. Ugwuede
  • The Covenant of Fate, by Mlamli Tyulu
  • Sandals are Mountain Shoes, by Denyse Agahozo

Fiction (Rešoketšwe Manenzhe and Juliana Lamy)

  • A Thought and A Word, by Gabriel Emem Harry
  • Ahuoyyiza’s Monologue, by Hussani Abdulrahim
  • Comments temporarily disabled, by Davina Kawuma
  • Dele’s Fairies, by Ella Ngwakwe
  • Your Name is a Covering, by Sanni Omodolapo

In 2012, Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire, Naseemah Mohamed, and Kyomuhendo A Ateenyi founded Writivism, a writing as activism initiative, at the Centre for African Cultural Excellence in Kampala, Uganda. Among other things, they organised an annual literary festival, literary awards for fiction (beginning in 2013) and nonfiction (beginning in 2016), produced anthologies, and mentored emerging authors.

The Writivism Prize has recognized a notable list of shortlisted and winning writers, including several who have become internationally successful. Some notable names include Anthea Paelo (Uganda), Saaleha Idrees Bamjee (South Africa), Pemi Aguda (Nigeria), and Acan Innocent Immaculate (Uganda), Rošeketšwe Manenzhe (South Africa), and Frances Ogamba (Nigeria).

The winners will be announced at a later date. Each category winner will receive $1000 (USD), while the shortlisted writers will each receive $50.

We’re wishing each and every one of them all the best!