The Kendeka Short Story Prize Announces 2022 Longlist

Ten emerging writers from four countries across Africa have been unveiled on the longlist of the 2022 Kendeka Short Story Prize. The lineup is staggeringly led by Nigeria – occupying seven out of the ten slots. Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe are represented with one each.

This trend is similar to the prize’s inaugural edition in 2021 when Nigerian authors occupied six spots, nearly half of the longlist of thirteen. Four of them went on to be named on the shortlist of five, which was ultimately won by Botswana writer Jenny Robson.

Currently in its second year, the Kendeka Prize for Literature, founded by Kenyan writer Andrew Maina, grants annual awards to the best piece of unpublished short story, either fiction or creative non-fiction. The prizes include a cash award of Kshs 100,000 for the overall winner, and Kshs 50,000 and 25,000, respectively, for the first and second runners-up.

The 2022 judging panel, chaired by Dr. Siphiwo Mahala from South Africa, includes the Ghanaian novelist Bisi Adjapon and Kenyan author Faith Oneya. The judges reportedly decided on the list after a “rigorous selection process” from dozens of submissions from over 21 African nations.

See the longlist below:

  • “Chained” by Scholastica Moraa, Kenya
  • “Star Boy” by Adaoro Raji, Nigeria
  • “Isithunzi”  by Beverley Ann Abrahams, Zimbabwe
  • “The Weight of Grief” by Ewa Gerald Onyebuchi, Nigeria
  • “Ashes on Platters of Gold” by Ola W. Halim, Nigeria
  • “Bittersweet, Like Lemonade” by Chiemeziem Everest Udochukwu, Nigeria
  • “Anchor for the Baby” by Ibrahim Mustapha Enesi Nigeria
  • “Until Mushrooms Sprout”  by Joe Nyirenda, Zambia
  • “The Judgement” by Agomuo Juliana Chinaza, Nigeria
  • “Luckiest Bastards” by Uchechi Princewill Akachi, Nigeria

A shortlist of five stories will be announced on September 15 while the top three winners shall be announced during the award ceremony on September 24 at Fourteen Falls Leisure Lodge, Thika, Kenya.

Congratulations to the longlisted authors!

Go here for more details.

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