James Currey Prize for Literature releases inaugural edition longlist

The judges for the 2021 James Currey Prize for Literature have released the longlist of 10 writers.

According to a statement, on the longlist of the inaugural edition, are Noella Moshi for her story ‘Walking in Honey’, Onyekachi Peter Onuoha for ‘Therapy Sessions’, Khumbo Mhone for ‘The Devil’s Daughter’, Ani Kayode Somtochukwu  for ‘ And Then He Sang A Lullaby’, Stephen Embleton for ‘Bones and Runes’ and Solomon Kobina Aremu for ‘The Rage of Lambs’.

Also on the list are Okwudiri Job for ‘The Masses on Ashes’, Adio-Adet Dinika for ‘They Like Us Dead’, Moraa Gita for ‘Pebbles Picked on the Beach’ and Ntando Gerald for ‘A Reign of Terror’.

A shortlist will be released on 1st July, 2021 and this will be followed by the announcement of the winner on September 3rd at a prize ceremony scheduled  in the UK. 

Sarah Inya Lawal, Chair of Jury, in her statement said: “It is my pleasure to announce the longlist of the 2021 James Currey Prize for African Literature.

The College of Readers sent in 20 entries, which we as the Jury had to attenuate to a long list of 10. The 20 manuscripts in competition were distributed amongst all Jury members – in no particular order. 

We have now assessed them, using our criteria and guideline to come up with a long list.”

According to her, the long list will now be distributed amongst jurors to determine the final 5, which will be announced on 1st July 2021. 

Winner will be announced on 3rd September 2021, which is James Currey’s birthday/ Prize giving event in Oxford, United Kingdom. 

Jury members include Canada-based Nigerian publisher, Bibi Ukonu; Dr. Pinkie Megkwe (Botswana), Barbara Adair (South Africa), Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph (Nigeria), Arun Jay (India) and Miko Yamanouchi (Japan). 

The James Currey Prize for African Literature was instituted by Nigerian writer, filmmaker and publisher, Onyeka Nwelue. 

Currey, the co-founder of James Currey Publishers, which was established in 1984, has been called “The Godfather of African Literature”. His publishing house is responsible for producing a vast number of academic books, journals, fiction and non-fiction books about Africa, especially in a period when it was considered not profitable to publish books about Africa. He, together with Chinua Achebe, under the auspices of Heinemann Publishers, produced the famous African Writers Series (AWS), which have inspired many African(ist)s around the world.

The Prize is administered under the auspices of World Arts Agency. It is supported by Hattus Books, Abibiman Publishing, The Lagos Review, 28 Studios and Light Dynamics. 

More on the prize’s website: www.jamescurreyprize.com

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