The James Currey Prize for Literature 2021: The Longlist

The £1,000 award, founded by the Nigerian writer Onyeka Nwelue, is for unpublished manuscripts.
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Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God, both from Heinemann's African Writers Series, edited by Achebe and published by James Currey. Credit: Brown Bag Books.

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God, both from Heinemann's African Writers Series, edited by Achebe and published by James Currey. Credit: Brown Bag Books.

The James Currey Prize for Literature is an annual award for the best unpublished work of fiction written in English by an African writer. Our judges have released its inaugural longlist. The list contains ten writers and manuscripts:

  • Noella Moshi, “Walking in Honey”
  • Onyekachi Peter Onuoha, “Therapy Sessions”
  • Khumbo Mhone, “The Devil’s Daughter”
  • Ani Kayode Somtochukwu, “And Then He Sang a Lullaby”
  • Stephen Embleton, “Bones and Runes”
  • Solomon Kobina Aremu, “The Rage of Lambs”
  • Okwudiri Job, “The Masses on Ashes”
  • Adio-Adet Dinika, “They Like Us Dead”
  • Moraa Gita, “Pebbles Picked on the Beach”
  • Ntando Gerald, “A Reign of Terror”

Sarah Inya Lawal, chair of the jury, said: “The College of Readers sent in 20 entries, which we had to attenuate to a longlist of 10. The 20 manuscripts in competition were distributed amongst all Jury members in no particular order.”

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). 

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

James Currey is the co-founder of James Currey Publishers, which was established in 1984. 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.

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The James Currey Prize is administered by World Arts Agency. It is supported by Hattus Books, Abibiman Publishing, The Lagos Review, 28 Studios, and Light Dynamics. 

For more information, visit: www.jamescurreyprize.com.

James Currey Prize for Literature
The James Currey Prize for Literature is an annual award for the best unpublished work of fiction written in English by an African writer. It was instituted by the Nigerian writer, filmmaker, and publisher Onyeka Nwelue. It is administered by World Arts Agency. It is supported by Hattus Books, Abibiman Publishing, The Lagos Review, 28 Studios, and Light Dynamics. 

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