Hot on the heels of Okwiri Oduor’s Caine Prize win for ‘My Father’s Head’, published through Short Story Day Africa, SSDA announced the long list of eighteen stories that will make up their 2014 anthology, Terra Incognita, in August, and now, in September, the final six stories have been chosen for this year’s competition.
2014 is Short Story Day Africa’s year of speculative fiction. Speculative fiction gives writers a way to discuss issues without wheeling out the tropes and the poverty porn and the Oxfam goats. Earlier this year we sent out a call for all your fantasy, sci-fi, horror, alternative history and magical realism, just about anything that fell into spec fic genre. The theme, Terra Incognita, asked writers to take us into unknown places, break moulds, rethink the way we tell our stories.
1. Gail Dendy 2. Diane Awerbuck 3. Sylvia Schlettwein 4. Chinelo Onwualu 5. Mary Okon Ononokpono 6. Phillip Steyn 7. Dilman Dila 8. Pwaangulongii Benrawangya 9. Kerstin Hall 10. Toby Bennett 11. Cat Hellisen 12. Jekwu Ozoemene 13. Brendan Ward 14. Sarah Jane Woodward 15. Sese Yane 16. Mishka Hoosen 17. Jason Mykl Snyman 18. Nick Mulgrew
These writers’ stories will now go forward to be prepared for publication.
SSDA have also announced the shortlist for the competition and can now reveal the titles of the writer’s stories (the judging process is blind up to this stage):
“Leatherman” by Diane Awerbuck (South Africa)
“I am Sitting Here Looking at a Graveyard” by Pwaangulongii Benrawangya (Nigeria)
“In the Water” by Kerstin Hall (South Africa)
“Ape Shit” by Sylvia Schlettwein (Namibia)
“Swan Song” by Jason Mykl Snyman (South Africa)
“The Corpse” by Sese Yane (Kenya)
These shortlisted stories will be passed on to Nnedi Okafor, who will choose the top three. The winners will be announced in November.
For more on this exciting news, the judges, the prizes, and for other SSDA writing gems and fantastic interviews – visit their website.
We wrote about this dynamic, enabling initiative for African short story writing last year – take a look here – and since then, two of the stories published in last year’s SSDA anthology, Feast, Famine and Potluck were shortlisted for the 2014 Caine Prize, ‘Chicken’, by Efemia Chela (Ghana/Zambia), which came third in the 2013 Short Story Day Africa short story competition, and ‘My Father’s Head’, by Okwiri Oduor (Kenya), which won the SSDA competition and the 2014 Caine Prize. (Read AiW’s review of ‘Chicken’ and of ‘My Father’s Head’ .)
We look forward to Terra Incognita.