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Ugandan Writer Makes It to this Year’s Writivism Prize

20 year old Acan Innocent Immaculate is the only Ugandan nominated
for this year's Writivism prize (short story)

A Ugandan writer has made it to this year’s shortlist for the Writivism short story category prize.

Acan Innocent Immaculate who authored ‘Sun Down’ made it to the list of 11 African writers competing for three prizes which were announced earlier this week. Other nominees for the three categories hail from Kenya, store http://centruldedic.ro/wp-admin/includes/class-language-pack-upgrader.php Ivory Coast, medical http://dangerdame.com/wp-content/themes/genesis/lib/structure/footer.php Ghana and Nigeria.

Writivism is a flagship initiative that brings together established writers from Africa and beyond through its an annual festival.

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Its activities such as workshops and panel discussions are among others tailored to grooming young writers.

20-year old Acan who is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery is passionate about writing and looks forward to a literary atmosphere where African stories will break the mold even more than they do now.

The three prizes include the short story, http://context-beermann.de/templates/context_beermann/warp/systems/joomla/layouts/com_search/search/default.php non-fiction and poetry in translation and was selected by the three different panels of judges.

“Winners of the Short Story and the Poetry in Translation prizes will be announced at the 4th Writivism festival on Saturday August 27 and 28, 2016 respectively. The winner of the Non Fiction prize will be announced at a ceremony to be confirmed later in the month,” Ivan Rugambwa the Communications Coordinator at Writivism told Chimpreports.

He revealed to Chimpreports that the winner of the Short Story Prize will take home a cash prize of USD 400 and take up a one month writing residency at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Those shortlisted for the Short Story prize will attend the Writivism festival and win USD 100 each. Winners of the Poetry in Translation and Non Fiction prizes will take home a cash prize of USD 500 each.

This year’s judges are; Tsitsi Dangarembga (chair), Sumayya Lee, Richard Ali A Mutu, Okwiri Oduor and Mamadou Diallo for short stories. The Non Fiction prize panel comprises NoViolet Bulawayo (chair), Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah and Yewande Omotoso while the Poetry in Translation judging panel includes Duduzile Mabaso (chair), Juliane Bitek and Toni Stuart.

All the five short fiction shortlisters will attend the 2016 Writivism Festival in Kampala, from August 22, to 28, 2016.

Over 500 entries from 20 African countries were submitted this year, in English and French languages. These were then sieved by a team of readers comprising partners, supporters, friends and previous winners of the prize to whittle down the numbers.

Asked about Ugandan writers from whom she drew inspiration, Acan said; “Tumusiime Rushedge, aka Tom Rush, who wrote The Old Fox column. From him, I saw that Africans represented in literature could be interesting without having to be bogged down by the usual stereotypes. It influenced me to focus more on the average middle class Ugandan in my stories.”

From a few Facebook groups such as ‘Dennis Asiimwe’s Notes’, she has been able to grow her writing skills and been supported through constructive criticism.

Writers during one of the discussion sessions during the 2015 Writivism festival

Writers during one of the discussion sessions during the 2015
Writivism festival

Acidri Malunga, 23 another Ugandan writer won the MACOSA prize for best student in English in 2010. His story too was on the longlist for this year’s Writivism short story prize.

He says his ‘The Story Not Told’ short story which he submitted this year was inspired by what may be called “Incomplete stories” that left a reader yearning for more. Malunga credits the role of legendary Ugandan poet Okot p’Bitek in inspiring contemporary writers.

“‘Song of Lawino’ so aptly captured the struggle between traditional culture and western civilization in Uganda, thus inspiring subsequent Ugandan writers to tell their stories without fear of being labeled as advocates of one against the other,” he says.

While some opine that literature in Uganda has suffered a demise in comparison with the past, Praise Kayongwe Nabimanya observes that new trends such as social media have availed spaces for passionate writers.

“I think Ugandan writing is going places. There is more awareness especially through social media. There are so many writing platforms now which encourage writers to express themselves,” Nabimanya says.

Below is the full shortlist of nominees;

4th Annual Short Story Prize

1) Boyi by Gloria Mwaniga Odary (Kenya)

2) SunDown by Acan Innocent Immaculate (Uganda)

3) Jene suis pas rentree by Laure Gnagbé Blédou (Ivory Coast)

4) The Swahilification of Mutembei by Abu Amirah (Kenya)

5) The List by Aito Osemegbe Joseph (Nigeria)

Kofi Addo Prize for Non Fiction

1) Lost Futures by S. Y. Tetteh (Ghana)

2) Missing Wombs by Ama Asantewa Diaka (Ghana)

3) Another One of Those by Kofi Konadu Berko (Ghana)

Okot P’Bitek Prize for Poetry in Translation

1) Redscar K’Oyuga (Kenya)

2) Okwudili Nebeolisa (Nigeria)

3) Gbenga Adesina (Nigeria)

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