The K & L Prize Longlist for 2020 is out! Judges Arthur Chigbo Anyaduba and Dione Joseph were this year’s judges. The competition is sponsored and facilitated by Myles Ojabo. Entries were received from African residents between ages 18 and 25, on the term, Africanfuturism.

Anyaduba, an assistant professor at the University of Winnipeg, had this to say regarding the selected stories, “the stories  are a piece of imaginative wonder: remarkable depth of imagination, mellifluous narrative, the stories stay with you long after you move on with your life.” The professor further indicated that the stories pushed the limits of the imagination and expanded the horizon for speculating the past, the present and most especially the future.

Below is the longlist:

  • Shanice Ndlovu, A Water Heart
  • Olamide Olanrewaju, Blueland
  • Audrey Obuobisa-Darko, Araba
  • Kanyisola Olorunnisola, Abija, the Architect of Mayhem
  • Augusta Oleforo, Big Fish
  • Chinwe Marycynthia Okafor, The Chronicle of Anaoma
  • Abdulrahim Hussani, The Coloured Country
  • Glennise Ayuk, Curse’ Redemption
  • Izuchukwu Udokwu, The New Colours
  • Yvonne Nezianya, The Wonders of Spirits

Joseph, Founder of Black Creatives Aotearoa, stated, “it was a pleasure to read such a variety of different and compelling stories from the youth of our great continent of Africa. The stories demonstrate an exercise in developing one’s own voice, shifting from description to dialogue and reaching into our ancestral knowledge to look into the future.” She commended all the writers who shared their story on this year’s theme of Africanfuturism and further encouraged them to continue developing their craft by seeking constructive critical feedback and reading widely.

Writers from Cameroun, Ghana, and Nigeria made the longlist. Arthur Chigbo Anyadubu observed a similarity of the imagination amongst the entrants. He states “The speculated and futuristic worlds narrated in virtually all the stories draw on the same fantasy pool of African myths and legends, and popular Western sci-fi. There’s the post-apocalyptic thing, alien invasion, robots, technology, witches and wizards, advanced weaponry, new/alien speciesism, among similar trends.” Taken together, Anyaduba feels that the portrayed image of the future in most of the submissions is of mass violence and war; plagues and magical or mysterious technologies of violence.

Myles Ojabo states that the shortlist will be released by June 2020, and the winner will be announced in July 2020. He is currently compiling an anthology of the works on the longlist titled, Black Skin, No Mask. The anthology will be available this month (May) in e-book format via Amazon.

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