One of Africa’s illustrious writers and the author of An Elegy for Easterly, The Book of Memory and most recently Rotten Row, Petina Gappah has been selected as one of the judges for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2018.
The award, regarded as the world richest for a single short story, is open to writers in the English language, 18 years or over who have been previously published in the English language in the UK or Ireland. The winner receives £30, 000 while the five shortlisted writers receive £1,000 each.
To judge the 2018 contest with Petina Gappah are best-selling author Sabastian Faulks, acclaimed author and short story writer Tessa Hadley, broadcast journalist and author Mark Lawson and the literary editor of The Sunday Times, Andrew Holgate.
The award opened for submissions on Sunday 25 June 2017 and deadline for entries has been slated for Thursday 28 September 2017. Writers entering for the award must submit a short story of up to 6, 000 words long. A longlist will be announced in February 2018 and a shortlist of six will be announced in March 2018. The 2018 winner of the award will be announced at a dinner in London on Thursday 26 April 2018.
Petina Gappah, while commenting on the award said,
“It is a huge honour for me to be asked to judge the Sunday Times EfG Short Story Award. I am, above all, a short story writer, and I know many brilliant writers for whom this is a natural medium, but who do not get nearly the same attention they would if they wrote novels. So, it is truly gratifying to see this amount of attention, not to mention money, being given to the form. I look forward to judging this year, and to participate in wider conversations about how to give short stories the higher profile they deserve in the UK and beyond”.
This is no doubt, a great development in African literature. We sure need more African writers judging international literary prizes. Last year, Nigerian Chika Unigwe was one of the judges for the Man Booker International Prize. Kudos again, Petina!