Submissions for the inaugural The Island Prize opened in September of 2021. By the time the submission window ended in mid-December, we had received more than 120 entries from all over Africa. There is a myth that there is only one type of storytelling in Africa. We can say with confidence that this is not the case. The submissions we saw were not only written in a variety of styles, but also included different genres and subjects, depicting people and experiences from all walks of life. You need only look at the shortlist to see a sample of these! However, before we get to the shortlist, we must thank our volunteer readers who spent many hours going through submissions and who helped to whittle them down to a longlist of ten. At this point the judges – Karen Jennings, Obinna Udenwe and Hilda Twongyeirwe – began reading the manuscripts and were pleased to note that the ten longlisted authors came from all over the continent, with the following countries represented: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Algeria. After careful reading, the judges were able to agree unanimously on the five manuscripts selected for the shortlist.
And here are the winners:
WINNER OF THE ISLAND PRIZE 2022
“Glass Tower” by Sarah Isaacs
“A Darkness with Her Name on It” by Doreen Anyango
The other three novels could not be separated and so we have three in third place.
“Single Minded” by Marina Auer
“Sand Roses” by Hamza Koudri
“Delightful Cage” by Joyce Odera
Continue reading to find out more about this year’s winners: The Island Prize 2022 Winners