Publisher hails Caine Prize workshop

BULAWAYO - Amabooks, the local publishers of annual Caine Prize anthology, regards the hosting of a workshop for the coveted literary prize as a big honour for Zimbabwe.

The Caine Prize workshop, featuring 13 African writers, five of them Zimbabwean, will begin at Leopard Rock Hotel in Vumba tomorrow and end on March 31.

Brian Jones, a co-director of the Bulawayo-based publishers, told the Daily News yesterday that Zimbabwe has been given a big honour by the Caine Prize organisers.

“It is exciting for Zimbabwe to be hosting such a prestigious literary event,” said Jones.

‘It is certainly very exciting for us as the publishers, as we will be able to meet the writers from across Africa that we will publish later this year,” said Jones.

“We, and many Zimbabwean readers, are fortunate to have been able to read the work of many of Africa’s leading writers in the anthologies of the past few years, and I am sure this year’s anthology will also be excellent.”

Zimbabwe has had a close relationship with the Caine Prize since it was launched in 2000 during the Zimbabwe International Book Fair in Harare.

To date two Zimbabweans Brian Chikwava and NoViolet Bulawayo have won what is regarded as Africa’s leading literary award.

The annual 11-day workshop is meant for participants drawn from the previous year’s shortlisted writers and invited promising writers from across Africa.

  During the workshop, Jones said the writers were expected to write a short story and these stories, together with writings from the 2014 Caine Prize shortlisted writers, will then be published by a partnership of publishers from across Africa and the United Kingdom.

Jones further said the general public will not be excluded from the Caine Prize events in the country. “On April 1, a discussion about contemporary African literature will be held at Harare City Library where the writers will be present and there will be an opportunity to purchase signed copies of previous years’ Caine Prize anthologies,” he said.

An open forum entitled ‘Caine Prize Writers in the Supermarket’ will be held at the Meikles Mega Market on April 2.

This year’s participants include four 2013 shortlisted writers; Abubakar Ibrahim (Nigeria), Elnathan John (Nigeria), Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria) and Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone) and nine other promising writers; Martin Egblewogbe (Ghana), Abdul Adan (Somalia), Clifton Gachagua (Kenya), Nkiacha Atemnkeng (Cameroon) and Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende, Philani Nyoni, Bella Matambanadzo, Lawrence Hoba and Bryony Rheam from Zimbabwe.

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