The Brittle Paper Awards 2018 winners has been announced. The awards aims to recognize the finest, original pieces of writing by Africans published and circulated online.
From the initial 31 shortlisted works reflecting the state of contemporary African literary culture, with a wide range of themes and subject matter exploring questions of history, race, power, privilege, music, photography, and more, 5 outstanding pieces were selected. The list (31 shortlist) also shows contemporary African writers exploring new forms of writing and adapting literary discourse to the challenges of digital culture and technology. In the collection, experimental poetry stands side by side with interviews and collections of tweets as powerful modes of expressing and circulating ideas about what Africans on the continent and abroad are writing, reading, and discussing.
$1,100 cash prize is split across five categories: the Brittle Paper Award for Fiction ($200), the Brittle Paper Award for Poetry ($200), the Brittle Paper Award for Creative Nonfiction ($200), the Brittle Paper Award for Essays & Think Pieces ($200), and the Brittle Paper Anniversary Award ($300) for writing published on our blog.
To be eligible, a piece of writing had to have been published between 31 July 2017 and 31 August 2018 online and available for free. Selection was based on aesthetics, formal innovation, significance, and impact. Preference was given to works that inspired readers to rethink conventional assumptions about African writing while kindling important conversations and debates.
The compilation of the shortlists was made by Brittle Paper’s core editorial team made up of Dr. Ainehi Edoro, Assistant Professor of English at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Otosirieze Obi-Young, writer and literary journalist based in Nigeria.
As a celebration of all that is good and new in the internet and social media world of African literature, the Brittle Paper Awards draws attention to literary innovation in the 21st century.
Here are the winners:
The Brittle Paper Award for Fiction
Stacy Hardy, “Involution“
The Brittle Paper Award for Creative Nonfiction
Sibongile Fisher, “The Miseducation of Gratitude.“
The Brittle Paper Award for Poetry
Itiola Jones, “A Field, any Field.“
The Brittle Paper Award for Essays & Think Pieces
Panashe Chigumadzi, “History Through the Body or Rights of Desire, Rights of Conquest.“
The Brittle Paper Anniversary Award
Shailja Patel, “On Postcolonial Theory.“
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