The shortlists for the 2018 Brittle Paper Awards have been announced. The award was established in 2017 to recognize the finest, original pieces of writing by Africans published online. The 31 shortlisted pieces reflect the state of contemporary African literary culture. The wide range of themes and subject matter explore questions of history, race, power, privilege, music, photography, and more. The list 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 African Cultural Studies and 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. Brittle Paper is a literary platform dedicated to African writing and literary culture. The website covers latest news and updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle.
The winners will be announced on Monday, November 19, 2018.