The New Gong Magazine

Publishers of New Writing and Images                                                    

Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, poet, dramatist and prose stylist, who is one of the
star writers of The New Gong collective, has been short-listed for the 2008
Caine African Prize for Fiction for his short story titled 'Cemetery of Life'
published by 'Wasafiri' No 52 of Autumn 2007. Uzoatu is one of five African
writers from on the shortlist from which judges will select the winner of the
10,000 pounds prize to be announced in London on July 7.

The others are  Mohammed Naseehu Ali (Ghana) ‘Mallam Sile’, from ‘The
Prophet of Zongo’, published by Amistad, an imprint of Harper Collins, NY,

Stanley Onjezani Kenani (Malawi) ‘For Honour’ from ‘African Pens’,
published by Spearhead, an imprint of New Africa Books, Cape Town,

Henrietta Rose-Innes ( South Africa ) ‘Poison’ from ‘Africa Pens’, published
by Spearhead, an imprint of New Africa Books, Cape Town , 2007, and;

Gill Schierhout ( South Africa ) ‘The Day of the Surgical Colloquium’ from
‘African Pens’, published by Spearhead, an imprint of New Africa Books,
Cape Town , 2007.

According to a release by the organisers:

"This year’s panel of judges is chaired by the Artistic Director of the
Southbank Centre, Jude Kelly OBE, who is responsible for creating a
unified artistic vision for the whole 21 acre site. An experienced director of
over 100 productions, she was awarded an OBE for services to the
theatre in 1997 and is Chair of Culture, Ceremonies and Education at the
London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.

"Joining her on the panel is Jamaican poet and professor of English, Mark
McMorris, Hisham Matar, the Libyan author of the internationally
successful first novel, In the Country of Men, Eritrean-born Hannah Pool, a
Guardian journalist, and the previous 2007 judge, South African poet,
novelist and lecturer Jonty Driver.  

"Once again the winner of the £10,000 Caine Prize, known as Africa’s
Booker Prize, will be given the opportunity of taking up a month’s
residence at Georgetown University, Washington DC, as a ‘Caine
Prize/Georgetown University Writer-in-Residence’. The award will cover all
travel and living expenses.  

"Last year’s winner was Uganda ’s Monica Arac de Nyeko, for Jambula
Tree from ‘African Love Stories’.  The story was described by last year’s
chair of judges, Jamal Mahjoub, as “a witty and touching portrait of a
community which is affected forever by a love which blossoms between two
adolescents”. Monica is currently in Nairobi working on her first novel.  

"This is the ninth year of The Caine Prize for African Writing. Previous
winners include, South Africa ’s Mary Watson for Jungfrau from Moss,
Kwela Books, 2004, who is currently in Cape Town and also working on
her first novel; and Segun Afolabi from Nigeria for Monday Morning
published by Wasafiri (2004), later published in his first collection of short
stories, A Life Elsewhere. Segun has completed his first novel Goodbye

"Helon Habila, the 2001 Caine Prize winner, has published his third novel,
Waiting for an Angel described by Doris Lessing as, ‘tender, funny and
compassionate’. Kenya ’s Binyavanga Wainaina, 2002 winner of the Prize,
is the founding editor of the literary magazine, Kwani? He is currently
Writer-in-Residence at Union College and working on a memoir which is to
be published by Granta Books.  

"This year the shortlisted writers will be reading from their work at the
Royal Over-Seas League on Friday, 4 July at 7pm and at the South Bank
Centre literary festival on Sunday, 6 July at 7pm. There will also be a
seminar at the Institute for English Studies, Senate House, University of
London , on Wednesday, 9 July at 1.30pm."