Short story writer and novelist Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is the latest Ugandan to get recognition in the literary world. Makumbi was among the 20 writers shortlisted for the popular Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
The part time Creative Writing associate lecturer at Lancaster University made it to the list with the story, Let’s Tell This Story Properly. Two other Africans, Adelehin Ijasan from Nigeria and Michelle Sacks from South Africa were nominated for their stories; Ikanre and All Them Savages respectively.
Makumbi, who has a PHD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University has not been a stranger to recognition for her works. In 2013, her doctoral novel The Kintu Saga, won the Kwani Manuscript Project, a literary prize for unpublished fiction manuscripts from African writers across the continent and was published as Kintu this year.
Her short story, The Accidental Seaman, was published in Moss Side Stories by Crocus Books and in 2013, her poems Free Range and Father Cried In The Kitchen were published in Sweet Tongues. The former alumni of Manchester Metropolitan University lives in London and is currently writing her second novel, Nnambi.
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is part of Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative from the Commonwealth Foundation, a development organisation, given for unpublished short fiction.
Anyone from a commonwealth country is free to enter. It covers regions of Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean and Pacific from where one winner is selected. The overall winner who bags £5,000 (about Shs20 million) is chosen from these. The regional winners get £2,500 (about Shs10 million) each.