A KILLING IN THE SUN, Dilman Dila (Uganda)


In a country recovering from civil war, private Mande is sentenced to death in a campaign to discipline unruly soldiers.

In the final seconds of his life, a nightmare from a Sunday school lesson besets him, turning his execution into a horror.

Dilman Dila is a Ugandan writer, film maker and a social activist who believes that stories are an important tool in creating a better world. He started writing fiction at the age of fifteen. His first stories appeared in print in The Sunday Vision in 2001. His works have since featured in several ezines and book anthologies, including African Roar, Storymoja, and Gowanus Books. He was nominated for the 2008 for his short story, Homecoming. As a self-taught film maker, he benefitted greatly from the Maisha Film Lab. His first short film was What Happened in Room 13 (2007). The Young Ones Who Won’t Stay Behind (2008) was his first collaboration with the world famous film maker, Mira Nair. He won his first major award with The Sound of One Leg Dancing (2011) and in 2013 he released his first narrative feature, The Felistas Fable. He keeps an online journal of his work and life at http://www.dilmandila.com.

FATIMA SALEH, Alexander Ikawah (Kenya)

Alexander Ikawah is a graphic designer and film maker living and working in Nairobi. He fell in love with stories as soon as he could read, and has always loved to write, recently winning a science-fiction writing contest in Nairobi. Though he mostly works on short stories, his intention is to write the next great African novel. When he is not writing or reading, he watches and talks about films with a small but growing community of young Kenyan film makers and script writers.

THE NEW CUSTOMERS, Julian Jackson (South Africa)

In a South Africa still riven by apartheid, a chance encounter in a small town bar ensues when an English speaking urban visitor finds himself in the midst of a scene of racial aggression between an Afrikaans farmer and local men.

Raised in England, Germany and South Africa, Julian studied literature, philosophy and law at the universities of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), Humboldt (Berlin) and Cambridge before becoming a lawyer. In 2003, he returned to South Africa where he founded a legal practice to facilitate investment into sub-Saharan Africa. He travels regularly in Africa for work and pleasure. Julian has written in magazines and journals on travel, politics and philosophy. Apart from writing and his legal work, his interests include jurisprudence, in particular the relationship between individual autonomy, freedom and legal rules. He lives in Johannesburg with his wife and two young sons.

NO WAR IS WORTH DEBATING, Tobenna Nwosu (Nigeria)

Tobenna Nwosu studies Law at Babcock University, a private institution in Ogun State, Nigeria. His writing crosses several genres, but he tends to focus on the human experience. He has written two unpublished novels and a collection of short stories.

TAKE ME HOME UNITED ROAD, Sally-Ann Partridge (South Africa)

A story about contemporary Africa and the daily realities faced by those living under the shadow of conflict.

Sally-Ann Partridge was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She is an author of predominantly young adult fiction and short stories. Her novel, The Goblet Club, won the SABC/You Magazine I am a Writer Competition in 2007, as well as the MER Prize

for Best Youth Novel in 2008, an award she won again in 2012 for Dark Poppy’s Demise. Her second novel, Fuse, was selected as an Ibby International Honour Book in 2012. Sally-Ann is also the author of a series of indigenous language books for schools. In 2012, she was named as one of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans, a distinction awarded annually to notable South Africans under the age of 35. She works in media and advertising.

Visit for the complete list of shortlisted authors