The Future Awards Africa Prize For Literature
Akwaeke Emezi (32)
Akwaeke Emezi is an lgbo and Tamil writer, best known for their debut novel Freshwater. The New Yorker called it “a startling début novel”, The Guardian called it “a remarkable debut”, and the LA Times called it “dazzling”. Freshwater was longlisted for numerous significant awards. Freshwater was a New York Times Notable Book and named a Best Book of the Year by the New Yorker and NPR. They are a 2018 National Book Foundation “35 Under 35” honouree.
Pet, released on September 10, 2019, is about a transgender teenager named Jam living in a world where adults refuse to acknowledge the existence of monsters. They signed a two-book deal with Riverhead Books. They were Nominated for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Aspen Words Literary Prize, PEN/Hemingway Award, Centre for Fiction First Novel Prize, Carnegie Medal of Excellence, The Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize, Young Lions Fiction Award Finalists, 2019 Nommo Awards Shortlist, 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Finalist.
Ijeoma Umebinyuo (30)
Ijeoma Umebinyuo is a poet from Nigeria and considered one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s best modern poets. She started writing at the age of 7 and her short stories and poems have appeared in publications such as: The Stockholm Review of Literature, The Rising Phoenix Review and The MacGuffin.
Her debut collection of poetry – ‘Questions for Ada’, was described as ‘a floetry of poetry that will sweep readers away on a wave of pure emotional beauty and alluring artistry.’
Her work has been translated into many languages some of which include Turkish, Portuguese, Russian and French.
Lanaire Aderemi (20)
Lanaire Aderemi is a poet, playwright, and performer, and a second-year sociology student at Warwick. Her work is centered on Nigerian feminist history, the politics of memory as well as resistance.
In March 2018, she wrote, produced and directed her first play ‘you did not break us’ centered on Nigerian feminist activism which was seen by over 300 people in the UK. Featured on the BBC, Coventry Telegraph and student radio condemning institutional racism and sexism in universities. She has also performed poetry in various parts of the world such as music festivals in Lagos, Nigeria, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and universities such as Warwick University and Kings College, London.
Oyinkan Braithwaite (31)
Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. She has had short stories published in anthologies and has also self-published work.
She is the author of My Sister, the Serial Killer, which won the 2019 LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller, the 2019 Morning News Tournament of Books and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019. My Sister, the Serial Killer has been translated into five languages and has also been optioned for film.
Otosirieze Obi-Young (25)
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a Nigerian writer, editor, and literary journalist. He is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. His short stories and literary commentary have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Transition, and Dazed Digital. His essays focus on sexuality and literary culture. He has been described as among the “top curators and editors from Africa.
Otosirieze’s short stories have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Transition, and in Pride and Prejudice: African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality, an anthology of the 2016/17 Gerald Kraak Prize for which he was shortlisted. Presently, he is a judge for both the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize.
Otosirieze is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective. 14 has published two volumes, We Are Flowers (Jan. 2017) and The Inward Gaze (Jan. 2018).
Otosirieze has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in English & Literary Studies and History & International Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu for eighteen months.