Biographies of the English-speaking laureates

The inaugural Kalahari Short Story Competition solicited works from all across the globe hoping to attract a broad range of writers and their beautiful stories. Sifting through hundreds of entries from multiple countries, the judges, May-Lan Tan, Caoilinn Hughes and Elnathan John brought the richness and variety of their experience to this important process. We are thankful for their time and effort and for all of the writers who trusted us with their stories. In total, we received 304 stories from 49 countries. We are also pleased to see so much vibrancy in this important genre. While we celebrate all the entries, the judges had the arduous task of selecting four winners for this edition and we are thrilled to present them below.

1st place


Frances Ogamba is the 2019 winner of the Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Nonfiction and a finalist for 2019 Writivism Short Story Prize. She also won joint first place for the 2019 Syncity NG Anniversary Anthology. She was longlisted for the 2019 OWT Short Story Prize and the K&L Prize for African Literature. Her fiction appears on Munyori Literary Journal, Arts and Africa, Jalada Africa, Enkare Review, in the 2019 New Weather for MEDIA anthology, and in the first issue of Rewrite Reads. More of her stories are interspersed in Afridiaspora, the 2016 and 2018 Writivism Prize anthologies, Dwartonline, and YNaija. She is a workshop alumna of the 2019 Purple Hibiscus Creative Writing Workshop taught by Chimamanda Adichie.

2nd place


Howard Meh-Buh Maximus is a Cameroonian writer and scientist. His works have appeared in anthologies as well as literary journals. He is a staff writer for Bakwa Magazine and a 2020 ,Miles Morland fellow.

3rd place


Charlie Muhumuza is a Ugandan lawyer and writer. His work has been featured or is forthcoming in Jalada AFRICA, The Kalahari Review and the IBUA Journal. He lives in Kampala, Uganda. You can find him on twitter as @cdmuhumuza.

Honourable mention


Christine Coates, a poet and writer from Cape Town, holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. She has had three collections of poetry published, Homegrown (Modjaji Books, 2014), Fire Drought Water (Damselfly Press, 2018), and The Summer We didn’t Die (Modjaji Books, 2020). Her debut collection Homegrown received an honourable mention from the Glenna Luschei Prize. Her poems and fiction have been published in many local and international literary journals and have been widely anthologised.