The first Huza Press Award Ceremony for the 2015 Short Story Prize happened last Friday, 4th September. It was an amazing evening, and an impressively well put together event! My short story Nomansland had been shortlisted. Even though I missed out on the winning prize, as second runner up, I managed to get honourable mention. There was a tie and the Prize was split between Darla Rudakubana with her shorty story Of Fear and of Guilt, and Daniel Rafiki with his story Versus. Congratulations to both writers, I look forward to reading their stories and all the other shortlisted stories in the forthcoming Huza Press short story anthology later this month.
Making the Huza Press Prize shortlist was my second shortlisting, the first one being the shortlist for the Writivism 2015 Short Story Prize, earlier this year. Meanwhile, I have also been longlisted for the 2015 Short Story Day Africa Prize! It has been an amazing year for me, so far. My biggest dream is to be a writer, and each of these milestones has contributed immensely in giving me the confidence to take my writing more seriously, and to go ahead and keep writing. I am proud to have made the shortlist of Rwanda’s first short story prize. Rwanda’s literary scene is still in its beginnings and a publisher like Huza Press will be key in growing the Rwandan literary community and having us join the African literary community with wonderful works and household names. Mark my words.
Maybe, in future there could be two Huza Press Prizes. Apart from one like the just concluded Short Story Prize, there could also be a short story prize specifically for Primary and Secondary School children. There could be 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for both age groups. Who knows, maybe even we older writers who got shortlisted, could in turn mentor the shortlisted for the Primary and Secondary School prizes? I think literary prizes geared specifically to school kids will do a lot in building a strong foundation for the future of this country’s literary culture. Call me crazy, but I have this hunch that in the years to come, when people talk about African Science Fiction and Fantasy, among other forms of literature, one of the first countries on everybody’s lips will be Rwanda and its many SFF writers. A guy can dream, right? 😉
Image credits: © Dayo Ntwari (License: CC By-NC-ND 2.0)