To celebrate ROSL’s longstanding connection with the Caine Prize, members this year have a chance to have their say on who should win the inaugural ROSL Readers’ Award.

ROSL has been proud to support the Caine Prize for African Writing since its inception in 2000. Each year the shortlisted writers have stayed at our London clubhouse for around ten days, as they embark on a series of talks, readings, and media appearances, culminating in the announcement of the winner.

The original concept for the prize was to highlight internationally the quality of African writing and bring it to a wider audience. Entries are written in English and the winner is awarded £10,000. The prize was established in memory of Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker PLC and for 25 years Chairman of the Booker Prize committee.

Given that there are 19 African countries who are members of the Commonwealth the prize has always felt a good fit with ROSL. Each year, the Caine Prize organises a workshop for 12 writers in a different African country, with the resulting works forming that year’s Caine Prize anthology, alongside the shortlisted works for the prize itself.

We were pleased to host this year’s jury at ROSL for the shortlisting, who locked themselves away in the Bennet-Clark room until they had decided the shortlisted authors for 2018! This year’s jury is author and journalist Dinaw Mengestu (Chairman), journalist and poet Ahmed Rajab, author and 2008 Caine Prize winner Henrietta Rose-Innes, and author and poet Lola Shoneyin.

I am pleased to announce that from this year we have enhanced our relationship with the Caine Prize and ROSL members can all play a part by voting in the ROSL Readers’ Award! This new prize offers ROSL members the chance to support African authors by bringing their writing to a wider audience. The ROSL Readers' Award recipient will receive £1,000 as well as a commission to write a short story for our very own Overseas Journal. 

To vote for your favourite stories, read the stories following the links below, and once you have selected your favourite simply vote through the poll at the bottom of this page. Please be aware some of the content contains adult themes and strong language. 

If you would like a hard copy of the stories please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ring 020 7408 0214 ext.219. Voting closes on Monday 25 June.

Nonyelum Ekwempu - 'American Dream' (published in Red Rock Review, republished in The Anthem)

Stacy Hardy - 'Involution'  (co-published by Short Story Day Africa and New Internationalist)

Olufunke Ogundimu - 'The Armed Letter Writers' (published in New Orleans Review)

Makena Onjerika - 'Fanta Blackcurrant'  (published in Wasafiri)

Wole Talabi - 'Wednesday's Story' (published in Lightspeed Magazine)

The winner will be announced at Over-Seas House on Wednesday 27 June where the shortlisted writers will read extracts from their short stories. To book your tickets, please click here.

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