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Ugandan novelist wins Shs600m Windham Campbell prize

Ugandan novelist and short story writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is one of the eight recipients of the prestigious Windham Campbell prize.

Makumbi will receive a cash prize of $165,000 (about Shs600 million) in honour of her literary achievement to help her support her writing. Commenting about her windfall, Mukumbi said:

“This prize for me is like having worked without pay for a long time and then someone comes a long and says: “Will a salary for the past ten years do?’ Then you’re left speechless.”

Makumbi’s debut novel, Kintu, won the Kwani? Manuscript Project Award in 2013, and was subsequently published by Transit Books (US) and Oneworld Publications (UK/Commonwealth).

Her collection of short stories, Love Made in Manchester, is set for release from Transit Books in January 2019.

Makumbi has a PhD in African Literature from Lancaster University and has taught creative writing at colleges and universities around the United Kingdom.

The Windham-Campbell Prizes are administered by Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and were established in 2013 by novelist and memoirist Donald Windham in memory of his partner of 40 years, Sandy M.

Campbell, with the aim of financially facilitating writers so they can concentrate on writing.
Prize recipients are nominated confidentially and judged anonymously.

The call recipients receive from programme director Michael Kelleher is the first time they learn they have been under consideration.

Since the prize’s inception, about 51 writers representing 14 countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and North America have won the prize.

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