Shortlist and Longlist
Shortlist - English as a First Language
Bombshell by Fiona Looney, Ireland
Tralee, a small town in 1960s Ireland, is in uproar in expectation of the arrival of famous actress Jayne Mansfield. The controversy surrounding this ‘un-catholic’ visitor ripples through the village and has far reaching consequences for father and son, Thady and Sean.
Death and Taxis by Joanne Carpenter, Kenya
Craving freedom and adventure, Lucian departs provincial England for Nairobi. Working for a campaign on tax justice, Lucian’s idealism is tested by the reality of day to day living in Kenya and his friendship with down-on-his-luck taxi driver Cosmo.
Learning to Swim by Orla Murphy, Ireland
A tender exploration of grief across two continents, Doreen confronts her fear of water and through the process of learning to swim she is able to re-examine her relationship with her late father.
Outside the Wire by Genne Murphy, USA
The death of a young American female soldier in Iraq sparks media attention and the arrival of a reporter looking for answers. A taught examination of what it means to be a woman in a warzone
The Ravens by Alana Valentine, Australia
Struggling to escape the world of prostitution, Kira has recently received a large sum of compensation money. Unsure what to do with it, and under pressure from an old friend, Kira meets Nina, a social worker in training, and an unlikely friendship develops.
Recombination by Cassie Gonzales, Sweden
After losing his right arm in a mysterious accident, science teacher Tommy begins to nurse a grisly secret in his attic which increasingly threatens to take over his life.
Shortlist - English as a Second Language
Cactus Flowers by Virginia Jekanyika, Zimbabwe
Three women start a fishing business in Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe in an attempt to pull themselves out of poverty. Just when business starts to pick up, they are hit by a sudden death and a bitter betrayal initiating a struggle for survival.
Diablo and Romina by Ana Gonzalez-Bello, Mexico
Roxanne Romina lives with her mother in a small town in the south east of Mexico where nothing ever happens, until her cousin Frank returns from America and changes everything.
Eulogy by Maxwell Vincent Omondi, Kenya
Thirteen months after Joshua and his girlfriend Tamara fled from their home in Gwangari, Zimbabwe they decide to return. Fearful of what they will find, a journey begins that will change their lives forever and challenge what it means to call a place ‘home’.
The Guilt by Camilo Vergara Pena, Colombia
Struggling to distance her life from her ex-husband, artist Anna receives a text that sparks a series of events that forces her to confront a past trauma with far reaching consequences.
The Hanging by Thamsanqa Keti, Germany
New recruit, Crous, reports for duty at death row in Pretoria as Ndima waits for his execution. Despite the strict rules against fraternising with the prisoners, a friendship of sorts grows between the guard and his inmate leading to devastating consequences.
A Martini with Orson Welles by Elia Gonella, Italy
It’s 1948 and Swedish journalist Nels Sigurd travels to Rome to interview the illusive Orson Welles, and view a rare documentary, only to find Welles is unavailable and the film missing. Sent on wild goose chase, Nels becomes entangled in the complicated web surrounding the mysterious Welles.
Longlist - English as a First Language
The Expert Gravedigger by Ogochukwu Nwokedi, Nigeria
Like Amber and Musk by Kate Lord Brown, Qatar
Mystery of the Diamond Studded Belt by Lena Barkin & Alexander Eby, USA
Pressure by Jerry Newman, USA
Wild Horses by Kenrick Alexander Sharpe, Jamaica
Longlist - English as a Second language
The Dead Ones are Lucky by Desmond Ntshalintshali, South Africa
Disciples by Joshua Lim So, The Philippines
Lenin's Shoe by Saviana Stanescu, USA
The Trip by Manjima Chatterjee, India
Toilets are for Something Fishy by Dilman Dila, Uganda