Greetings from the Windham-Campbell Prizes at Yale University. I am writing to let you know that a 2006 alumna of the Manchester Writing School – Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi–has been awarded 2018 Windham-Campbell Prize in Fiction.
Jennifer will be honored along with her fellow recipients in drama, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction at a ceremony and literary festival at Yale September 12-14. The prize, which was judged anonymously over the course of the past year, includes an unrestricted grant of $165,000 / £119,000 GBP.
The director of the Windham-Campbell Prizes recently made the call of a lifetime to eight entirely surprised writers, informing them that they will each be recognized with a $165,000 USD / £118,775 GBP prize to support their writing. Awards will be conferred September 12-14 at an international literary festival at Yale, where the Prizes are based.
Established in 2013 with a gift from the late Donald Windham in memory of his partner of 40 years, Sandy M. Campbell, the prizes are among the richest and most prestigious literary prizes on earth.
English language writers from anywhere in the world are eligible. This year’s recipients are: in drama, Lucas Hnath (US) and Suzan-Lori Parks (US); in nonfiction, Sarah Bakewell (UK) and Olivia Laing (UK); in fiction, John Keene (US) and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Uganda/UK); and in poetry, Lorna Goodison (Jamaica) and Cathy Park Hong (US).
Writers from around the world are nominated confidentially and judged anonymously. The call that Prize recipients receive from program director Michael Kelleher is the first time that they have learned of their consideration.
“The day I make the call to notify award recipients is the highlight of the year, as each cycle I hear how much of a difference it will make for them,” said Kelleher. “Six years on, we can now to see the impact the prizes have on these writers’ lives, careers, and their work. The feeling is magical.”
Biographies and citations for each of the eight recipients appear below. For photographs and more, please visit www.windhamcampbell.org on March 7; before then, email Lauren Cerand (details above and below). To arrange interviews with program director Michael Kelleher (who will be in London March 12-14) or any of the Prize recipients, contact Lauren Cerand.
The Windham-Campbell Prizes are administered by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi opens up a bold and innovatory vista in African letters, encompassing ancient wounds that disquiet the present, and offering the restitution to be found in memory and ritual.