Celebrated author Yvonne Owuor has been declared winner of the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature for her novel, Dust.
The book, published by Kwani? has also been shortlisted for the inaugural OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Award.
This year, the award was renamed the TextBook Centre Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature after the leading bookseller enhanced its sponsorship, pushing the prize money from the Sh50,000 offered in 2013 to Sh300,000.
Kiswahili scholar John Habwe was declared the winner in the Adult Kiswahili category for his book, Pendo la Karaha, published by Moran Publishers (EA) Ltd. He, too, took home Sh300,000.
Edward Mwangi’s book, The Tissue Boy, also published by Moran, won in the Youth English category while Ken Walibora’s Nasikia Sauti ya Mama, by Longhorn Kenya, won in the Kiswahili category. Each winner got Sh150,000.
A Scare in the Village by Stanley Gazemba and published by Oxford University Kenya, won in the English Children’s category while Clara Momanyi, won in the Kiswahili category with her book, Ushindi wa Nakate, published by Longhorn.
The winners bagged Sh100,000 each.
Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o was the chief guest at the award ceremony at Pride Inn in Westlands, Nairobi, on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, organisers of Tuzo ya Fasihi ya Ubunifu, a new prize for unpublished Kiswahili writers, has said they received 100 manuscripts in its first edition following a two-month submission period that ended on September 15.
Mr Hezekiel Gikambi said writers submitted 42 novellas, 32 novels and 26 plays.
A jury made up of four Kenyans and a French professor of Kiswahili will carry out the first vetting to come up with a shortlist of 15 best manuscripts.
The final judging will be done at the end of November to pick the top three finalists.
The winner will receive Sh1 million, besides having their work published locally by Spotlight Publishers.
Tuzo ya Fasihi ya Ubunifu is organised by the French Embassy in Nairobi in conjunction with the Nation Media Group and Spotlight Publishers.