This year's judging panel includes three established writers with African connections: Ghanaian Margaret Busby (editor of the international anthology Daughters of Africa), Abdulrazak Gurnah from Zanzibar (author of six novels including Paradise and By the Sea) and Ahdaf Soueif, the Egyptian author of In the Eye of the Sun and The Map of Love.
The winning story, to be announced on July 15 at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, will be chosen from a shortlist of five: "You in America" by Amanda Ngozi Adichie from Nigeria; "Small Hells on Street Corners" by Florent Couoa-Zotti from Benin; Courageous and Steadfast" by Allan Kolski Horwitz from South Africa; "Zimbabwe Boy" by Rory Kilalea from Zimbabwe; and "Discovering Home" by Binyanvanga Wainaina from Kenya.
None of the shortlisted authors is published in the UK although Rory Kilalea is published by Fish Publishing, County Cork. The Caine Prize may help to change that: last year's winner, the Nigerian writer Helon Habila, has since signed a two-book contract with Penguin.
The first winner in 2000 was Leila Aboulela, who grew up in Egypt and the Sudan and lives in Aberdeen. Her winning story, "The Museum", is published by Heinemann in Opening Spaces.