The Caine Prize seeks to celebrate and reward the best short story writing from all over the continent. This year three out of the five writers on the shortlist are women, and three are Nigerian.

You’re able to read them all for free over at the digital book club The Pigeonhole. They’ll deliver one story each day to a device of your choosing.

Lesley Nneka Arimah, Chikodili Emelumadu, Bushra al-Fadil, Arinze Ifeakandu and Magogodi oaMphela Makhene are on the shortlist. Sudanese author Bushra al-Fadil has written the second story translated from Arabic to be nominated in the 18-year history of the prize.

Chair of the judges, author, poet and editor, Nii Ayikwei Parkes said that ‘there seemed to be a theme of transition in many of the stories. Whether it’s an ancient myth brought to life in a contemporary setting, a cyber attack-triggered wave of migration and colonisation, an insatiable quest for motherhood, an entertaining surreal ride that hints at unspeakable trauma, or the loss of a parent in the midst of a personal identity crisis, these writers juxtapose future, past and present to ask important questions about the world we live in.’

‘Although they range in tone from the satirical to the surreal, all five stories on this year’s shortlist are unrelentingly haunting. It has been a wonderful journey so far and we look forward to selecting a winner.’

He couldn’t resist a joke: ‘It will be a hard job, but I’ve always believed that you can’t go wrong with a Ghanaian at the helm of an international panel.’

The full panel of judges includes the 2007 Caine Prize winner, Monica Arac de Nyeko; accomplished author and Chair of the English Department at Georgetown University, Professor Ricardo Ortiz; Libyan author and human rights campaigner, Ghazi Gheblawi; and African literary scholar, Dr Ranka Primorac, University of Southampton.

The winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced at an award ceremony and dinner in London on Monday 3 July. Each shortlisted writer will receive £500.

Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for Who Will Greet You At Home published in The New Yorker.

BBC broadcaster Chikodili Emelumadu (Nigeria) for Bush Baby. The short story was published in African Monsters, eds. Margarét Helgadóttir and Jo Thomas (Fox Spirit Books, USA. 2015)

Former lecturer in Russian literature at the University of Khartoum, Bushra al-Fadil (Sudan) is nominated  for The Story of the Girl whose Birds Flew Away. Translated by Max Shmookler, the story was published in The Book of Khartoum – A City in Short Fiction eds. Raph Cormack & Max Shmookler (Comma Press, UK. 2016)

Arinze Ifeakandu (Nigeria) for God’s Children Are Little Broken Things published in A Public Space 24 (A Public Space Literary Projects Inc., USA. 2016)

Magogodi oaMphela Makhene (South Africa) for The Virus published in The Harvard Review 49 (Houghton Library Harvard University, USA. 2016)