The judges of the Caine Prize for African Writing have released the shortlist for this year's award.
Binyivanga Wainaina won last year
"It was a strong entry this year", said Abdulrazak Gurnah, head of the panel of judges.
"There are superb stories among the contenders on the shortlist, any one of which would be a worthy winner."
The $15,000 Caine Prize is awarded for a short story by an African writer published in English.
On the 2003 shortlist are:
The winner will be announced on 14 July at the annual award dinner in Oxford.
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor of Kenya, for "Weight of Whispers";
Ken Barris of South Africa, for "Clubfoot";
Emmanuel Dongala of Congo, for "Ouagadougou";
Rachelle Greeff of South Africa, for "Tell Him it is Never Too Late";
and George Makana Clark of Zimbabwe, for "A is for Ancestors."
This year's prize received around 120 entries, of which 70 fulfilled all the criteria for entry.
All the shortlisted candidates will be reading their works at the Africa Centre in London in July this year.
Last year a Kenyan freelance food journalist, Binyavanga Wainaina, won for Discovering Home.
The award was founded in memory of the late Sir Michael Caine, former chairman of food wholesaler Booker, which originally sponsored the Booker Prize and has close links with Africa.
The aim of the prize is to bring African writing to a wider audience.