Doreen Baingana

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Doreen Baingana
Doreen Baingana at the Gothenburg Book Fair, 2010
Doreen Baingana at the Gothenburg Book Fair, 2010
Born Doreen Baingana
Entebbe, Uganda
Occupation writer
Nationality Ugandan
Alma mater

Makerere University,

University of Maryland
Genre Fiction
Notable works Tropical Fish

Doreen Baingana is a Ugandan short story writer and editor. Her book Tropical Fish[1] won the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, best first book, Africa Region,[2] and the AWP Award for Short Fiction (US).[3] She won a Washington Independent Writers Fiction Prize and has twice been a finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing.[4] She was managing Editor at Story Moja,[5] and was one of the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize judges.[6] She gave a talk for TED 2013 about "The role of offensive language in novels"[7] Baingana's work has appeared in many journals and publications, including the African American Review, Callaloo, The Guardian, and elsewhere.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Entebbe, Uganda, Doreen Baingana obtained a law degree from Makerere University, Uganda, and an M.F.A. from the University of Maryland, USA.[8] While at Makerere University Baingana was an active member of FEMRITE - Uganda Women Writers Association,[9] which she has referred to as "a literary home of sorts".[10] Baingana lived in the USA for more than a decade, before returning to Uganda.[11][12]


Baingana's 2005 collection of stories Tropical Fish has been published in the US, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and most recently came out in Swedish translation. She has taught creative writing at various institutions including the University of Maryland, the Writer's Center in Maryland, the SLS/Kwani? Literary Festival in Kenya, and with Femrite in Uganda.[13] She was on the faculty of the Summer Literary Festival in Kenya in 2005 and 2006.[14]

Her fiction has appeared in such outlets as Glimmer Train, Chelsea, African American Review, Callaloo, The Sun, AGNI,[15] Glimmer Train, Kwani?[16] and BBC Commonwealth stories;[17] her poetry is included in the anthology Beyond the Frontier, and her essays and articles have been published in The Guardian (UK)[18] and in New Vision and The Monitor newspapers in Uganda.


Baingana has won the Washington Independent Writers Fiction Prize and is a two-time finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing. She has received fellowships and scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the Key West Writers Seminar, and an Artist's Grant from the District of Columbia.

Published works[edit]

Short-story collection[edit]

  • Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe. University of Massachusetts Press. 2005. ISBN 978-1-55849-477-0.

Children's books[edit]

Short stories[edit]

  • "Christianity Killed the Cat", in Rob Spillman, ed. (2009). Gods and Soldiers: the Penguin anthology of contemporary African writing. Penguin Books. ISBN 978 0143114734.
  • "Hunger", in Seventh Street Alchemy. Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd. 2005. ISBN 978-1770091450.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2004 and 2005.[2]
  • Won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book Award (Africa region) in 2006 for her collection of short stories, Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe.
  • Awarded an Associated Writers and Writing Programmes Award for short fiction.[3]
  • Won the Washington Independent Writers Fiction Prize
  • Won an Emerging Writer’s Fellowship from The Writer’s Center.


  1. ^ Diane Ninsiima, "Tropical Fish: Tales from Entebbe (by Doreen Baingana)",, 20 October 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b "PREVIOUSLY SHORTLISTED WRITERS". Caine Prize. Archived from the original on 23 May 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b "AWP Award Winner is Awarded Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book". Association of Writers & Writing Programs. 1 March 2006. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  4. ^ Doreen Baingana at Cassava Republic Press.
  5. ^ Dennis D. Muhumuza, "Baingana returns home to share literary experience", The Monitor, 1 October 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  6. ^ 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize judges[permanent dead link] Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  7. ^ TED Nairobi, Doreen Baingana: The role of offensive language in novels, Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  9. ^ "FEMRITE Achievements and Milestones", FEMRITE - Uganda Women Writers' Association. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  10. ^ Ava-Matthew, Lois. "FEMRITE and Ugandan Women Writers", Belletrista, 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  11. ^ Doreen Baingana page, Random House.
  12. ^ "All has changed in Uganda except me", New Vision, 25 April 2003.
  13. ^ Emmanuel Anyole, "Writing is Freedom, Says Award Winning Ugandan Author Doreen Baingana",, 3 April 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  14. ^ Doreen Baingana (Uganda), Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Doreen Baingana", AGNI Online,
  16. ^ "Doreen Baingana", The Writer's Centre.
  17. ^ "The Exam, by Doreen Baingana", Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  18. ^ Doreen Baingana, "Our stories aren't all tragedies", The Guardian, 2 August 2005.

External links[edit]