Doreen Baingana

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Doreen Baingana
Doreen Baingana 01.JPG
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 on TED 2013 about "The role of offensive language in novels"[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Ms. 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 over a decade before returning to Uganda.[11]


Baingana's work has appeared in AGNI,[12] Glimmer Train, African American Review, Callaloo, The Guardian, Kwani?[13] and on BBC Commonwealth stories.[14] Her book 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.[15]

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. Baingana's fiction has been published in journals such as Glimmer Train, Chelsea, African American Review, Callaloo and The Sun; her poetry in the anthology Beyond the Frontier; and her essays and articles in The Guardian (UK), and in New Vision and The Monitor newspapers in Uganda. She was on the faculty of the Summer Literary Festival in Kenya in 2005 and 2006.[16]

Published works[edit]

Short story anthology[edit]

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

Children's books[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. ^ Fish: Tales from Entebbe (by Doreen Baingana) 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. 
  4. ^ Doreen Baingana at Cassava Republic.
  5. ^ Baingana returns home to share literary experience 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 2010-05-29. Retrieved 2011-06-02. 
  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. ^ "Doreen Baingana", AGNI Online.
  13. ^ "Doreen Baingana", The Writer's Centre.
  14. ^ "The Exam, by Doreen Baingana", Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  15. ^ Emmanuel Anyole, "Writing is Freedom, Says Award Winning Ugandan Author Doreen Baingana",, 3 April 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  16. ^ Doreen Baingana (Uganda), Retrieved 27 May 2014.

External links[edit]