Celebrating East African Writing!

Murder Most Foul – A Short Story Contest

Kenya is the land where people die mysteriously, and we talk about it and then let it go. So here’s your task.

Encapsulate: Write a murder story and use the murder of a real & prominent person as a background to your story. ie fictitious Mr. Jumbojet was murdered about the same time as Fr. John Kaiser. The stories can, if you so wish, be linked but not neccesarily so.


Rule One: Your story is a fictional account about a murder, with the prominent murder in the background.

Rule Two: Word Count – Maximum 1600 words.

Rule Three: Must be a fictional story not a commentary.

Rule Four: Email to: with ‘Conspiracy’ in the Email Subject.

Rule Five: Deadline for Submission: 29th June 2012.


1st Place – 2 books, 2 Season Tickets to the Storymoja Hay Festival( 14 – 16 September 2012)

2nd Place – 1 book, 2 Season Tickets to the Storymoja Hay Festival.

3rd Place – 1 Season Ticket to the Storymoja Hay Festival.

Authors of the three top stories will have a chance to consult with an editor regarding developing their work for print publishing.

A Note from one of the Judges: 

Creative writing is both an honourable and rewarding art. Please treat it as such.


  • Do not send in your first draft. Go over your work and edit at least two or three times.

  • Please observe the rules of the written language. Avoid run-on sentences. Use punctuation marks where they should be. If you want to be clever with words, understanding the rules makes it possible for you to execute the play efficiently. If you do not understand the rules of language avoid making clever word plays(metaphors, cliches etc.)

  • Always make sure that the story you submit has your name inside the document, preferably at the top, or at the bottom if you must (if you include your pseudonym, please indicate this in your submitting email). Your document should ideally be a Word 97 document, single spaced, 12 point Times New Roman Font.

  • Follow submission guidelines. Read them through and go over your work to ensure it fits within the guidelines. Your story could be brilliant but it may be excluded because it does not fit into the guidelines.


Examples of People who have been assasinated in Kenya
  1. Pio Gama Pinto, (1965), socialist politician: In Nairobi, on February 25, 1965, Pinto was shot down at very close range on the driveway while waiting for the gate to open. He was with his daughter in his car at the time of his killing. Pinto left his wife, Emma; his eldest daughter, Linda, age six; the second, Malusha, age four and a half; and the youngest, Tereshka, one and a half years old.
  2. Tom Mboya, (1969), Kenyan politician: At age 38, Tom Mboya was gunned down on July 5, 1969 on Moi Avenue, Nairobi CBD after visiting a pharmacy. During Mboya’s burial, a mass demonstration against the attendance of President Jomo Kenyatta led to a big skirmish, with two people shot dead. Mboya left a wife and five children. He is buried in a mausoleum located in Rusinga Island.
  3. Josiah Kariuki, (1975), Kenyan politician: He was last seen alive at the Hilton Hotel, accompanied by Kenyatta’s bodyguard on March 2, 1975. Several days later, Kariuki’s remains were found by a Maasai herdsman, Musaita ole Tunda, in a thicket in the Ngong Hills.
  4. Robert Ouko, (1990), foreign minister of Kenya: On the night of February 12/13, 1990, Ouko disappeared from his Koru Farm complex near Muhoroni. His housemaid Selina Were Ndalo testified that she “was awakened at about 3am by a noise similar to a door being slammed shut but sufficiently loud enough to startle her awake” and that she saw a white car turning at the bottom of the minister’s driveway before driving away. Ouko’s body was found later that morning (February 13) at approximately 1pm by a local herdsboy Joseph Shikuku, at the foot of nearby Got Alila Hill, 2.8 km from Ouko’s country home, but although he told local villagers of the find they did not report the fact to the police. Ouko’s body was eventually officially discovered on the 16th February, following a police search.Forensic evidence suggested Ouko had been murdered, near to where his body was found, killed by a single shot to the head, his right leg broken in two places and his body left partially burned.
  5. John Kaiser, (2000), missionary (officially recorded as a suicide): On August 23, 2000, Fr. Kaiser was shot in the back of the head with a shotgun, which was nearby. His body was found at 6 am the next day beneath two acacia trees, by a butcher named George at Morendat junction on the Nakuru-Naivasha road in western Kenya. He was carrying documents he intended to present to the Akiwumi Commission. He was also to testify against the Moi government before the International Criminal Court in the Hague in three weeks. The first police officers on the scene thought he had been murdered.

2 comments on “Murder Most Foul – A Short Story Contest

  1. early man
    June 7, 2012

    …challenge accepted


  2. partyinglawyer
    June 15, 2012

    …3 days to finals, I’d rather do this 😀


Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on June 4, 2012 by in Writer's Blog.
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