2022 is almost over. Before we pull the curtain on the year, check out our top ten most popular fiction.

The Year of the Sun | Esther Ifesinachi Okonkwo

“It was his tenth year on Ani’s blessed earth. He could still see the fireflies that adorned the bush as they fled his father’s village and walked to Akpulu, his mother’s. His father had died of an unnamed illness and his mother was convinced that she could smell him everywhere in the village, taste him even.”

“The Year of the Sun” won the inaugural Isele Short Story Prize.

Right | Rilla Askew

“This is a thing making her body change without her will, like it changed when she was twelve and started growing breasts, like the pimples she gets when it’s time for her period, but she has no pimples now. Just these waves of nausea sometimes, spit filling her mouth, but she doesn’t throw up, not very often.”

“Right” was shortlisted for the inaugural Isele Short Story Prize.

The Newlyweds Window | Husnah Mad-hy

“Laila would sit on the ledge of her crooked wooden shutter windows every day without fail, from when the sun dips as the mosque calls the fourth prayer, until her eyes droop as the Zanzibar, Stonetown streets turn quiet and empty. “

“The Newlyweds Window” was longlisted for the inaugural Isele Short Story Prize.

Today, She Will | Saratu Abiola

“She was not the type of person to harbor secrets. Perhaps her husband was more the type. She did not know anything about his private life before they met and later married. Indeed, she had never thought it her place to ask or try to find out. Her husband had always played his part while holding himself apart, but that was normal.”

“Today, She Will” was longlisted for the inaugural Isele Short Story Prize.

The Only One I Have Not Lost | Dennis Mugaa

“She doesn’t go inside, not yet. She watches her son’s sporadic reappearances: consoling a mother, comforting a friend. Her fear is replaced by jealousy as if each person Yusuf speaks to is given a piece of him that is somehow removed from her.”

“The Only One I Have Not Lost” was shortlisted for the inaugural Isele Short Story Prize.

Sunset Dreams | Troy Onyango

“She walks on, unbothered by the cheekiness of this child who reminds her so much of Sila, but she cannot allow herself to think of Sila. Not today. Not now. She rests her hands on her lower back and clasps them together, changing her posture to a drooping one.”

“Sunset Dreams” was shortlisted for the inaugural Isele Short Story Prize.

The Children of No 39 Faulks Street | Innocent Chizaram Ilo

“Mothers wrapped their babies in little purple clothes and did as Ani commanded. The babies cried. At first, they thought the cries were just babies yearning for their mothers, but the crying continued, shrill, searing, causing people’s ears to bleed. And then mornings became too bright and nights took an extra layer of pitch.”

“The Children of No 30 Faulks Street” was shortlisted for the inaugural Isele Short Story Prize.

Souvenir | Roseline Mgbodichinma

“My body went missing when I started to touch myself. It disappeared totally into the brim of darkness with my shadows fighting to be seen. It was before men knew me, even before I knew myself. I was mining my way through everything I could not tell Uzo. I found a cure for my loneliness on the atlas of my body.”

“Souvenir” was shortlisted for the inaugural Isele Short Story Prize.

Ether | Ema Babikwa

“I know that now. I’ve made peace with it. Making peace with yourself about something, however, doesn’t guarantee that other people make peace about the same thing too. So the questions and stares never stop. Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell genuine curiosity and outright rudeness apart.”

New fiction from Ema Babikwa.

Glowworm | Tayler Bunge

“Out here in Sardis the blue-green dusk stretches itself long. It’s the constant faintness of almost-evening. I’m outside picking at this scab left by some bug, some bloodsucking little thing. I’m eating Double Stufs on a pair of pillowcases because Gobi peed on all the blankets”

“Glowworm” was notably mentioned in the Best of Isele Anthology.