The votes are in, and Olaoluwa emerges winner of the I ❤️ African Literature Writing Contest. She takes home $100 dollars. We now know that, within the African literature fandom, she totally rules!

These past few weeks have been so much fun. For those of you just joining in, here is how it all began. In anticipation of our 6th year anniversary, which is today, we asked our readers to write a 300-word love letter to African literature for the chance to win 100 dollars. After reading over 170 submissions, we selected the top five and called on our amazing Brittle Paper community to vote for their favorite.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest. If you sent in a submission, helped spread the word, or simply voted, you rock! We appreciate your support.

You are all such amazing readers. Thanks for showing all five writers a whole lot of love.

We took note of some of the truly loving comments left by readers.

1. Here is what Lavinia says about Eddie Hewitt’s “A Love Letter to African Literature:”

I love Eddie Hewitt’s entry. His piece is very touching and evocative. As I read his love letter, I found that it summoned a certain tenderness and poignancy within me and a lingering sense of nostalgia for certain novels; I love that this was what he intended to do, as it is evident from the title! Best of all, I love that he expresses his renewed commitment to remain entwined in the throes of African literature and its evolution. A masterful piece! Well done Eddie!

2. Hilya says of Haroun Habib’s poem “How Does It Feel Now?”

Wow all these writers are talented!! But I am moved by Haroun Habib’s piece.The words of choice is extremely amazing. It brought the story to life. Love the great message of Hope it brought—to never give up on our dreams.

3. Miriam says of Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam’s “For Better or Worse:”

I sense the same theme circling the shortlisted stories, and they are all lovely still I cannot deny that Chioma’s story resonates with every writer. I read all of them, and I read “For better or Worse” twice. I can’t believe Chioma packed all that history in 300 words. Her letter tells us how she was seduced by foreign literature, how she found her way back, how she gave up her comforts for him. Every line is excellently delivered. If I were African Literature, I would take her in my arms and tell her how much I love her. I would promise her everything will be fine now and that I would chase her to the ends of the earth should anyone try to take her from me. Great writing Chioma!

4. Samuel Leimela says of Thando’s “To My First Love:”

Thando is a very good writer. I never cease to be amazed. I am a fan of her work., and this nice piece, like the rest, brings out the life of words right out of the picture. You deserve the price, queen.. 🙂

5. Oloade says of Olaoluwa’s “One More Time:”

Olaoluwa has re-ignited my passion for literature. Since I read your piece, my mind has been drawn again to those days in school when I derived immense pleasure and a kind of unexplainable natural romantic feeling, when I read African novels, poetry and so on. The likes of “We Have Come Home,” Things Fall Apart, etc. I vote Olaoluwa one more time. 

Congrats once again to Olaoluwa! Eddie, Chioma, Thando, and Haroun, we love you guys and look forward to reading more of your work.




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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

4 Responses to “Olaoluwa Oni Wins Brittle Paper’s “I ❤️ African Literature” Writing Contest” Subscribe

  1. Obinna Udenwe 2016/08/01 at 4:55 am #

    Congratulations to the shortlists and to the winner. May Brittle Paper continue to grow and shine!

  2. Eddie Hewitt 2016/08/01 at 6:22 am #

    Congratulations to Olaoluwa on winning the contest! And to Chioma, Thando, and Haroun. I was delighted to be part of this wonderful competition with you and everyone who took part, writers, readers, voters, well-wishers and Brittle Paper of course. Thank you so much, Ainehi and Tiwalade, for organising this wonderful competition. This really has been a huge amount of fun; a really uplifting experience in so many ways. Eddie.

  3. Ainehi Edoro 2016/08/01 at 7:58 am #


    Your passion for reading and for African literature inspires me. Thanks for been so supportive all these years.

  4. Eddie Hewitt 2016/08/01 at 3:56 pm #

    Thanks Ainehi. It’s been a pleasure.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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