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Jowhor Ile won the 2017 Etisalat Prize for Literature for his novel And After Many Days.

The 2018 Etisalat Prize for Literature is open for submissions. Founded by Etisalat Nigeria in 2013, the £15,000 Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first pan-African literary prize created to honour debut books of fiction—novels or short story collections.

The 2017 prize went to Jowhor Ile’s And After Many Days, making him the first Nigerian to win. Alongside him on the shortlist were Jacqui L’Ange’s The Seed Thief and Julie Iromuanya’s Mr. and Mrs. Doctor. The judging panel which had Elinor Sisulu and Renee Edwige Dro was chaired by Helon Habila.

The announcement for the 2018 prize was made hours ago by Etisalat Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Willsher.

“We are glad to announce the call for entries that marks the beginning of the submission and selection process for the 2018 Etisalat Prize. It underlines our firm commitment to and continued support for the development of African literature.”

“Over the years, we have seen the Etisalat Prize for Literature impact on the African literary space by encouraging creative writers and publishers to help tell compelling stories about the African continent, and it is our conviction that the judging panel – made up of very experienced writers, academics, literary critics and editors – will be devoted to upholding the legacy and reputation of the Prize.”

The 2018 prize judges are: Harry Garuba, who is the chair, Doreen Baingana and Siphiwo Mahala. They will longlist nine books, from which they would shortlist three. The winner will be announced at the prize ceremony and will, in addition to £15,000, receive an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen and an Etisalat-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, where they will be mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.

In addition to Etisalat purchasing 1,000 copies of each of the shortlisted books for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across the continent, all the finalists will further participate in a multi-city book tour.

Here are important things to note.

  • Books submitted must have been published in the previous 24 months from the date of the call for entries.
  • Such books should contain no fewer than 30,000 words and must be the author’s first published fiction book.
  • The author must be an African citizen, but may reside anywhere in the world.
  • Entries must be submitted by incorporated publishing houses that have existed for six years or more, with registered ISBN or the equivalent, and the publishers must have published a minimum of three authors.
  • A publisher may enter a maximum of three titles. Seven copies of each title entered must accompany the application form, along with an acceptance of the publicity terms of the Etisalat
  • Deadline: 18 September 2017.

Other previous winners are Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo for We Need New Names in 2014; South Africa’s Songeziwe Mahlangu for Penumbra in 2015; and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Fiston Mwanza Mujila for Tram 83 in 2016.

The book prize is, of course, not the only literary prize run by Etisalat Nigeria. They also organise an annual Flash Fiction Award.

Alongside the Prize for Literature is the Flash Fiction Award, an online-based competition open to all African writers of unpublished short stories of no more than 300 words. The winner of the Flash Fiction Award receives £1,000 and a high-end device, while the two runners-up for the Flash Fiction Award receive £500 each in addition to high-end devices.

Patrons of the Etisalat Prize include Ama Ata Aidoo; Dele Olojede; Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, OBE; Margaret Busby, OBE; Sarah Ladipo Manyika; and Zakes Mda.

Read the prize’s terms and conditions.

Submit to the prize HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young was born in Aba, Nigeria and attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A finalist for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, his short stories include: “A Tenderer Blessing,” which appears in Transition Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015; “Mulumba,” which appears in The Threepenny Review; and “You Sing of a Longing,” which was shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award and appears in Pride and Prejudice, an anthology by The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His essays appear in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays and in Brittle Paper where he is Deputy Editor. His interviews appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa Magazine, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the editor of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. A postgraduate student of African Studies, he currently teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Nigeria. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna.

3 Responses to “Opportunity for African Writers | Enter for the 2018 Etisalat Prize for Literature” Subscribe

  1. Simeon Mpamugoh 2017/07/07 at 12:58 #

    I hope the banking issue that surrounds the brand with it being taken over by the 13 consortium of banks and NCC would not affect the prize? If so, thanks to the management because nothing should be allowed to die as a result of the embattlement.

  2. Joy 2017/09/01 at 06:31 #

    How do I submit my entry for etisalat flash fiction award.i need your reply thanks

  3. Otosirieze Obi-Young 2017/09/01 at 09:16 #

    Hello Joy. You can check the link. It should be there.

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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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