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Nigeria’s leading e-publisher OkadaBooks has partnered with Union Bank of Nigeria, one of the country’s biggest financial institutions, for a writing contest worth N850,000 to the winners and runners-up. The Campus Writing Challenge, for which only undergraduates of Nigerian schools are eligible, will be judged by two winners of the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature: Chika Unigwe and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim.

The Campus Writing Challenge is “focused on discovering students with raw, bold and creative writing talents” and is “aimed at providing them with the necessary exposure to hone their craft and become master storytellers.” Entrants are expected to submit works between 3,000-5,000 words via Union Bank’s Website.

The winning entry will receive a cash prize of N500,000 while the second and third best entries will receive N200,000 and N100,000, respectively. The contest will feature other smaller awards, including a N50,000 prize for the best designed short story cover as well as an “audience’s favourite” prize.

The winning and shortlisted entries will be sent to leading publishing houses in Nigeria in an effort to jumpstart the students’ writing careers.

Submissions began on 27 August. The deadline for submissions is 7 October, 2018.

Here are the judges:

Chika Unigwe.

Chika Unigwe is the author of De Zwarte Messias, Night Dancer, and On Black Sisters Street which won the NLNG Prize for Literature in 2012. She has taught at Brown University, Haverford College, University of Ghent, and at the Farafina Writing Workshop in Lagos, Nigeria.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is the author of the short story collection The Whispering Trees (2013), which was longlisted for the maiden Etisalat Prize for Literature with the title story shortlisted for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, and of the novel Season of Crimson Blossoms (Parresia, Lagos; Cassava Republic, London), which won the NLNG Prize for Literature in 2016. He has also won the Michael Elliot Award for Journalism, the BBC African Performance Prize, and the Goethe Instut/Sylt Foundation African Writer’s Residency Award, and been shortlisted for the Brittle Paper Anniversary Award. A Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellow and a Civitella Ranieri Fellow, he is listed in the Hay Festival Africa39 List of the most promising African writers under the age of 40 with potential to define future trends in African writing.

To enter for the Campus Writing Challenge, visit HERE.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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