The winners of the 2020 Morland Writing Scholarship have been announced. They are Cameroon’s Howard Meh-Buh (fiction), Ghana’s Kobina Ankomah Graham (non-fiction), Kenya’s Okwiri Oduor (fiction), and Libya’s Sarah Uheida (non-fiction). The 2020 award saw 992 entries, a significant increase from the previous year’s 672, of which 19 writers were shortlisted.
The Morland Writing Scholarship, an initiative of Miles Morland Foundation, annually offers four grants, each valued at £18,000 (fiction) and up to £27,000 (nonfiction) to African writers seeking to create new work, for them to take time off to work on their proposed projects. Previous winners of the scholarship have included Akwaeke Emezi, Elnathan John, Yewande Omotoso, Tony Mochama and Nneoma Ike-Njoku, among others.
The 2020 winners’ proposed works, according to judges, “promise to stimulate our thinking about African histories and herstories of social and political significance – the Arab Spring, masculinities, mental health and the Anglophone crises in Cameroon. And these writers demonstrated they have the literary chops to deliver heavyweight writing that is fluid, beautiful and insightful.”
Read the judges’ comments on the proposed work below:
Howard Meh-Buh Maximus, Cameroon
Howard’s thoughtful writing is replete with memorable and humorous lines. His proposed novel is about a four-singer-acapella choir caught up in the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. Music and politics promise to be an intriguing mix of the soulful and soul-less.
Kobina Ankomah-Graham, Ghana
A memoir shaped around the suicide of a younger brother, explores broken masculinities and repressed mental health issues. It will be an important book on an under-represented field in African literature.
Okwiri Oduor, Kenya
Her carefully chosen symbolism and lyrical details will bring to vivid life her coming-of-age novel about a stolen child, madness and identity. A stretching character driven novel that plays with reader emotions and skirts the borders of the fantastical.
Sarah Uheida, Libya
Her proposed non-linear fictionalised memoir will centre her lived experience as a Muslim child survivor of her country’s disintegration into the Libyan Civil War, and the challenges of living as a refugee in South Africa. This is an ambitious project by a new and powerful voice.
The Miles Morland Foundation will announce a date for applications in 2021. Stay tuned for details on how to apply.
Brittle Paper congratulates Howard Meh Buh, Kobina Ankomah Graham, Okwiri Oduor and Sarah Uheida!