Competition alert! Borough Press, an imprint of HarperFiction, is seeking essays by unpublished and un-agented writers of Nigerian heritage based anywhere in the world.

The winner will receive £1,000, but get this: the winning essay will also be published in Of This Our Country, a “collection of personal essays that explore Nigeria through the memories and experiences of the phenomenal writers it has produced.” The collection will feature essays by literary superstars such as Helon Habila, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sefi Atta, Inua Ellams, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Okey Ndibe, Irenosen Okojie, Lola Shoneyin, Chika Unigwe and other notable Nigerian authors. It is scheduled to be published on September 30, 2021.

Your essay should be between 2500 to 3500 words long. It should feature one or more of the following:

  1. Reflections on the Nigeria that you know
  2. A memory or memories you have of Nigeria that is/are significant to you
  3. How and where you have experienced Nigeria, be that in the country itself, or in an aspect of its culture and traditions found elsewhere

Submit your essay to [email protected] by 23:59 GMT, March 1, 2021. The winner will be announced on March 15, 2021.

Here are some terms and conditions:

  • Participants should be 18 years old and above.
  • Submissions that have been sent by post or means other than email to the correct email address will not be accepted.
  • Each submission should contain: a) a complete essay and b)author biography, to include any blogs and/or social media information etc. (maximum 1 page)
  • The submission must be in Word format throughout both documents; both documents must be submitted at the same time, attached to a single email (the attachments each to be clearly individually marked as ‘essay’ and ‘author biography’). In addition, each document should include the author’s name and the title of the essay in the file name, and this information should also be marked on every page of each document.
  • In the ‘Subject’ area at the top of an entrant’s submission email, entrants should put the ‘OF THIS OUR COUNTRY’, title of the essay, their legal name and where necessary, their pen name.
  • In the body of the email, authors must provide their full name.
  • Essays submitted must be: a) non-fiction: a personal essay by the entrant about their Nigeria – what they know it is; b) in prose; c) written in English, excluding phrases and sayings in languages spoken in Nigeria; d) not have been previously published/self-published or posted on publishing websites, forums or access platforms such as (but not limited to) Wattpad, Smashwords, Lulu, FanFiction, Completely Novel; e) not have had an ISBN.

Click here for further terms and conditions.