Nigerian writer and law student Joshua Chizoma is winner of the 2020 Awele Creative Trust Award (ACT award) for his short story ‘Their Boy’, about a young estranged couple’s complicated relationship with each other and with their only child.

The ACT Award confers a cash prize of N50,000 to a Nigerian writer aged between 16 and 26 for a single short story. Chizoma was announced winner from a shortlist of six, drawn from an earlier 13-named longlist.

The judges said of ‘Their Boy’: “Chizoma’s writing is elegant and ambitious. He takes risks which pays off. ‘Their Boy” is a story of the evolution of a complicated relationship and the heartbreaking decisions that must be made. Beautiful and tragic, it is a worthy winner.”

Chizoma has had works published in Prairie Schooner, Entropy Magazine, Anathema Magazine, AFREADA, Prachya Review and elsewhere. An alumnus of the Purple Hibiscus Trust Creative Writing Workshop, he won the 2018 Kreative Diadem Prize and was a finalist for 2021 Afritondo Short Story Prize. He is rounding up law studies at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.

Previous winners of the Awele Creative Trust Award include Caleb Adebayo for 2014, Nneoma Ike Njoku for 2015, Caleb Somtochukwu Okereke and Anthony Ezekwoh for 2016, Imade Iyamu for 2017, and Bakporhe Ufuomaoghene for 2019.

Congratulations to Joshua Chizoma.