4 tips to winning the £15,000 Etisalat Prize for Literature | Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog

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Thursday, 18 May 2017

4 tips to winning the £15,000 Etisalat Prize for Literature

In 2013, Etisalat Nigeria plunged into a life-transforming vision that has positively altered the trajectory of some writers. The telecommunication company started the Etisalat Prize for Literature in a bid to help better tell the African story.
From the long list of writers who get their books considered, only one can win for the grand prize of £15,000 while the two runners-up receive consolation prizes, including the purchase and distribution of 1000 copies of their books.

Here are 4 Things the Panel of judges considers for the winning entry:

Original Voice


With the Prize for Literature, several African books by African have been entered and the one with originality of voice and literary excellence have scaled through the hurdles. Helon Habila, chair of judges for the 2016 edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature made it known that the major criterion to winning the prize is originality of voice. “Our purpose was to select a work that portrays an African sensibility,” he said.

Literary Excellence

Habila, who is a Caine Prize winner himself, said the panel would consider for the ultimate honour the work that exhibits literary excellence. Although the authors are mostly still up and comers, to be considered the best among their peers, a mastery of style and language is important.

24 Months


Beyond originality, it is expected of writers whose books would enter for the competition to have been in circulation for not later than 24 months (two years) before the competition. The books must have been seen and possibly attained critical admiration before being entered for the competition.

Character Counts

Works entered for the Etisalat Prize for Literature are usually not less than 30,000 words in length.
The 2016 prize will be announced on Saturday May 20 in Lagos, and the competition is between two Nigerians and one South African.

The finalists are Jowhor Ile (Nigeria), author of After Many Days (Kachifo Limited, Nigeria); Julie Iromuanya (Nigeria), author of Mr & Mrs Doctor (Coffee House Press, USA) and Jacqui L’Ange (South Africa), author of The Seed Thief (Umuzi Publishers, South Africa).

The Etisalat Prize for Literature has named three winners before now. At the first award ceremony in 2013, Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo won with her debut novel, We Need New Names. Since that feat, Bulawayo, who is a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University (2012-2014), has accumulated more international accolades, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award.

In 2014, Songeziwe Mahlangu from South Africa won the honour with his debut novel, Penumbra. He has since gone on to garner more international recognition for his work.

Fiston Mwanza Mujila from The Democratic Republic of Congo emerged winner in 2015 for his debut fiction, Tram 83. His novel has since been translated into Italian, German, Swedish, Spanish and Dutch. Tram 83 also made the long list of the Man Booker International Prize and, in 2016, was awarded the Grand Prix of Literary Associations (Belles-Lettres Category) prize.

4 comments:

livingstone chibuike said...

seen

Vivian Reginalds said...

Linda mkn money snc 2000
-D great anonymous now as Vivian Reginalds

Anonymous said...

I love literature. Even though I am still an amateur, I believe with my consistent hard work and God's favour I will win Etisalat Prize for literature. Amen!

Anonymous said...

I love literature. Even though I am still an amateur, I believe with my consistent hard work and God's favour I will win Etisalat Prize for literature. Amen!

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