Matthew Willsher, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria.
Matthew Willsher, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria.


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Fiction writers across Africa stand a chance to win US$15,000, the biggest prize on offer for the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015.

According to a release, the first-ever prize to celebrate debuting African writers of fiction is sponsored by Nigerian telecommunications giant, Etisalat.

Entries for the competition, now in its third year, began on June 18 and will close on August 27 and

, says the prize for Literature is a platform to discover ‘new creative writing talents out of the African continent’.

According to Willsher, the first two editions were largely successful, with Ms NoViolet Buluwayo winning the maiden one while Songoziwe Mahlangu won the second edition after penning the novels We Need New Names and Penumbra, respectively.

English Professor Ato Quayson, and writers Molara Wood and Zukiswa Wanner are the judges and the trio will develop a list of nine novels and shortlist three, from which the winner will be determined.

Quayson is also the first Director of the Centre of the Diaspora Studies at the University of Toronto, while Ms Wood and Wanner are journalist and author, respectively, with the latter having written a novel, the Madams and Men of the South.

The winner will receive a ‘three-city book tour’ and a fellowship at the University of East Anglia under the mentorship of award-winning author, Professor Giles Foden, while two other shortlisted writers will receive a sponsored two-city book tour to promote their books.

‘The Etisalat Prize for Literature also supports publishers by purchasing 1000 copies of the shortlisted books for distribution within the continent,’ the release states and adds ‘Entries must be a writer’s first work of fiction of over 30,000 words, and published within the last 24 months’.


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