The Etisalat Prize for Literature

by - 20:37

There is another prize to be added to the literary prizes celebrating African literature, and this one also recognises its publishing industry. Etisalat, said to be Nigeria's most innovative telecommunications company, recently launched the Etisalat Prize for Literature. It celebrates new writers of African citizenship (based anywhere in the world) whose first fiction novel was published in the last twenty four months. It also has a category for Flash Fiction Short Story. As written on their website, it is:

" ... the first ever pan-African prize ... aims to serve as a platform for the discovery of new creative talent out of the continent and invariably promote the burgeoning publishing industry in Africa".

The Panel of Judges, chaired by Pumla Gqola (Associate Professor in the Department of African Literature at the University of Witwatersrand), includes Zakes Mda (South African author, playwright and poet, winner of the 2001 Commonwealth Prize, and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Ohio), Billy Kahora (Managing Editor of Kwani?), and Sarah Ladipo Manyika (author of In Dependence). 

Entries for the Fiction Novel category open June 5th to publishers who have published a minimum of ten books in the last three years. The deadline is 30th August 2013. More information on the Prize, entry criteria and more can be found on their website.

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  1. It's good that there are all these prizes aimed at African writers. The problem is will this award be annual or is it one-off? if annual, won't the 24-months qualifying period lead too overlaps, making a book that fails to win legible in the next year?

    1. Hi Nana, those were some of my concerns. As well as the fact that newer publishers who may not have the minimum of ten books, like Paressia in Nigeria, not being eligible. But I do think the prize itself is going in the right direction in supporting African writers.