Following the folding of the Etisalat Nigeria brand and the launch of its new brand identity, the company has also decided to rename its pan-African literary prize to 9mobile Prize for Literature.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, 9mobile, Boye Olusanya, “9mobile, is proud to be at the forefront of promoting creativity and innovation among Nigerians and will continue to support the discovery and growth of home grown talents by creating platforms that help African writers to tell authentic African stories.”
Other than the change of name, the sponsors of the prize have assured that it will continue to be business as usual with calls for entries for the 2018 edition of the Prize, earlier announced on July 3, 2017 remains open till September 18, 2017.
The Judging Panel comprising of Harry Garuba (Chair), Doreen Baingana and Siphiwo Mahala will screen the submitted entries to select the books that will make the longlist. The entries on the long list will go through a second round of screening in the selection process, and then the judges will announce a shortlist of three finalists ahead of the award ceremony in 2018.
The prize which is in its 5th year, retains the same criteria for entries, meaning it must be the author’s first book, must contain no fewer than 30, 000 words and must be submitted by the publisher, who must have been in business for no less than three years. The author must also be a citizen of an African country.
The winner receives £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen, and a 9mobile-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, where he or she will be mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.
Some of the perks of being on the final shortlist includes a multi-city tour, purchase of a thousand copies of the three shortlisted books for distribution in schools, libraries and book clubs across the continent.
Alongside the 9mobile Prize for Literature is the Flash Fiction Award, an online-based competition open to all African writers of unpublished short stories of no more than 300 words. The winner of the Flash Fiction Award receives £1,000 and a high-end device, while the two runners-up for the Flash Fiction Award receive £500 each in addition to high-end devices.
In May this year, Johwor Ile emerged the first Nigerian to win the prize for his debut novel And After Many Days.