Telecommunications company, Etisalat Nigeria has made a call for entries into the fourth edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Etisalat Nigeria is inviting debut novelists across Africa, to send in their entries on or before 31st August 2016.

The Prize which aims to support publishers, is the first ever pan-African prize celebrating first-time African writers of published fiction books.

It also 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 winner receives a cash prize of £15,000 in addition to a fellowship at the University of East Anglia UK, under the mentorship of Professor Giles Foden, the award-winning author of The Last King of Scotland.

A few months ago, the winner of the 2015 edition was announced at the Etisalat Prize for Literature closing ceremony.

Democratic Republic of Congo’s Fiston Mwanza Mujila won the edition with his novel, Tram 83. South African writers, Penny Busetto and Rehana Rossouw were shortlisted for the prizes with their books, The Story of Anna P, as told by herself and What Will People Say respectively.

Other previous winners are Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo (We need new names, 2013), South Africa’s Songeziwe Mahlangu (Penumbra 2014)

Matthew Willsher, CEO of Etisalat Nigeria, said at a press briefing held in Lagos, Nigeria recently that the prize is designed to serve as a leading platform for the discovery and encouraging of creative writing talents as well as the celebration of literary arts by African writers.

“We are delighted to champion the cause for celebrating the richness and strength of African literature,” he said.

“The Etisalat Prize for Literature is about discovering and bringing to the world stage the many creative talent Africa boasts of.

“The Etisalat Prize is about creativity, excellence, empowerment and reward; it is about celebrating our African diversity in very innovative ways through various forms of art, literature being one of them,” he explained.

Willsher added that only books by debut writers, published not later than 24 months before submission, will qualify for entry.

“They must also be by registered publishing houses not less than six years as incorporated publishers with registered ISBN Number or the equivalent, and who must have published a minimum of six authors.

“All entries should be accompanied by seven copies of the book entered along with an acceptance of our publicity terms. A publisher may submit a maximum of three books,” Willsher stated.

The rules and guidelines for entry are available on the Etisalat Prize website:

Author: Ope Adedeji