The 2016 shortlist for the Betty Trask Award has been released. Amongst authors shortlisted for the annual novel prize was Nigerian author, Irenosen Okojie, for her debut novel, Butterfly fish. She is one of four shortlisted authors.

The prize is awarded to authors under the age of 35 living in former or current common wealth countries, for their first novels. Each year, the award amounts to 20,000 pounds.

It was established in 1984 by the society of authors at the bequest of Late Betty Trask, author of over 30 romance novels.

Other Nigerian writers who have benefited from the award include Diran Adebayo, Adaobi Tricia and Chibundo Onuzo.

According to a press release, the 2016 shortlist was impressive and diverse. The winner who will be announced at the award ceremony on June 21 is to receive 10,000 pounds while the 3 runner ups will receive 5,000 pounds each.

The judges for this year are Simon Brett, Joanne Harris and Michele Roberts. The Prizes and Awards will be presented by John Agard.

Other shortlisted writers include Alex Christofi for the novel Serpents Tail, Natasha Pulley for her novel, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.

Irenosen Okojie is a writer, curator and arts project manager. She has worked with Royal Shakespeare Company, South Bank Center and the Caine prize.

Her book, Butterfly Fish published by Jarcanda books has been described as a stunningly well written book.

Author: Ope Adedeji