Entries begins for 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature

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Etisalat Nigeria on Friday called for entries for the 2015 edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature with a prize tag of 15,000 pounds.

Mathew Willsher, the Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, disclosed this at a media briefing in Lagos.

He said that, “The Etisalat Prize for Literature, served as a platform for the discovery of new creative writing talents in the African continent.

“Etisalat Prize is designed to foster writing in Africa, bring exciting new African writers to the attention of a wider audience.

“We are running this prize so as to grow the culture of writing literature in Africa and we value excellence.

“It is also to encourage reading culture and Africans to talk about their continent.
“We want to make it commercially viable for writers and publishers as well, we want to build awareness throughout Africa,” he said.

Willsher recalled that Africans have great brains that could do a lot in various fields, adding that they only needed to be nurtured in the art of telling stories by writing.

“We care about stories, so that a lot of people can be educated through that.’’

Also, Enitan Deloye, the Director; Brands and Experience Etisalat Nigeria, said that the organisation’s ultimate aim was to provide a viable medium for talented individuals to thrive.

“We want a platform where people will showcase their talents and we invest in them.

“It is to inspire other Africans to write more books, it is a good work coming out of Africa.

“Publishing has been struggling to survive in Africa and we want to help push it up, we want to make sure that quality entries come up and quality job done,” he said.

The entries must be a writer’s first work of fiction, of over 30,000 words and published within the last 24 months.

The Etisalat Prize will also launch the online based flash fiction prize later in the year to engage the rising stars of fiction.

The Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first Pan African prize celebrating debut writers of published fiction.

The first winner in 2013 was an entry by NoViolet Bulawayo, a Zimbabwean; titled, “We Need New Names”.

Songeziwe Mahlangu, a South African; won the 2014 edition with an entry titled “Penumbra’’.

Etisalat Nigeria is one of the 19 operations of the Etisalat Group spanning Africa, the Middle East and Asia and serving 182 million subscribers.

(NAN)