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Telecoms Giant Etisalat Launches First Pan African Prize For Celebrating First Time Writers

The Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first ever pan-African prize to applaud first time writers of published fiction novels. The prize will bring together high profile writers, book critics and academics from across the continent and beyond to identify new writers of African descent.

From keeping you talking on your mobile phones, Etisalat Nigeria is now talking books with its recent launch of the Etisalat Prize for Innovation held on Wednesday June 5; a prize created to recognize and celebrate writers and other members of the literary community across Africa.

At the launch event held at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans said the company’s creation of the Prize for Literature is borne out of its belief in the transformational power of literature. ”We believe that running a successful business is about delivering quality, innovation and unrivalled customer service to our customers. We also believe that running a successful business is about delivering programs, which support cultural development in Music, Sport and the Arts. We believe that Etisalat can make a difference for millions of people. The Prize, he added, mirrors Etisalat’s reputation of being an innovative company that empowers people and rewards excellence in literary writing.


(L-R): Head, High Value Events & Sponsorship, Etisalat Nigeria, Ebi Atawodi; Patron, Etisalat Prize for Literature, Dele Olojede; Chair of Judges, Etisalat Prize for Literature, Pumla Gqola and Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans


(L-R): Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans; Chair of Judges, Etisalat Prize for Literature, Pumla Gqola and  Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Wael Ammar

The Prize will be awarded in two categories, namely: the best full-length debut novel of a minimum of 30,000 words published in English in the last 24 months; and the best flash fiction work of less than 300 words (also in English). Entries for the Fiction Novel category are now open to publishers who have published a minimum of five authors in the last three years while the Flash Fiction Short Stories will be launched towards the end of the year and driven entirely via social media.


(L – R): Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Wael Ammar; Head, High Value Events & Sponsorship Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Ebi Atawodi; South African Author and Chair of Judges, Prize for Literature, Pumla Gqola and Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans


Publisher, Cassava Republic Press, Bibi Bakare with Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans (middle) and Head, High Value Events & Sponsorship Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Ebi Atawodi


Pulitzer Prize Winner and Patron of Etisalat Prize for Literature, Dele Olojede (left) with Nigerian Writer, Hadiza el-Rufai (middle) and Etisalat Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, Steven Evans

The Prize winner in the Fiction Novel category shall be awarded: £15,000 cash prize, Samsung Galaxy Note or iPad, an Etisalat-sponsored book tour (book reading/signing) in three major cities, Scholarship/Fellowship at University of East Anglia (the pre-eminent school for creative writing) and an Etisalat-engraved Montblanc Pen. The winner in the Flash Fiction category will receive £1,000 cash prize, Samsung Galaxy Note or iPad and a published e-book promoted online and via SMS.

The panel of judges for the Fiction Novel category is chaired by Pumla Gqola, associate professor in the Department of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). Other judges are Zaks Mda, Professor of Creative writing at the University of Ohio and winner of the Commonwealth Prize; Billy Kahora, Managing Editor of Kwani Trust, of the literary Journal Kwani; and Sarah Ladipo Manyika, writer and academic. These judges will work together to select the long list as well as a shortlist of three novels and finally the winner who will be announced in February 2014.

Preceding the launch, Etisalat hosted a group of international writers, publishers, academics and journalists who form part of the Board of Patrons and the 2013 judging panel to a pre-event dinner on Tuesday, June 4th at The Lagos Yatch Club.

Setting Up

Etisalat Prize For Literature

 


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