The winner and shortlist of the Saraba Manuscript Prize (Fiction Category) have been announced by the judges Rotimi Babatunde, Azafi Omoluabi-Ogosi, and Eghosa Imasuen.
Drawn from a longlist of ten writers, Eboka Chukwudi Peter is the winner of the Prize for his manuscript Mosaic: Stitches of Stories Lived, Stories Learned and Stories Told. The four shortlisted writers are:
- Hajara Hussaini Ashara, 1994
- Amarachi Priscilla Ekekwe, Beyond the Beautiful Sea
- Ebelechukwu Ijeoma Mogo, IJBG and Other Stories
- TJ Benson, We Won’t Fade into Darkness
Rotimi Babatunde, on behalf of the judges, described the winning manuscript and shortlisted manuscripts as follows:
“The stylistic variety of the ten works longlisted for the Saraba Manuscript Prize, as well as their diversity in matters of theme and setting, is refreshing. Noteworthy in their different ways, the works collectively communicate the impressive creative energies powering the practice of rising voices in new Nigerian fiction. The longlist confirms the abundance of literary potential yet untapped by publishing in Nigeria. We hope that all the manuscripts, including the ones that did not make the shortlist, will find a home in the hearts of readers in Nigeria and around the world…
“The Saraba Manuscript Prize goes to Eboka Chukwudi Peter for his visceral excavations of the subterranean anguish of contemporary life using sinuous, prehensile prose that opens up new aesthetic possibilities in Nigerian fiction.”
The prize includes an award of 100,000 naira to the winning author. All shortlisted writers will receive a publishing deal from Saraba Literary Trust, including 100,000 naira advance against royalties. The announcement of the shortlist and winner begins a yearlong process of publishing and promoting the manuscripts in book form.
Congratulations to all the winners. Read the full judges’ report.