The judges met yesterday to decide on the four new Morland Writing Scholars for 2020. This year we had 992 entries compared with last year’s 672.
The 2020 Morland Writing Scholars are:
Howard Meh – Buh – Cameroon
Kobina Ankomah – Graham – Ghana
Okwiri Oduor – Kenya
Sarah Uheida – Libya
The winners each receive a grant of ₤18,000 to allow them to take a year off to write a book. The awards are based on submissions which include a book proposal and an excerpt of published writing.
Miles Morland commented, “We have four new Scholarship winners for 2020 out of almost a thousand entries. Our judges, Muthoni Garland, the Chair, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, and Chuma Nkwolo are familiar with the current African writing universe but they were as pleased as we to find new names popping up from unexpected places, for some of whom English is not their first or second language. We have our first Libyan and first Cameroonian Scholars. The standard was as high as ever. The judges do not favour one type of writing over another but next year I might give them a nudge to favour entries which show the extraordinary wit and humour that for me characterises culture all over the continent.”
Here are Muthoni’s comments on the 2020 Scholars reflecting the views of her and the judging panel:
‘In the words of the Zimbabwean sculptor, Lazarus Takawira, “Evocative is our history but exciting is our future.” The proposed works of our four 2020 Morland scholars promise to stimulate our thinking about African histories and herstories of social and political significance – the Arab Spring, masculinities, mental health and the Anglophone crises in Cameroon. And these writers demonstrated they have the literary chops to deliver heavyweight writing that is fluid, beautiful and insightful.’ Muthoni Garland.
Howard Meh-Buh Maximus, Cameroon
Howard’s thoughtful writing is replete with memorable and humorous lines. His proposed novel is about a four-singer-acapella choir caught up in the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. Music and politics promise to be an intriguing mix of the soulful and soul-less.
Kobina Ankomah-Graham, Ghana
A memoir shaped around the suicide of a younger brother, explores broken masculinities and repressed mental health issues. It will be an important book on an under-represented field in African literature.
Okwiri Oduor, Kenya
Her carefully chosen symbolism and lyrical details will bring to vivid life her coming-of-age novel about a stolen child, madness and identity. A stretching character driven novel that plays with reader emotions and skirts the borders of the fantastical.
Sarah Uheida, Libya
Her proposed non-linear fictionalised memoir will centre her lived experience as a Muslim child survivor of her country’s disintegration into the Libyan Civil War, and the challenges of living as a refugee in South Africa. This is an ambitious project by a new and powerful voice, a writer who learned and mastered English late in her life.
The MMF will announce in the New Year the rules and dates for the 2021 Scholarships. There are unlikely to be major changes but please do not send in any submissions for 2021 until we announce that we are ready to receive them. You can find any information relating to the scholarships on our website: www.milesmorlandfoundation.com
Meanwhile please post the news of the 2020 Scholarship awards on social media and spread the word.
If you have questions, please contact Mathilda Edwards on firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov 24th 2020