Two South Africans, One Nigerian Battle For £15,000 Etisalat Prize For Literature

The three shortlistedfinalists for the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature have been announced.Songeziwe Mahlangu (South Africa), author of Penumbra, Chinelo Okparanta(Nigeria), author of Happiness, Like Water, and Nadia Davids (South Africa),author of An Imperfect Blessing, will compete for this year’s award. This is the secondedition of the award which was created by Etisalat Nigeria in 2013 to celebrateyoung, first-time African writers of published fiction books and to promote thereading culture in Africa. The Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first everpan-African prize celebrating such first-time African writers of fiction. Theprize aims to serve as a platform for the discovery of new creative Africantalent and to support the literary industry on the continent. The winner will beawarded a cash prize of £15,000 and a high-end device, in addition to a booktour to three African cities. The winning writer will also embark on theEtisalat
 Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, which will afford themsignificant opportunities to network with other writers and publishers and timeand resources to work on their second book. The two runners up will also win abook tour and Etisalat will purchase 1,000 copies of all three books fordistribution across the continent. NoViolet Bulawayo,author of We Need New Names, which won the inaugural edition of the EtisalatPrize for Literature, previously expressed her delight at the opportunitiesopened to her after winning the award. The Zimbabwean, who is now a StegnerFellow at Stanford University remarked, 'I am thankful to the organizers ofthis event, Etisalat Nigeria for this most excellent and necessary prize. Weare all aware of the shortage of literary prizes and it is heart-warming toknow that Etisalat Nigeria sees and values the significance of such literaryworks in Africa.' The winner of the 2014Etisalat Prize for Literature will be announced
 at the Grand Finale, a blacktie event on Sunday March 15 at the prestigious Intercontinental Hotel. Theevent is expected to feature the who is who in African art, literature andentertainment, as well as performances from the Nigerian Idol Season 4 winner,Evelle and two time Grammy award winner, Angelique Kidjo.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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