Last year came to an end with me getting a mail from the Nigerian Writers Award group that I had been listed on their 100 Influential Nigerian Writers Under 40. Not a bad way to end the year, right?
My second year on the list and I smiled at the group of names there too: friends like the phenomenal Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, my brothers, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, T. J. Benson and Romeo Oriogun, the poetic maestros Basiru Bash Amuneni, Dike Chukwumerije, Efe Paul Azino and Graciano Enwerem, the graceful Amara Nicole Okolo, Dami Ajayi, Kenechi Uzor, Eketi Edima Ette, Elnathan John, Emmanuel Iduma, Olulu Holloway, Jumoke Verissimo… to mention a few of my people on the list.
It has been an interesting year for me in every way. There have been several challenges but also accolades. I have spent more time on the SEVHAGE front fighting battles including technical demons that saw our website crash for several months, printer devils [pun intended!], amongst other issues. In the midst all of this, there were several blessings. Most importantly, I welcomed a daughter with my wife, Agatha – that is gist for another time. I also got to feature prominently in two literary festivals – the Abuja Writers’ Forum’s literary festival and that of the Abuja Literary Society. I was on a panel with Zaynab Alkali’s daughters in the former and facilitated a workshop alongside Dike Chukwumerije in the latter. I was part of a pre-festival workshop for the Minna Book Festival… These are just a few. I was published in a couple of fine places online and in-print and to the gist of this post – I was shortlisted for some awards.
OVERALL PRIZE: $1000 (NZD)
GENRE: SHORT FICTION
The submission window for the 2019 Prize is open and will close on the 1st of December 2018. The K & L Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (1000 – 2000 words). This is only eligible to African writers living in Africa, ages 18 – 25.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I was shortlisted for The ANA Prize for Children’s Literature for my book, Once upon a village tale! Yaaaaaay! The book is a collection of stories tied together by a running thread which is a father telling children these tales on a village night. The idea is to capture in book form some of the stories that I had been told as a child. We are growing so fast we have forgotten some of those fine tales which helped us grow. Those told us by our fathers and mothers. You should work towards getting one soon. I had so much fun working on it, since I got to sing and dance while ensuring the songs and stories inside would be lively enough to read to my target audience – children and those young at heart, everyone who wants to keep a piece of our culture.
The ANA 2017 Literary Prize Winners were announced by one of the judges, Dr. Owojecho Omoha of the University of Abuja at the ANA Convention awards dinner on Saturday 28th October, 2017 held at Royal Choice Inn, Makurdi, Benue State. Only three categories (Drama, Poetry and Prose) were awarded out of the six contestable ANA Literary Prizes. The judges did not find any work worthy enough to merit the ANA/Maria Ajima Prize for Literary Prizes, ANA/Abubakar Gimba Prize for Fiction (Short Stories Collection), and ANA Children’s Literature Prize (for ages 7-13 years). However, an ‘Honourary Mentions’ list (for commendable works not strong enough to merit the award but worth mentioning) were announced alongside the shortlist release in September 2017.
ANA 2017 LITERARY PRIZES WINNERS
ANA Prize for Drama
Winner: Magnetism by R. C. Ofodile
1st Runner Up: The Masked Crown by Tunji Ajibade
2nd Runner Up: General Ologbosere by Dickson Ekhaguere
ANA Prize for Poetry
Winner: For Every Homeland by Obari Gomba
1st Runner Up: Of Waters and the Wild by Ebi Yeibo
2nd Runner Up: A Child of Smell by Seyi Adigun
ANA Prize for Prose Fiction
Joint Winners: Across the Gulf by Dul Johnson
What It Takes by Lola Akande
1st Runner Up: Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
2nd Runner Up: Goodbye Tomorrow by Ike Utuagha
The Honourary Mentions and their categories as announced in the list released in September are:
ANA /ABUBAKAR GIMBA PRIZE FOR SHORT STORIES
• A Tiny Place Called Happiness by Bura-Bari Nwilo
• Gates of Dawn by MSC Okolo
• Tales From Our Past by Lucky James.
ANA CHILDREN’S LITERATURE PRIZE
• The Adventure of Three Wild Boys by Wale Adewale
• Sodality: A Tale of Friendship by Chioma A Diru
• Dancing Tree by Stanley Okeke Oji
ANA/MARIA AJIMA PRIZE FOR LITERARY CRITICISM
• ‘Radical Theatre and Criticism of anti-People’s Culture: A Study of Esiaba Irobi’s Hangmen also Die’ by Nwagbo Pat -Obi
• ‘Vicarious Idiosyncrasies: The Mother-Daughter Ligament in Ernest Emenyonu’s Listen, My Momma Pays Your Taxes’ by Fynest Elvis
ANA 2017 LITERARY PRIZES JUDGES
1. Prof. Nelson Fashina – University of Ibadan
2. Salihu Mohammed Bappa- Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
3. Dr. Ismaila Bala Garba – Bayero University, Kano
4. Dr Owojecho Omoha- University of Abuja
5. Dame Joan Oji – Educational & Literary Consultant, Abuja
For a detailed review of the 2017 Literary Prizes Shortlist, check here.
The Judges of the Association of Nigerian Authors Literary Prizes are pleased to release the short list for the 2015 ANA Prizes. The names and titles are listed below in no particular order.
ANA PROSE FICTION PRIZE
- Avenger of Blood – Franklin Finecountry
2. On the Bank of the River – Ifeoluwapo Adeniyi –
3. Prodigals in Paradise– Henry Akubuiro
4. Odufa: A Lovers’ Tale – Othuke Ominiabohs –
ANA DRAMA PRIZE
- Kosoko King of Eko – Fela Omoyele
- Sacking the Porter- OlatundeBolaji
- Fated Rift – R.C. Ofodile
ANA POETRY PRIZE
- Thunder Protocol – Obari Gomba
- Kontradiction -Saddiq Dzukogi
- The Birth of Illusion -Jumoke Verissimo
ANA/ ABUBAKAR GIMBA PRIZE FOR SHORT STORIES
- River People and Other Stories – Peter Ukwa
- Midnight Cry – Paul Ugah
- From Sin to Splendour- – R. C. Ofodile
The ANA / Ngozi Chuma Udeh Prize for Children’s Literature
- The Quest for the Gem of Arubia – Augusta Mmakamba Okon
- Sunny and the Arodan – Ozimede Sunny Ekhaalume
- Water-Carrier Millionaire– Philip Begho.
ANA/ MAZARRIYA TEEN AUTHOR POETRY PRIZE
Not Awarded(reasons to be given later)
ANA/NECO TEEN AUTHOR PROSE PRIZE
Not Awarded(reasons to be given later)
ANA/MARIA AJIMA PRIZE FOR LITERARY CRITICISM
- “The Film Script, Nollywood and Cultural Diplomacy: Criticism of Artist’s Knowledge of the Film Story.” by Nwagbo Pat Obi (for Honorable Mention only)
ANA PANEL OF JUDGES
1. Prof Nelson Fashina-University of Ibadan
2. Mallam Salihu Mohammed Bappa- Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
3. Ismaila Bala Garba- Bayero University,Kano
4. Dr Owojecho Omoha- University of Abuja
5. Mrs Joan Oji- Educational Resource Centre, Abuja
# Winners of the various prizes will be announced at the awards dinner of the 35th Anniversary International Convention of the Association coming on Saturday the 29th of October,2016 in Abuja.
Signed: Olatunbosun Taofeek
Publicity Secretary( South)
Gotten from the ANA Website Here.
The Short Story Day Africa Prize (worth R10,000) is one of Africa’s prominent short story awards. It is pan-African and is theme-based. The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Migrations’. The 2016 long list includes the talented and award winning writers, the South African Karen Jennings, the Botswanan Lauri Kubuistile, the Nigerians TJ Benson (in whom we are well pleased) and Tochukwu Okafor, among other cool writers.
According to the competition’s site,
the long list deliberations were difficult. There were several stories we struggled to let go. At one stage, there was talk of extending the anthology to include these stories, but in the end we figured we have to draw a line somewhere. Instead we gave these writers a special mention. It is our hope that their stories go on to find deserving homes in other publications.
The Migrations Long List
- Aba Asibon (Ghana)
- Anne Moraa (Kenya)
- Arja Salafranca (South Africa)
- Blaize Kaye (South Africa)
- Edwin Okolo (Nigeria)
- Francis Aubee (The Gambia)
- Fred Khumalo (South Africa)
- Gamu Chamisa (Zimbabwe)
- Gratitude Fisher (South Africa)
- Idza L (Kenya)
- Karen Jennings (South Africa)
- Lauri Kubuitsile (Botswana)
- Mirette Bahgat Eskaros (Egypt)
- Mignotte Mekuria (Ethiopia)
- Mary Ononokpono (Nigeria/UK)
- Megan Ross (South Africa)
- Nyarsipi Odeph (Kenya)
- Okafor Tochukwu (Nigeria)
- Stacy Hardy (South Africa)
- TJ Benson (Nigeria)
- Umar Turaki (Nigeria)
- Caleb Somtochukwu Okereke (Nigeria)
- Dzekashu MacViban (Cameroon)
- Helen Walne (South Africa)
- Kathryn White (South Africa)
- Liam Kruger (South Africa)
- Linda Daniels (South Africa)
- Pamela Zintatu Ntshanga (South Africa)
- ZP Dala (South Africa)
This year, three writers were selected and awarded the SSDA/All About Writing Development Prize. These writers will each receive extensive tuition during a 20 Week Online Writing Course with All About Writing. The SSDA team believes that “with a little help, these writers can be the next big thing in #AfricanLit.”
With the long list announced, the journey to the short list starts with a journey of the list to the judging panel including established writers Sindiwe Magona, H.J. Golakai and Tendai Huchu as well as to the editors Efemia Chela and Bongani Kona who will edit the collection under the mentorship of Helen Moffett. The SSDA/Worldreader Editing Mentorship is sponsored by Worldreader. For more on the long list announcement and also other information on the Short Story Day Award, please visit their website HERE.
At SEVHAGE, we wish all of these cool guys especially our TJ Benson, Okafor Tochukwu, Umar Turaki, Mary Ononokpono and Edwin Okolo best of luck on this journey.
It wasn’t one of my best years in this blogging business. There were many days, even weeks when I left this space dry… It wasn’t a funny year. A lot of people will testify. But together we made it and…
…we got some numbers. And a few comments 🙂
Thanks for being part of my blogging year and I hope that we can make the new year far better. I hope for more collaborations. Doc Topaz, I owe you still. I know.
Have a fabulous year. God bless us. Amen.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 40,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 15 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Hey, how are you? I hope you are fine. Even if things are difficult, they will only get better. Trust me, I know. This is that season when there is so much pressure. You know, trying to make things right even as this tight economy makes you wonder if you are human. Money seems to be the new currency of laughter and happiness or isn’t it? No, it isn’t. It is necessary but pay attention; there are smiles you can plant to leave much more people happy. How? I don’t know. I am trying to find that one out too! Hee hee hee.
So, what is this post about?
I am learning to write. There’s this thing happening; I am retiring, don’t tell anyone. Well, don’t worry, it isn’t permanent. It is for the year 🙂 And…there’s a need for reinvention… but I am trying to plan something new for 2016 and I need your help.
You see, I want to give a gift out to you, and to me. No, don’t start sending me a list of your dreams… I will help you pray for them truly (what else can I do really? Hee hee hee)… but I can give you a gift with what I have; writing. Let me write you a story—or a poem. What would you want?
If you had the chance of me writing something for you or something you’d love, what would it be? Don’t worry, give all the specifics. You can write it here or send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But let’s return to you… The year is coming to an end. It has been a fast year. I remember only last year when I was smiling into the skies at a carnival somewhere, surrounded by friends as we discussed literature. It is hard to believe it is the end of 2015. What did this year do to you? Are you prepared with new resolutions you wouldn’t keep? Hee hee hee! Start implementing them before tomorrow. Never leave till later what you can do now…
Now, have a lovely evening and night, when day comes, may it be lovelier. Things will smile definitely. Wherever you are, please, don’t lose hope and don’t lose faith. Dream more dreams and if you have a way of passing a compliment to someone, do so. We all need us. Go ahead, make a day brighter. May the times be kind.
PS: Don’t forget to send me the ideas and yes, we can collaborate! Yaaaay!
Here’s sending a special shout out to Subman – who has been dancing on my blog in cool steps. I am coming your way soon. Thanks to my big sis, Dotta Raphels, Williamleeone, Yemie, Damore (Me the blogger), Lefthandedscribbler,Debbie Iorliam, Aondosoo Labe, Melodic Rose, Topazo, DrSwag, Zika, and Belle, among all you others. You make this thing worth it. Thanks.