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First Pan-African Prize for Debut Writers of Published Fiction Books: The Etisalat Prize for Literature

A major mobile telecommunications service provider with connections in Nigeria and other African countries is sponsoring a new literary prize, billed as the “first ever pan-African prize celebrating first time writers of published fiction books”.

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The Etisalat Prize for Literature, which aims not only to promote African writing but also to boost the publishing industry, is open to entries from publishing houses of up to three fiction books published between 1 May 2011 and May 31 2013. The deadline for entries is 30 August 2013.

On the judging panel, Kenyan writer Billy Kahora, editor of the literary journal Kwani, which launched its own prize for unpublished novel manuscripts last year, is joined by Anglo-Nigerian writer Sarah Ladipo Manyika, as well as our very own Zakes Mda and Pumla Gqola, who is the Chair. They will announce the longlist in November this year and the shortlist in January 2014. The winner will be made known in February next year.

The first prize includes £15,000, a book tour to three African cities and an Etisalat Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, under the mentorship of Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.

The Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first ever pan-African prize celebrating first time writers of published fiction books. The Prize aims to serve as a platform for the discovery of new creative talent out of the continent and invariably promote the burgeoning publishing industry in Africa.

By recognizing and celebrating writers and other members of the literary community across Africa, Etisalat plans to bring some much needed awareness and acclaim to the art of Fiction writing while also applauding and rewarding the efforts of those who have ventured into this genre in recent times.

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