The Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first ever pan-African prize to encourage first time writers of published fiction novels. The prize will bring together high profile writers, book critics and academics from across the continent and beyond to identify new writers of African descent.
"The Etisalat Prize for Literature is our way of sharing in the passions and aspirations of young and upcoming writers as well as breathing new life to the literary society," Steven Evans, the chief executive officer of Etisalat Nigeria, told reporters in Lagos.
Entries will be accepted for two categories, namely: Full length English fiction novels and Flash Fiction Short Stories, to be launched toward the end of the year and driven entirely via social media.
All entries will be scrutinized by a panel of four preselected judges chaired by Pumla Gqola, associate professor in the Department of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and one of South Africa's most celebrated intellectuals. Other judges are Zaks Mda, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Ohio and winner of the Commonwealth Prize, Billy Kahora, Managing Editor of Kwani Trust, of the literary Journal Kwani and Sarah Ladipo Manyika, writer and academic.
These judges will work together to select the longlist as well as a shortlist of three novels and finally the winner who will be announced in February 2014.