A total of 214 foreign and home-based writers will be competing for the 2012 edition of Africa’s pre-eminent prize in literature – The Nigeria Prize for Literature, the largest number received since the prize was inaugurated in 2004.
Adeleke Adeyemi, with pen name, Mai Nasara, won the prize last year with his book, The Missing Clock.
The Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo-led Advisory Board for Literature has yesterday handed over the entries to the Panel of Judges chaired by Prof. Francis Abiola Irele, Provost, College of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences, Kwara State University, Ilorin. The other members of the Advisory Board are Prof. Ben Elugbe and Dr. Jerry Agada while the other members of the panel of judges include Prof. Angela Miri; Prof. Sophia Ogwude; Prof. J. O. J. Nwachukwu-Agbada and Dr. Oyeniyi Okunoye all well respected scholars.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature awarded yearly to the best work alternates amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature and will this year be awarded to the best work in the Prose genre.
The Advisory Board for Literature also announced its decision to accept e-Book entries for the literature prize from 2013. In addition, every year, three scholars with critical works published in reputable foreign journals will be given honorary mention, commendation letters and a cash prize of US$5,000. This will encourage scholars all over the world to bring Nigerian literature to international attention.
Past winners of the prestigious prize include the founding father of modern Nigerian poetry, Gabriel Okara, Ezenwa Ohaeto, Ahmed Yerima, Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, Mabel Segun, Kaine Agary, and Esiaba Irobi.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature with a cash value of US$100, 000, the largest in Africa, now in its ninth year is sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited to reward excellence in works of outstanding merit in literature.