Following the successful launch of its new brand identity, Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications company, 9mobile, has equally changed the name of its pan-African literary prize to 9mobile Prize for Literature.

The management of the company affirms that the Prize will continue to underscore the unwavering commitment of the brand to the discovery and nurturing of talent.

According to the Chief Executive Officer, 9mobile, Boye Olusanya, “9mobile, is proud to be at the forefront of promoting creativity and innovation among Nigerians and will continue to support the discovery and growth of home grown talents by creating platforms that help African writers to tell authentic African stories”,

The company revealed that the call for entries for the 2018 edition of the Prize which was announced on July 3, 2017 remains open till September 18, 2017, after which the Judging Panel will screen the submitted entries to select the books that will make the longlist. The entries on the long list will go through a second round of screening in the selection process, and then the judges will announce a shortlist of three finalists ahead of the grand finale/award ceremony in 2018.

The judges for the 2018 edition are: Harry Garuba (Chair), Doreen Baingana and Siphiwo Mahala.

To meet the entry criteria, books submitted must have been published 24 months prior to the date of the call for entries. Such books should contain no fewer than 30,000 words and must be the author’s first published fiction book. The author must be an African citizen, but may reside anywhere in the world.

Furthermore, all entries must be submitted by incorporated publishing houses that have existed for three years or more, with registered ISBN or the equivalent, and the publishers must have published a minimum of three authors. A publisher may enter a maximum of three titles. Seven copies of each title entered must accompany the application form, along with an acceptance of the publicity terms of the Prize.

For more information, interested parties can visit the website literature.9mobile.com.ng or @9mobilereads on Twitter and Facebook.

9mobile Prize for Literature is the first pan-African literary prize that celebrates debut African writers of published fiction. The winner receives £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen, and a 9mobile-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, where he or she will be mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland‘.

The winner and the two runners-up also participate in a multi-city book tour sponsored by 9mobile. 9mobile purchases 1,000 copies of each of the shortlisted titles for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across the African continent.

Alongside the 9mobile Prize for Literature is the Flash Fiction Award, an online-based competition open to all African writers of unpublished short stories of no more than 300 words. The winner of the Flash Fiction Award receives £1,000 and a high-end device, while the two runners-up for the Flash Fiction Award receive £500 each in addition to high-end devices.

The 2017 edition of the prestigious literary prize concluded on May 20, 2017 with an award ceremony in Lagos, where Nigerian writer, Jowhor Ile, emerged winner for his debut novel, And After Many Days. Ile is the first Nigerian to win the Prize which launched in 2013.