The judges are unveiled at the press conference
The judges are unveiled at the press conference

The judges for this year’s edition of the Etisalat Prize for African literature are Ato Quayson who is chairing alongside Molara Wood and Zukiswa Wanner. The announcement was made at the yesterday in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Etisalat Prize for African writing is the richest prize for a first book to come from an African author going at the moment with the winner going home with £15,000 and other goodies. The prize also supports publishers by purchasing 1000 copies of the shortlisted books for distribution within the continent. Previous winners of the prize include Noviolet Bulawayo in 2014 and Songeziwe Mahlangu this year.

Ato Quayson is the ‎Professor of English and Director, Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto who has written extensively on post colonial literature.

Zukiswa Wanner is a South African journalist and novelist whose debut novel, The Madams, was shortlisted for the K. Sello Duiker Award in 2007. Men of the South, was shortlisted for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her most recent book is London Cape Town Joburg. She also has written two non-fiction and children’s books. She is also a board member of Writivism which is currently running literary festival at the Ugandan capital Kampala.

Molara Wood first came to the notice of this blogger when she was the senior special assistant for President Goodluck Jonathan at the Nigerian Writers Convention last year. She is much more than just that. She is a journalist, critic and a former art columnist for The Guardian (Lagos). Her work has been published in journals and anthologies like FarafinaBBC Africa BeyondChimurenga and African Literature Today. She is also the writer of the Parresia Published Indigo.

With such a diverse amount of experience then you know that this year’s awards will be just as awesome as previous years.