Temitope Owolabi

Temitope Owolabi is on the shortlist for the Mo Siewcharran Prize 2019 announced on October 23, 2019.

The Mo Siewcharran Prize was launched in April this year to help discover unpublished fiction writers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Mo Siewcharran, a popular personality in UK publishing, worked for years for firms like Nielsen Book and Penguin Random House. It was at the latter firm where she met her husband John Seaton whose generosity helped to establish the prize in her memory after she died suddenly in June 2017.

The winner of the new award will receive £2,500 prize money plus the chance of a publishing deal, subject to contract, while second-placed writers will get £1,500 alongside a book hamper. Third place gets £750 plus a hamper of books. It is being judged by authors Candice Carty-Williams and Guy Gunaratne alongside Curtis Brown agent Catherine Cho, Sharmaine Lovegrove, and Viki Cheung, co-chair of THRIVE.

Those who are in the running for the prizes are;

  • Good Intentions by Kasim Mohammed.
  • Suparna Mansions by Vasundra Tailor.
  • NoBodies – Free Among The Dead by Annalisa Kumi.
  • The Wanted Girl by Rajasree Variyar.
  • Lightboys by Sharanya Murali.
  • Alien, Go Home by Temitope Owolabi
  • Watermelons And Broken Bottles by Foday Mannah.
  • The Giant Dark by Sarvat Hasin.

Temitope Owolabi, a Nigerian writer and editor living in London, is not a new name to followers of the African literary scene. Her short story There is Goodness Waiting at Home, made the longlist for the Writivism Prize for fiction 2019 and was a notable mention when the shortlist was announced in May.

The winner of the prize will be announced on November 4, 2019.