NLNG announces longlist for 2018 Nigeria Prize for Literature

NLNG Limited, sponsor of Africa’s most prestigious literary prize, the Nigeria Prize for Literature,  has released the longlist for the 2018 NLNG Prize. This year, the $100,000 prize would go to a playwright. On the longlist is the Denja Abdullahi, the National president of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), for his play, Death and The King’s Grey Hair .  

A statement by Andy Odeh, Manager, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs of NLNG, shows that the 2018 longlist of 11 plays, chosen from 89 entries, was selected by a panel of three judges led by Matthew Umukoro, professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan. Other members of the panel include Mohammed Inuwa Umar - Buratai, professor of Theatre and Performing Arts and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the Ahmadu Bello University, (ABU), Zaria; and Ngozi Udengwu, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. 

The 2018 Prize jury was appointed in February 2018 by the Advisory Board for the Nigeria Prize for Literature which has been administering the prize on behalf of Nigeria LNG Limited since 2010. Entries for the 2018 Prize were received by the judges in April 2018. 

The longlist for this year’s Prize is as follows:

1. August Inmates by Chidubem Iweka; published by Kraft Books
2. Death and The King’s Grey Hair by Denja Abdullahi; published by Kraft Books
3. Embers by Soji Cole; published by Emotion Press
4. Guerrilla Post by Obari Gomba; published by Narrative Landscape Press
5. Majestic Revolt by Peter E. Omoko; published by Malthouse Press
6. Melancholia by Dul Johnson; published by Sevhage Publishers
7. No More the Taming Hawks by Diran Ademiju-Bepo; published by Dynasty Tales 
8. Once Upon an Elephant by Bosede Ademilua-Afolayan by Kraft Books
9. Sankara by Jude Idada; published by Parressia Publishing
10. The Rally by Akanji Nasiru; published by Kraft Books
11. Unstable by Dickson Ekhaguere; published by Tryspect Solutions

The Nigeria Prize for Literature has, since 2004, rewarded eminent writers such as Gabriel Okara (co-winner, 2004, poetry), Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto (co-winner, 2004, poetry) for The Dreamer, His Vision; Ahmed Yerima (2005, drama) for his play, Hard Ground; Mabel Segun (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) for her collection of short plays Reader’s Theatre; Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) for her book, My Cousin Sammy; Kaine Agary (2008, prose) for her book, Yellow Yellow; Esiaba Irobi (2010, drama) who clinched the prize posthumously with his book, Cemetery Road; Adeleke Adeyemi (2011, children’s literature) with his book, The Missing Clock; Chika Unigwe (2012, prose), with her novel, On Black Sisters Street; Tade Ipadeola (2013, poetry) with his collection of poems, The Sahara Testaments, Professor Sam Ukala (2014, drama) with his play, Iredi War; Seasons of Crimson Blossom, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (2016, prose) and The Heresiad, Ikeogu Oke (2017, poetry).

The Nigeria Prize for Literature with a cash award of $100, 000 is awarded yearly to the best excellent work, alternating amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature will this year be awarded to the best excellent work submitted in the Drama genre. 

Leading up to the announcement of the shortlist of three and winner in September, there will be a number of events open to the public featuring the authors. A possible winner will be announced by the Advisory Board in October.