Nneoma Ike-Njoku, winner of 2015 Awele Creative Trust (ACT) award, becomes the only Nigerian to be among the 5 winners for the scholarship. The award would see each of the three fiction winners €18000 ( close to a million in Nigerian currency). Among the 11 Nigerian that were shortlisted, she became the only one standing and delighted the organisers with her original and boldly ambitious proposal for ‘Drift :a novel about a fictional Afro-Psych Rock band formed by college students in 1970s post-Civil War Lagos.
The Four Winners in Morland Writing Scholarships:
· Abdul Adan – Somalia
· Ayesha Harruna Attah – Ghana
· Lidudumalingani Mqombothi – South Africa
· Nneoma Ike-Njoku – Nigeria
The three fiction winners each received a grant of ₤18,000 to allow them to take a year off to write a book. Ayesha Harruna Attah won a non-fiction award of £27,000 to be paid over a year and a half to allow her additional time for research. The awards are based on submissions which include a book proposal and an excerpt of published writing.
Miles Morland said, “Last year our winners were all female. This year the blokes have fought back and we have perfect gender balance. All four winners have the potential to write books that will command global attention. This year we had a record 500 submissions, up from 345 last year. The most heartening thing is the breadth of talent; we had submissions from over thirty countries of which 106 came from Nigeria, a bubbling cauldron of writing talent, 51 from South Africa, 42 from Kenya, 17 from Zimbabwe and 12 from Ghana.
Michela Wrong, the Foundation Literary Director, said, “Meanwhile our twelve existing Scholars from the last three years have been writing hard. Our hope is that in 2017 at least two of our existing Scholars will publish the books they have written on their Scholarship year with more to follow soon after. I will be surprised if we don’t get ten published books from our existing Scholars.”