The panel of judges for the 2012 Nigeria LNG Prize for Literature has announced the initial shortlist of 10 authors who will now contest to win the $100,000 prize money.
The shortlisted authors include Ngozi Achebe (Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter), Ifeanyi Ajaegbo (Sarah House), Jude Dibia (Blackbird), Vincent Egbuson (Zhero), Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (I do not come to you by chance), Onuora Nzekwu (Troubled Dust), Olusola Olugbesan (Only a Canvas), Lola Shoneyin (The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives), E. E. Sule (Sterile Sky), and Chika Unigwe (On Black Sister’s Street).
The Chairman, panel of judges for this year’s prize, Francis Abiola Irele, who is the provost of the College of Humanities at the Kwara State University and Fellow of the Dubois Institute, Harvard University noted that 214 entries were recieved for this year’s prize. This is the largest number of received entries since the prize was inaugurated in 2004.
The Nigeria LNG Prize rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. The 2012 prize is for prose fiction. In 2008, the prize was won by Kaine Agary, author of Yellow Yellow. Jude Dibia came close to winning the prize in 2008 as he and Kaine Agary were the only two authors that made the final shortlist.
The Nigeria LNG prize is the largest African literary prize and one of the richest literary prizes in the world. The Prize was initially $20,000 each in Literature and Science. This was increased to $30,000 in 2006, and again to $50,000 in 2008. In 2011 the prize was increased to $100,000.
I can see the names of some of my favourite writers on that list and that makes me happy. What about you? What do you think about the shortlist? Who do you think will win the ultimate prize?