A call for entries has gone out to intending contestants for the 2019 edition of the three Nigeria LNG-sponsored prizes: The Nigeria Prize for Science, The Nigeria Prize for Literature and The Literary Criticism Prize. This was recently made public by the prizes’ advisory boards.
Contestants for both the Science and Literature prizes, which are now in their 15th year, will be gunning for the cash prize of $100, 000 each, while the Literary Criticism Prize contestants will be eyeing its N1 million prize money.
For the Literature Prize – which annually rotates among the literary genres of prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature – the focus this year is on children’s literature. The prize honours the author of the best book by a Nigerian author on any of the four literary genres. Meanwhile, the Literary Criticism Prize, which also aims to promote Nigerian literature, will receive entries on works in literary criticism of on the subject, especially critical essays on new writings.
The call for entries for the literature prize and literary criticism, which actually opened on February 15, closes on April 5.
Professor Obododinma Oha will chair the panel of judges for this year’s Literature and the Literary Criticism competition. Professor Oha, poet, editor and a translator, is a professor of Semiotics, Stylistics, and Creative Writing at the Department of English, University of Ibadan. He writes poems in English and Igbo.
Other members of the panel include Professor Asabe Usman Kabir and Dr. Patrick Okolo. Professor Kabir is a professor of Oral and African Literature at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto. Dr. Oloko, a Senior lecturer at the University of Lagos Nigeria, specialization in African postcolonial literature, gender and cultural studies.
The winners of the Literature and Literary Criticism prizes will be announced at an award ceremony in October 2019, to commemorate the anniversary of the first LNG export from the NLNG’s Plant on October 9, 1999. The Science Prize winner as usual will be revealed earlier in the year.
It will be recalled that three winners emerged in the prize categories in 2018. They were Soji Cole who clinched the Literature Prize award with his play, ‘Embers’, Dr. Peter Ngene was awarded the Science Prize, for his work in “Innovation in Electric Power”, and Professor Isidore Diala, a professor of African Literature at Imo State University, Owerri, took home the Literary Criticism Prize.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature has rewarded eminent writers such as the late Ikeogu Oke (2017, Poetry) with ‘The Heresiad’; Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (2016, Prose) with ‘Season of Crimson Blossoms’; Sam Ukala (2014; Drama) with ‘Iredi War’; Tade Ipadeola (2013; Poetry) with his collection of poems, ‘Sahara Testaments’; Chika Unigwe (2012 – prose), with her novel, ‘On Black Sister’s Street’; as well as Adeleke Adeyemi (2011, children’s literature) with his book, ‘ The Missing Clock’.
Other awardees are Esiaba Irobi (2010, drama) who clinched the prize posthumously with his book ‘Cemetery Road’; Kaine Agary (2008, prose) with “Yellow Yellow”; 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) with her book, ‘My Cousin Sammy’; Ahmed Yerima (2006, drama) for his classic, ‘Hard Ground’; and Gabriel Okara (co-winner, 2005, poetry) for his book Chants of a Minstrel and Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto (co-winner, 2005, poetry) for his book The Dreamer: His Vision.
“The Nigeria Prize for Literature and The Nigeria Prize for Science are part of Nigeria LNG Limited’s numerous contributions towards building a better Nigeria,” says NLNG’s Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Andy Odeh.