By Yinka Olatunbosun
Following a three-day activities-packed literary experience curated by the Quramo Publishing called Quramo Festival of Words, (QFest2019) which featured literary masterclasses, panel discussions and exciting film screenings, it all came to a wrap with the announcement of the winner of the Quramo Writers’Prize which is awarded to an unpublished fiction manuscript.
The winning entry was Vivian OnyekachiIbe’s ‘What Dreams Are Made Of’, which made the author the first female winner of the prize since 2017 that the prize was instituted. Samuel Monye, QWP2017 and Emmanuel Michael QWP2018 made the second and third positions respectively. After the ‘Q-Conversations’ with Molara Wood interviewing Kadaria Ahmed and Toni Kan interviewing Bankole Olayebi, the three judges A. Igoni Barrett, Molara Wood and Head Judge, Toni Kan mounted the stage to announce the Top five and the Top three after a short interlude.
The third place entry went to Jaiyeola Temitayo Tomiwafor his entry, ‘You will be Fine’ with Joan WawiraThatiah in second place for her manuscript ‘Guilty.’
In the judge’s citation, the winning entry was described “as an assured and astute work of fiction from a writer whose sensibility is popular without veering into the superficial… Our winning entry is a fast-paced, action-packed thriller with great characterisation, and dollops of wit and humour. It will find legions of readers and spark urgent conversations especially among the millennials and so ultimately expand the universe of the prize.”
The winning writer expressed her excitement at winning, adding that it was unexpected. “I am honestly overwhelmed by the outcome because I really didn’t expect it. My intention was to just come around and congratulate the winner.”
She received a cash prize of one million naira and a Quramo book publishing deal.
Onyekachi Ibe who works in the administrative section of a Lagos law firm revealed that it took her two weeks to complete the winning entry of 50,000 words.