The Nigeria LNG, sponsors of the Nigeria Prize for Literature have announced their intention to organise a workshop for writers of children’s literature following the decision of the panel of judges not to award it this year.
Speaking at the World Press Conference held at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, on Friday September 25th, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, General Manager, External Relations, Nigeria LNG, said that Nigeria LNG stands firmly behind the decision of the judges and planned to work constructively to address what they hav identified as a gap. “Working with our partners and stakeholders, we plan to invest in the convening of a children’s literature capacity building workshop. One of the targets of that workshop will be to improve the abilities of the writers in this genre of children’s literature.
Further, for the benefit of those who may not be physically presebt at the workshop, and indeed for the good of upcoming writers, the proceedings of the workshop will be collated, and published for reference and guidance,” he said.
The absence of a winner in 2015 is reminiscent of 2004 and 2009 when no winners were picked. The decision this year was reached by the panel of judges led by Chief Judge Professor Uwemedimo Enobong Iwoketok, a professor of English Language at the University of Jos, after a thorough review of the entries.
According to Prof. Iwoketok, “A disturbingly large number of entries were dropped at the initial stage of short-listing because of grave editing and publishing errors.”
Submissions for the prize were examined based on a number of considerations including editorial excellence, creativity and story plot
Other members of the panel of judges were Professor Charles Bodunde of the University of Ilorin, and the University of Maiduguri’s Dr. Razinat Mohammed. Members of the Advisory Board for the prize are Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo, Professor Ben Elugbe and Professor Jerry Agada.
According to Dr. Eresia-Eke, “It will be recalled that the prize was instituted in 2004, to stimulate creativity and reward excellence in writing and would therefore be awarded only for excellence. Although, there is no winner this year, NLNG in its determination to promote excellence, will invest the prize money which would have been won, back into the process for a creative writing workshop for Nigerian writers of children’s literature.”
The dates for the workshop will be announced in due course.