For the first time in its three-year history, a female writer, Vivian Onyekachi Ibe, has won the Quramo Writers’ Prize sponsored by Quramo Publishing and awarded to an unpublished fiction manuscript.
Ibe’s entry, ‘What Dreams Are Made Of’ was announced as the winner of the prize with a cash prize of one million naira at the weekend in Lagos.
The judges, writers Toni Kan, Molara Wood and Igoni Barrett, hailed the winning entry. They described it “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 characterization, 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.”
At the well-attended ceremony, Joan Wawira Thatiah emerged second with her manuscript ‘Guilty’, while Jaiyeola Temitayo Tomiwa came third with ‘You will be Fine’.
Speaking after her emergence as the winner, Ibe said “I am honestly overwhelmed by the outcome because I didn’t expect it. I intended just to come around and congratulate the winner.”
Ibe, who works in the administrative section of a Lagos law firm, revealed that it took two weeks to put the winning entry of 50,000 words together.
“I first saw the announcement for the entry on Okada books, and I decided to go for it,” she said when asked about how she stumbled on the competition.
Past winners of the prize which also has the possibility of a Quramo book publishing deal are Samuel Monye and Emmanuel Michael.