Hello fam, how are we doing today? Hope you’re staying safe?

We’ve had an interesting time going through the process of receiving and vetting submissions, turning them over to the judges, and arriving at our long list of 20 authors.

Recall that we called for submissions on May 30, 2020 for our maiden edition of the Creative Writer’s Challenge powered by fadakay.org. Each entrant was to submit a short story of not more than 500 words, on the theme of the impact of COVID-19 on a poor Nigerian family.

We received 67 submissions in total. After our initial verification process, only 53 of those stories were turned over to the judges.

We went to the trouble of getting seasoned writers to judge this maiden edition of the Creative Writer’s Challenge.

We had Samson Iruesiri Kukogho; author, poet, publisher, and winner of the GTB Dusty Manuscript Challenge in 2018. We also had Michael Tolulope Emmanuel; author, poet, editor, and winner of the Quramo Writer’s Prize in 2018. Added to the list of judges was the distinguished Ufuoma Bakporhe, writer and aspiring lawyer. She recently emerged winner of the 2019 Awele Creative Trust Award.

We sincerely thank our judges for their professionalism and generosity to us during this painstaking process.

After independently judging and scoring the submissions, the 20 authors below (in no particular order) have been long listed to move on to the next phase of our competition:

  • Ikhianosime Eghiewa E.
  • Wende Oluwaseun B.
  • Akanno Raymond
  • Dexter Favour J.
  • Uhunmwangho Ifueko
  • Joseph Callista
  • Akotonayan Patrick
  • Olorunsogo Salome
  • Okpala Michael
  • Oparaocha Francis
  • Ohalete Fortune C.
  • Agordi Paul
  • Nwankwo Sophia
  • Elomien Leonard
  • Ihuoma Juliet C.
  • Etoh Collins
  • Nwaobi Peter
  • Ndukwe Hope
  • Shelu Joyce
  • Oseghale Julia E.

We thank all those who took part in this process. As one of our judges remarked, “this was an opportunity for us to feel firsthand, the pains that many families have had to go through this period.”

Remember that not being selected does not in any way mean you’re not a great writer. It only means your story did not have what we required at this time. Please keep writing. Don’t be discouraged.

The short list of ten authors, as well as their stories, will be published on the 15th of July 2020.

Once again, hearty congratulations, and Happy New Month!

© Oselumhense Anetor, 2020.