According to a press release from the foundation “We received nearly 700 entries this year, over 150 more than last year, with the standard going up alongside the numbers. It’s always a difficult task choosing the shortlist, but this year was particularly challenging. Although the list is decided on a combination of literary merit and the book proposal, we also, when deciding between submissions of equal merit, try to favour writers at an early stage in their careers over established writers. We are delighted established writers apply and we have given many scholarships to them but for them the bar is set a little higher.
Miles Morland commented, “What a talented group of people on this year’s shortlist. I’m glad I don’t have to choose who gets the Scholarships. As I said last year, I can’t think of anywhere else in the world that could produce a shortlist with such energy and originality. My only disappointment is that I’d like to see more of the humour and wit for which countries like Nigeria are famous but apart from that the shortlist has everything, an astonishing variety.”
The judges, with Muthoni Garland in the chair, assisted by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and Otosirieze Obi-Young will meet on 21st November to select the 2019 Scholars. Their names will be announced shortly afterwards.