This year we received 992 entries, over 300 more than last year. They came from 30 different countries. Selecting the shortlist was a difficult task. 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 we set the bar a little higher.
Miles Morland commented, “Trying to select four Scholars out of 992 entries, all of whom are published writers, is a nightmare. Anyone who gets on the shortlist can be proud of their achievement. Once again the entries showed that uniquely African combination of energy and originality. It is so pleasing to see so many different countries represented in the overall entries and in the short list.”
The judges, with Muthoni Garland in the chair, assisted by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and Chuma Nwokolo, will meet on 23rd November to select the 2020 Scholars. Their names will be announced soon afterwards.