WENAIJA LITERARY CONTEST:

Righting our Story

About the Contest

The WeNaija Campaign is an annual, free-to-enter competition. The 2022 WeNaija Literary Campaign themed “Righting our Story” is a writer’s contest that seeks to create an image through written content of how the vision of a healthier Nigeria should be. This can be expressed either as poetry, short stories, flash fiction or non-fiction prose. Participants can write about the gaps in the health sector or their dream of what the health sector should be in order to transform health outcomes in Nigeria.

The campaign will allow the youth to be a part of something inspirational with widespread impact while providing an avenue for empowering and upskilling the Nigerian youth.

“Righting our Story” participants should write on how we can achieve a healthier Nigeria through one of the following:

  • Poverty alleviation in relation to the sustainable development goals of no poverty, zero hunger and good health and well being.
  • Healthcare system strengthening in relation to the sustainable development goal of good health and well being.
  • Reskilling the workforce in relation to the sustainable development goals of quality education, decent work and economic growth.

As a participant you stand the chance to showcase your work at a premium book launch and win cash prizes, mentorship sessions with industry masters and internship positions.

How to Enter the Contest

The contest is open to Nigerians living in Nigeria between the ages of 15 and 35 at the time of the closing date.

Entries must be entirely your own work. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

Entry into the contest is free and is limited to one submission per person.

Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast, have won or been placed (2nd, 3rd, runner up etc) in any other competition.

If your entry has been long-listed or shortlisted in other competitions, and provided it has not won a prize or been published, it is eligible.

You must inform us immediately should your entry be published or win a prize elsewhere.

Please ensure you read the rules carefully before entering the competition.

Entry implies acceptance of all the rules and failure to comply may result in disqualification.

IMPORTANT: All entries are judged equally. Please remember to include your name and title of your story in the file name or your entry will be disqualified.

Disqualification
We disqualify entries if they are over the word limit or are submitted in the wrong file format. If you forget to add details – title or word count – your entry will NOT be disqualified.

General
Your story focus should be on any of the following areas:
1. Poverty Alleviation
2. Healthcare System Strengthening
3. Youth Empowerment
We do not recommend poems written for children. Please check you are submitting the correct version of your work before uploading as mistakes cannot be rectified later. If you find you have submitted the wrong version or have made a mistake in the work, you can resubmit a corrected version with the word FINAL included in the file name. To withdraw your entry kingly write us an email with Yor Full name and file title included.

Deadline
The deadline date for entries is 12 midnight (WAT time) on 24th December 2022.

Length

  • Poetry – maximum of 40 lines (Lines between text / stanzas are not counted.)
  • Flash Fiction – maximum of 800 words
  • Short Stories – maximum of 2,000 words

Format

  • Add the word count to the top of the first page. The title is not included in the word count, nor are spaces between stanzas included in the line count
  • Entries must be typed and submitted in English. We do not accept handwritten submissions or entries written in other languages.
  • Do not add cover or title pages
  • Do not send illustrated work
  • Use any font, 12pt, black single line spaced, except between stanzas where it should be double
  • If the poem runs to two pages, number both pages
  • Save the file as a Microsoft Word document – .doc or .docx. We also accept file types  .pdf, .txt. Maximum allowed file size is 2Mb
  • The file name should be the title of the poem only, typed exactly the same as on the document, for example: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
  • Remember to include your name and story title in the file title.
  • For untitled pieces, save the document with your name and the first line of the poem instead.

Judging
The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into. Judges are unable to comment on individual entries. Judging is fair and unbiased. NSSF WeNaija Contest reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice.

Copyright
Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author but the NSSF WeNaija Contest has unrestricted rights to publish the winning and highly commended poems, short stories, flash fiction stories and extracts from any of these stories.

Results & Awards
Winners and highly commended poets will be notified by email in January 2023. The winning entries will be announced on the NSSF social media platforms and through our various media correspondence.

The full results will be available on the website after the announcement of the winners.

  • Carefully read the rules, entry requirements and eligibility before submission
  • Click “Join Contest” to submit your entry. Be sure to select the category your story. i.e. Poetry, Flash Fiction or Short Stories.
  • Complete the contest form and upload your story. Your story should be in the the following format; .doc, .docx, .pdf or .txt
  • Confirm that all fields are filled accurately and that you are submitting the correct version of your story/document, then click submit.
  • Check your email for confirmation of your submission and further instructions
Prizes
  • Selection for the top 50 best entries will commence two weeks after the submission of entries closes.
  • Judges will evaluate the top 50 based on their set criteria.

The prizes for the winners of the literature contest include:

  • Book publishing for top 50 finalists
  • Cash prizes up to N3m
  • Personalized mentorship sessions /Capacity Building sessions
  • Paid internships

The writing contest will end in a book launch and where the top chosen 50 writeups will be published, printed, and displayed at the launch.

Our Judges

Born to a Nigerian father and a Jamaican mother, Koko Kalango is a freelance writer and founder of the Rainbow Book Club, a part of the Rainbow Foundation, whose work in promoting reading among young people was instrumental in Port Harcourt being named World Book Capital in 2014. She had received a national award for the honors this brought to Nigeria.

Koko has overseen projects like UNESCO World Book Capital, “Africa 39,” a selection and celebration of 39 important African writers under the age of 40, the establishment of a 300-seat library in Port Harcourt sponsored by SHELL to mark Nigeria’s centenary, the Port Harcourt Book Festival (formerly called the Garden City Literary Festival), and the Get Nigeria Reading Again Campaign, to mention just a few.

Koko is the author of Colors of Life, a devotional; she writes the Colors of Life column in This Day Style Magazine and hosts the Colors of Life Show

Sammy Sage Hassan is recognized as the premier spoken-word poet from Nigeria. As a poet, he took the art form from the small stages of open mics to major media outlets, performing hundreds of pieces for brands and some of the biggest concerts and events in Nigeria in the first decade of the 21st century.

Sage, as he is popularly referred to, is also a writer, filmmaker, and teacher. Being a performer, his skill has seen him act on stage and on television; he also is a sought-after writer of nonfiction and biography for people and organizations. In the last decade, he took his art from the page to the stage and eventually continued telling stories, especially via documentary film.

With a number of books written for clients and a few to his name, Sage has two poetry albums and about 11 film productions, including short fiction films. Another passion of his is to teach, and he makes videos and lends his voice to small gatherings usually to share the lessons and wisdom he has learned in life thus far.

His goal is to use his platforms to teach and entertain.

Kukogho Iruesiri Samson is a Nigerian writer, communications professional, and publishing entrepreneur.

Kukogho has authored four poetry books: What Can Words Do (2013); I Said These Words (2015); Words of Eros (2017); We Who Sowed Hurt & Beaded Pains (2017); and a novel, Devil’s Pawn (2020). His awards include the 2018 GT Bank Dusty Manuscript Prize, the 2017 ANA Prize for Fiction (first runner-up), the 2016 Nigerian Writers Award (NWA) for Best Poet in Nigeria, and the 2012 Orange Crush Prize for Poetry.

He was also featured on NWA’s list of 100 Most Influential Nigerian Writers Under 40 in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He is the CEO of Authorpedia Publishers, an assisted-authorship publishing firm, and the editor-in-chief of CỌ́NSCÌÒ MAGAZINE, a quarterly literary publication.

The Abuja-based writer is known for his work with young Nigerian writers and the promotion of Nigerian writing. His ultimate aim is to inspire change with social media which is a major aspect of the lives of most youths today.

Eghosa Imasuen, a Nigerian novelist who grew up in Warri. He has had his short fiction published in online magazines; and has written articles for Farafina Magazine before he finally decided to publish his first book.

His first novel, To Saint Patrick, an Alternate History murder mystery about Nigeria’s civil war, was published by Farafina in 2008 to critical acclaim. He published his second novel, Fine Boys, with the same Farafina Imprint of Kachifo Limited. He was a member of the 9 writers, 4 cities book tour that was concluded in early June 2009 in Nigeria.

A polymath, he is also a medical doctor who graduated from the University of Benin and lives in Benin City, Nigeria, with his wife and twin sons.

He runs a new publishing outlet called Narrative Landscape Press.

Anthony Onwordi is a Nigerian writer, editor, public relations senior management executives, and teacher. He is the author of the collection of short stories, Nights of a Creaking Bed, noted for exploring themes on African Sexuality, and published by Cassava Republic press.

He was the winner of the NDDC/Ken Saro Wawa Literature Prize, awarded by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), in 2009.

Tunde Leye is the author of four books and three novellas. His most recent work is the critically acclaimed historical fiction novel, Afonja: The Rise published in October 2018. His former books include Guardians of the Seals (2016), Golden Sands (2014) and children’s book The Rat Race (2011). He has also published three novellas – The Burden of Proof (2013), Yobachi (2015) and The Ahosi (2017).

He ran a popular fiction blog between 2011 and 2014 during which he wrote seven series including the popular Finding Hubby. Two of these series have been adapted for TV and Finding Hubby was adapted for a cinematic release in 2020.
Afonja The Rise was also adapted for stage in 2019 to critical acclaim and Leye is working on a slate of 10 films to be adapted from his own work, as well as those of other African authors. His goal is to bring these compelling stories about African history and culture to the big screen.

Tunde holds a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Lagos and an MBA from the Lagos Business School. He is a partner with SBM Intelligence, a Pan-African geopolitical research firm, and a columnist for various newspapers. He is also co-founder of Fintech firm, CREDEQUITY and he lives and writes in Lagos, Nigeria.

Interested In Sponsoring?

If you or your organisation are interested in becoming a sponsor of the WeNaija literary contest, kindly click the button below to learn more.

Key Dates

All entries should be submitted in accordance with the timelines stated below or as communicated.

Submissions outside of these timelines will not be considered and become automatically disqualified.

Only successful entries will be contacted.

10:00 WAT Tuesday, November 01, 2022
Entry submissions opens
10:00 WAT Tuesday, November 01, 2022
23:59 WAT Monday, December 26, 2022
Entry submission closes
23:59 WAT Monday, December 26, 2022
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Evaluation Begins
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Friday, January 20, 2023
Winners are announced.
Friday, January 20, 2023
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Grants that support the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund’s three core objectives will be awarded on a rolling basis over the next 18 months. Priority will be given to funding proposals that are cross-cutting and speak to one or more of the following objectives:

  • Supporting Vulnerable Populations
  • Health Systems Resilience 
  • Reskilling and Retooling of Nigeria’s Youth

Grants awards will vary across projects and will be determined by the approval of the NSSF board of directors. NSSF funds are not intended to replace public funds but rather to complement these.