The panel of judges for the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature has been announced. Etisalat CEO Matthew Willsher revealed the judges of this year's edition of the Prize at the Intercontinental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos. Sarah Ladipo Manyika will chair the panel, and is joined by Jamal Mahjoub, Alain Mabanckou, and Tsitsi Dangarembga.
Ladipo Manyika, a professor of literature at San Francisco State University, is featuring on the panel for the second time - she was also a judge for last year's inaugural competition. Mahjoub, a writer of mixed British/Sudanese heritage, was shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2005. Mabanckou, a French citizen of Congolese descent, is one of the world's best-known Francophone writers. Dangarembga is famous for her novel Nervous Conditions, the first book to be published in English by a black Zimbabwean woman and which won her the African section of the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1989. The Etisalat Prize for Literature is Africa's first pan-continental prize aimed at celebrating debut fiction writers. Its first edition in 2013 was won by Zimbabwean novelist NoViolet Bulawayo for We Need New Names, while Nigerian Yewande Omotosho’s Bom Boy and South African Karen Jenning’s Finding Soutbek were runners-up. The winner of the prize receives £15,000 and an Etisalat-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia. There is also a flash fiction category for works under 300 words - Nigerian Uche Okonkwo won last year's for her story "Neverland" (read runner-up Solace Chukwu's story "Fear" here). To learn more about the prize and how to apply, visit its website - entries close on August 8.