The Tough Task of Writing Fiction and Why African Writers Should Be Appreciated

One of the most common struggles that authors face is the problem of rewriting – writing that page over and over again because it doesn’t sound right; because it doesn’t capture your thoughts; because it doesn’t convey the magnitude; because IT JUST DOESN’T WORK!


Those who have never written books wonder how writers are able to fill hundreds of pages when most mortals can’t even get 2 pages of creative writing done.


For some, it’s the dreaded writers’ block – you know that mythical hindrance that shields you from every inspiration.

The point here is that it takes a lot to write fiction, biographies or any type of creative writing and then go further to publish it. From stringing words together to editing and proof reading before going through the pains of finding the perfect publisher, creative writing is as critical as surgery.

This is why initiatives like the Etisalat Prize for Literature are so precious and valued by the literary community in Africa. The Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first ever pan-African prize that celebrates first time writers of published fiction books.


The Etisalat Prize for Literature celebrates new writers of African citizenship whose first fiction book (over 30,000 words) was published in the last 24 months. For the purposes of this definition, first book means first printed production in book form of any type or genre. Authors and their publishers can be based anywhere in the world.


By recognizing and celebrating writers and other members of the literary community across Africa, some much needed awareness and acclaim is brought to the art of fiction writing and storytelling while also applauding and rewarding the efforts of those who have ventured into this genre in recent times.


The 2015 finalists for the Etisalat prize for Literature are Penny Busetto (The Story of Anna P, As Told By Herself), Rehanna Russouw (What Will People Say?) and Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Tram 83).


The winner will receive £15,000 and embark on a Fellowship at the University of East Anglia mentored by Professor Giles Foden (author of The Last King of Scotland), which will include significant opportunities to meet other writers, publishers and most importantly work on their second book.



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