"The entries assessed for the 2015 NLNG Prize for Nigerian Literature were all 'incompetent in the use of language'. Hence, there will be no winner this year."
Guess what everyone? Thanks to Twitter and Facebook english, no winner emerged for this year’s Nigeria Prize for Literature (NPL) sponsored by Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
Chairman, Advisory Board for the prize, Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo declared that none of the 109 entries met the standard set for the covetous literary laurel.
He said: "The entries assessed for the 2015 NLNG Prize for Nigerian Literature were all 'incompetent in the use of language'. Hence, there will be no winner this year."
Speaking in Lagos on Friday, Banjo said the decision was reached after a thorough review of the entries by the panel of judges led by Prof. Uwemedimo Enobong Iwoketok.
“Language plays a major role in literary production. Creative writers are normally expected to pay special attention to the use of language and aesthetics. The Prize demands stylistic excellence as manifested through an original and authoritative voice, narrative coherence and technically accurate writing.
“Unfortunately, the entries this year fall short of this expectation as each book was found to manifest incompetence in the use of language. Many of them showed very little or no evidence of good editing,” he said.
According to the jury, the entries were judged based on editorial excellence, creativity and story plot.
Iwoketok said children’s literature is yet to be fully addressed and explored, urging government, writers and educationists to take proactive steps in ensuring the genre is developed.
“A disturbingly large number of entries were dropped at the initial stage of short-listing because of grave editing and publishing errors.”
It would be recalled that, in 2004 and 2009, there was no winner for the prize in prose and poetry respectively.
P.S If you type WTF to this, you are part of the problem.