There’s neither winner nor runner-ups in the 2016 Etisalat Flash Fiction Award.

According to the panel of judges, it was difficult to pick any entry worthy of the top prize.

The entries received for 2016 edition of the competition, according to the judges, lacked creativity, quality and excellence required for the prize, Punch reports.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, chair of the panel, said the decision not to award the prize this year was made after a thorough scrutiny of the entries by the judges.

“Having read through the submissions, all the judges were disappointed with the quality of the stories.

“When we came together to deliberate on a potential shortlist, the discussions veered into whether or not there was any merit in actually having a shortlist.

“Despite the competition being for entry-level writers, mediocrity should not be celebrated since Etisalat, as a company, is committed to the pursuit of excellence, as we the judges are,” Ibrahim said.

Elvis Ogiemwanye, director of brands and experience, Etisalat Nigeria, said the company agrees with the decision of the judges.

“We concur with the final decision of the judges not to award the 2016 Etisalat Flash Fiction Award to any winner based on their honest review of all the entries that were received.

“The judges are eminent persons and we are satisfied that they did what was needful to preserve the integrity of the Etisalat Prize for Literature as a flagship of a pan-African literary prize, by not compromising excellence,” he said.

Modupe Ojuolape Kuti won the 2015 edition of the award for her short story ‘Gone’ while Jacqueline Uche Agweh and John Chidi, the two runners-up, were honoured for their stories, “Invincible” and “Madness in Degrees” respectively.



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