Isele magazine has announced the shortlists for the inaugural Isele Prizes.
The newly established initiative seeks to reward the magazine’s contributors. The prizes are split into three categories worth $200 each—The Isele Short Story Prize, The Isele Poetry Prize, and The Isele Nonfiction Prize—each assigned a panel of two judges. Only works published in the magazine from its inception until January 2022 were considered. The winners will each get $200 at a ceremony on April 26, 2022.
The longlists were announced last month—ten stories, ten suites of poems or single poems, and eight essays—and will appear in the Best of Isele Anthology, in print.
Isele described the shortlisted works as “brilliant, defiant” pieces that “poignantly explore themes that challenge conventional expectations.” The magazine said in the announcement, “These writers hold a mirror to society, opening hearts and minds with the transformative power and beauty of their words. Publishing them has been an honor.”
The Isele Short Story Prize
- “The Year of the Sun” by Esther Ifesinachi Okonkwo
- “Right” by Rilla Askew
- “Sunset Dreams” by Troy Onyango
- “Souvenir” by Roseline Mgbodichinma
- “The Children of No 39 Faulks Street” by Innocent Chizaram Ilo
- “The Only One I Have Not Lost” by Dennis Mugaa
The lsele Poetry Prize
- “Two Poems” by Romeo Oriogun
- “Four Poems” by Joanna George
- “there’s more” and “Two Poems” by Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike
- “Three Poems” by Kelli Russell Agodon
- “Three Poems” by Chisom Okafor
The Isele Nonfiction Prize
- “Serengeti Saga” by Sylvia K. Ilahuka
- “Sense of Touch” by Nora Nneka
- “Feeling Your Way Home” by Uche Osondu
- “Adjuncts in the Age of the Coronavirus” by Frances Cannon
- “The Feminine and the Oracular” by Itiola Jones
Isele was launched in 2020 by Nigerian novelist Ukamaka Olisakwe as a tribute to her late grandmother. Earlier this year, she said to Open Country Mag, “This initiative gives us the opportunity to appreciate the writers who continue to give us some of the best works you’ll find in a Nigerian-owned magazine in recent years. Working with them has been an honour.”
The magazine welcomes fiction, poetry, essays and book reviews. All pieces submitted are automatically considered for The Isele Prizes.
The winners will each get $200 at a ceremony on April 26, 2022.