Poet Okwudili Nebeolisa Wins Prairie Lights Fiction Contest

“I have always looked for validation for my short stories,” he said of the recognition from the Iowa City bookshop.
Okwudili Nebeolisa (2)

Okwudili Nebeolisa.

Poet Okwudili Nebeolisa Wins Prairie Lights Fiction Contest

When the poet Okwudili Nebeolisa first started to write short stories, people told him to stick to poetry. At the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he is currently studying for an MFA in poetry, someone told him that his literary fiction was not good, that it read like genre.

Now the Nigerian has won the Prairie Lights Fiction Contest, organized by the biggest bookshop in Iowa City and open to all its residents. It comes with $500 for his unpublished short story.

“I have always looked for validation for the short stories I have been writing,” he told Open Country Mag. “Winning this was like a quiet voice in my head saying I shouldn’t listen to [them] and continue to write more fiction. I’m so grateful to whoever judged this prize and selected my story as the winners. It may be small but it means a lot to me. Especially because this prize has been in existence since 1990, three years before I was born.”

Nebeolisa, whose poetry has appeared four times in The Threepenny Review, was also recently selected for the Lakeside Lab Writers in Residence, a three-week program in Iowa City.

...

Otosirieze for Open Country Mag

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommendation

Having traversed regions, her poetry, including the Forward Prize-winning Bad Diaspora Poems, interrogates a race- and class-conscious world — and her place in it as a Muslim Somali woman.
Booker Prize winner Ben Okri, author of The Famished Road, and Ghanaian rapper Delasi, with the EP The Audacity of Free Thought, in a deep, rare reflection on storytelling, art forms, and their quests for origins.
In Exodus, his debut collection, ‘Gbenga Adeoba threads the histories, migrations, and traumas of people forced to sea.

“An ambitious new magazine that is committed to African literature"

- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Get the essential stories in African literature + Nigerian film and TV: in-depth, thought-provoking Profiles, features, reviews, and conversations, as well as news on events and opportunities.

We respect your privacy and will never send you Spam or sell your email.

Search

Top