Congratulations to these four brilliant new winners of Morland Writing Scholarships:

1. Abdul Adan – Somalia

2. Ayesha Harruna Attah – Ghana

3. Lidudumalingani Mqombothi – South Africa

4. Nneoma Ike-Njoku – Nigeria

 The three fiction winners each receive a grant of ₤18,000 to allow them to take a year off to write a book. Ayesha Harruna Attah won a non-fiction award of £27,000 to be paid over a year and a half to allow her additional time for research. The awards are based on submissions which include a book proposal and an excerpt of published writing.

The Judges for this year were once more three distinguished African literary figures, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, the Chair, accompanied by Olufemi Terry and Muthoni Garland.

See Ellah’s comments on the new scholars below:

 “We were especially concerned this year to choose scholars whose proposals promised books that had the potential to gain a wide, international readership.

Abdul Adan’s surreal, dark humour will take us to Elwak, on Kenya’s Somali border (with pit stops in Missouri, Kazakhstan and Somalia) as his enigmatic protagonist infiltrates a group of Islamic extremists.
 In Ayesha Harruna Attah’s proposal, Kola! From Caravans to Coca Cola we were immediately engaged by her confident prose and outline for a history of the prized kola nut from its West African origins, weaving together primary sources and travel.
Nneoma Ike-Njoku delighted us with her highly original and boldly ambitious proposal for Drift a novel about a fictional Afro-Psych Rock band formed by college students in 1970s post-Civil War Lagos.
 With studied assurance and a beguiling poetic restraint, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi’s Let Your Children Name Themselves will tell the intergenerational story of a family living in rural South Africa, with a focus on Babini – a gay adolescent struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and his place within his community.” 
 The Foundation expects to award Scholarships for 2017 next November. Rules for 2017 scholarships will be posted in June 2017 on the website.  Please, no entries before then.