GT Bank Dusty Manuscript competition: The journey so far

GT Bank Dusty Manuscript competition: The journey so far

The race to finding the eventual winners of the 2018 edition of The Dusty Manuscript which began in February, is on. With less than a month to announc

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The race to finding the eventual winners of the 2018 edition of The Dusty Manuscript which began in February, is on. With less than a month to announcing the top three finalists from the 1134 scripts submitted by aspiring writers, the judges who will be reviewing the scripts along recommended guidelines, are now more than ever, eager to discover the next big things in the writing world.

After a few weeks of pruning the initially submitted number of manuscripts which are novels in the (crime, romance, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery/thriller genre), through the painstaking effort of a group of people who have backgrounds in the literary world, aptly called ‘the slush judges’, the numbers came down to a 100. These first group of judges arrived at this number using the following guidelines; Excellence of writing, Use of language, Interpretation and style of writing, Level of interest to the general public of the subject matter and the Potential commercial success of the book.

The next step is handing the shortlisted manuscripts over to a group of judges who are writers and are currently at the top of their game when it comes to literary matters. They include; Toni Kan, Eghosa Imasuen, Dr Ainehi Edoro-Glines and Yejide Kilanko. At this point, it is the aforementioned four’s responsibility to further prune down the 100 manuscripts to 25, from which the top three winners of The Dusty Manuscript competition will emerge, using the following criteria:

A. Originality of the script
B. Narrative strength
C. Coherence
D. Dramatic intensity
E. Use of Language

The top 25 literary materials that scales through these criteria will have the opportunity to attend a two day boot camp where they will be further trained on polishing their writing skills, knowing the pitfalls in the publishing process and how to avoid them,the business side of publishing, reading and understanding the fine lines in contracts etc.

While the top 25 writers will only get their manuscripts E-published on Okada books, the top three writers who will emerge without any bias, according to one of the main judges, Eghosa Imasuen, will get the following:

1st prize: ₦1,000,000 in prize money and a publishing contract under the Farafina Breeze imprint and distributed on the OkadaBooks e-platform.

2nd prize: ₦500,000 in prize money and a publishing contract with Kachifo Ltd under their Breeze imprint.

3rd prize: N250,000 in prize money and a publishing contract with Kachifo Ltd under their Breeze imprint.

Announcement of winners and the award ceremony is expected to take place in June.

An initiative of GT Bank, The dusty Manuscript competition is a platform created to discover, nurture, promote and guide budding and aspiring Nigerian writers to become the next big thing in the literary world, after the likes of literary giants like the late Chinua Achebe, Professor Wole Soyinka and Chimamandah Ngozi Adichie.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that GT bank is interested in exploring and providing a platform to discover hidden talents among Nigerian writers, to help revive the country’s reading culture. Like it has done in the food and drink business, the fashion industry, photography etc, GT Bank’s culture of providing the much needed platform to promote and empower hitherto neglected industries is without a doubt a commendable one, worthy of emulation.