On October 31, 2015 AMAB released the long list containing fifteen entries (15) out of the seventy two (72) submitted by Nigerians from all corners of the country for the 2015 Flash Fiction Contest organised in collaboration with Home of Books Foundation, Lagos.
To come up with a shortlist of five (5), the judges observed that all the fifteen stories on the long list are very strong with hope of budding into phenomenal African writing. However, the judges felt some of them deserve correct commendation with their impressive creativity and depth that can stand and attest to the virility of Nigerian fiction.
The shortlisted entries are as stated below in no particular order:
- New Openings by Awwal Abdul
This story confronted taboo subjects like anal rape and abuse, with boldness. While the subject of abuse is rather hackneyed, the writer is not afraid to touch controversy of a different kind of sexual act. This lack of fear shows in the confidence of this piece; somehow antithetical to the lack of confidence of the protagonist. Written in clear lucid language, contemporary yet not clichéd, New Openings show a writer that has a good journey ahead if he works hard at it.
- God and Other Griefs by Ohioleh Osadebey
This is a coming of age story in both biological and ideological senses told with great power and control. The strength of this story is the confusion and questions of childhood that were not answered even though they made a huge impact on the children.
- An Abundance of Yellow Paper by TJ Benson
The story explores an alternate reality in which poets have become hounded, making an eloquent statement for the value of words. It departs from the pack by being willing to project a futuristic story and it is able to envision a dystopia where artists would be endangered species. These are serious existential issues brilliantly captured. In the protagonist, we see the irrepressibility of art and the artist, and the various modes through which their voices would still be heard regardless of state repression.
- Not At Home by Aminu S. Muhammad
This story is characterised by good use of language to foreground a common account of life. We see a critique of the society that places moral burden on women but fails to examine the male counterpart with as much critical lens. We see how fickle the mask of masculinity can be when the new husband tells the wife he is not a “man” and leaves the woman to deal with the weight of the consequences.
- Blood on the Soil by Kelvin Alaneme
This story takes on the bizarre very creatively and the desire for masculinity leads to tragic inversion. It is an African story told from a perspective of conflict between superstition and science. The story is easily read and easily enjoyed.
Winners will be announced in Minna on December 19, 2015