The Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) Monday announced the names of the 12 shortlisted entries in the K4.5 million Peer Gynt Literary Award whose grand presentation will be made in September this year.
Mawu President Sambalikagwa Mvona said yesterday that they received 36 entries which were scrutinised by a panel judges comprising Jonathan Thathwe Mbuna, Leona Chilemba and Akwete Sande.
"We have two sets of judges, the first set scruitinises the entries and shortlists the best 12 which then go to the final judgment by another set of judges. So out of the 36 entries we received 12 entries have been shortlisted," said Mvona.
The Mawu leader also said that the presentation will be made in September as the writer's body celebrates its 20th anniversary.
The 12 shortlisted entries are Akuzike and the gods by Wesley macheso, who is from University of Malawi – Chancellor College in Zomba, A rat for Christmas by Madalitso Nyambo from Blantyre, The Wheel Chair Boy by Pius Nyondo, who is a student at Mzuzu University (Mzuni), Tiseke and the tree by Aubrey Chinguwo from Lilongwe, From Herdboy to Headboy by Fatuma Mninde Silungwe from Lilongwe and Limbanazo finds the crue by Heath Kathewera from Malawi Institute of Education in Zomba.
The others are Grace the village girl by Matilda Phiri from Blantyre, The servant by Dikson Galagade Phiri from Blantyre, The trip to town by Benedicto Nkonde from Chiradzulu, The rotten peanut by Hagai Magai from College of Medicine in Blantyre,The voluntary extension worker by Kumbukani Chikomo from Blantyre and Yona and his father by Joe Mlenga from Blantyre.
Mvona said the judges of Professor Pascal Kishindo, Dr Zeleza Manda and Dr DD Phiri will now go through the 12 entries to come up with the best three stories. Initially, Mawu had announced that the final judging panel would comprise Kishindo, Mary Mkandawire and Kenyan writer Muthoni Garland.
But the Mawu president said they could not manage to contact the two hence roping in Manda and Phiri.
"We do this deliberately because we want transparency but also want to have the best entries. So the final judging panel will look at the 12 entries from now up to August," he said.
The overall winner who will have his book published will receive K400,000 with the second and third runners up pocketing K250,000 and K150,000 respectively.
Mvona also said that there will be consolation prizes of K50,000 each in the competition which this year targeted children's manuscripts.
The Peer Gynt Award which started in 2001 before taking a break and then back was last year won by Shadreck Chikoti, who received K500,000.
The competition is sponsored by the Royal Nowergian Embassy through the Cultural Support Scheme which is spearheaded by the Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma).