CFWriterz regretfully announces the cancellation of its December 2019 Collins Elesiro Prize.

As stated in our call for submission, we are watching out for pieces that stretch the imagination on seasons, on what happens during transition, on the idea of living in liminal spaces.

Unfortunately, the entries we received for the December issue didn’t satisfy what we’re looking for. Following a thorough reading by our editors, and judges, we decided it was best to move forward and plan better for our next issue in June 2020.

Meanwhile, here’s what the editors say about the entries:

For me, a couple of poems were fair. Fair enough to be published if a prize wasn’t involved. But I know how much competition there is in African writing to allow such for a cash prize.

The entries, for me, were not it. A grammar that could be improved, storylines that weren’t coherent.

—Michael Emmanuel

Incoherent flow and bad grammar were the two top issues for me. It seemed as though the poets were so determined to be baroque, and the prose authors were deliberately resisting the natural flow of their stories.

—Eniitan S.O. Akinola

The storylines made me wonder whether there was a hidden prize somewhere for the most complicated story. The poems? The dictions were too verbose. There’s beauty in simplicity, whether prose or poetry. And those entries lacked that.

—May Ebute

Our sincere apologies to writers and the judges for any inconveniences this might have caused. We know a lot of you have been waiting for the results. We would not be doing our writing community any service by delivering less quality than we pride ourselves in.

We wish to state that this does not reflect on the writing ability of all writers who submitted to the prize. However, we couldn’t move forward with an anthology without the quality of stories we have seen in our previous magazines.

Look out for the next call for submissions on our website. You can get our last edition here.