To be honest with you, this is not one of the parts of editorial work that’s fun. Putting it all together—where we are, where we’ve been, and all the stuff. It’s tedious, just like a baker making her wedding cake. It would be nice if someone else did it! Yet, we’ve got a story to tell.

We had our June Magazine published despite the toll it took on all of us. The team almost lost fervor, members succumbed to many challenges, and we had to trust in ourselves to still produce a collection worth reading. So, we did.

In March, Becky Tuch of Lit Mag News, a U.S.-based editor, interviewed me as the founder of Itanile. I know I poured out my heart about the painstaking effort it takes to curate even the smallest collection of quality African literary works and to get any financial support for them at all.

Quoting a part of my interview, Becky explains a core part of how Itanile is formed:

“In today’s chat, Jonathan and I discussed the importance of writers telling stories true to their experiences and not pandering to an assumed audience’s pre-conceived ideas. At the same time, writers and editors want to grow their readership, so tension can sometimes appear between work that challenges assumptions and the marketability of that work.”

We had the blessing of support through some donations in the year, which is already committed fully to the costs of awards and honorariums. We usually incur costs in the form of award prizes of about $1000, judge honorariums ($100-250), team stipends and honorariums ($500 or more).

Ideally, we should be doing more since we are one of the literary magazines targeting African audiences, run by an African editorial team, and funded largely through goodwill donations. One of our major funders, Collins Elesiro of Crystalinks Edu, a Nigerian entrepreneur and now political aspirant, assured us of his support even as he pursues his contribution to a better economy in his home country. 

After quite a rigorous review and selection process, we found some really great writers whom we wish to share with you. We have put their work together in a magazine/anthology, which we hope you share with your network. Get the download here…

On the 28th of December, Itanile will host the authors and Sibongile Fisher, our guest editor, in an Editorial Conclave. Register here to find out our award winners and listen to some of the writers read their work.

We look forward to sharing the talent, joy, and pain of writing from and in Africa with you. 

The Longlist of Nominated Awardees, 2022

This longlist includes writers published in our June Magazine and the current submissions for December. All chapbooks published in our store in 2022 have also been considered for the Chapbook Manuscript Award. This list is in no particular order:

  • Onyedikachi Shaquille JohnsonMay the Thirtieth
  • Faruk Adamu AlfeThe Overall Journey Is Arduous And Long
  • Kelechukwu Samuel OjileMy Country as a Metaphor for Joke.
  • Emesowum Chidozie GeorgeOur World is Awfully Beautiful
  • Alex NderituThe Spirit of St. Louis
  • Jewo OghenetegaNature-Rally
  • Stephen AdinoyiHow To Choose A Child
  • Chioma Mildred OkonkwoTime Is Different Over Here
  • Enit’ayanfe Ayosojumi Akinsanya A Rehearsal of Shame
  • Gabriel Ngban JrHome is 2KM Ahead
  • Olabisi AkinwaleTo a Fellow Traveler.
  • Olabisi AkinwaleAt the Twilight of Your Sojourn
  • Adonis MaphangoWaiting for Mai Ngoshi