We are delighted to announce the longlists for the inaugural edition of The Isele Prizes.

Narrowing down the short stories, poems, and essays for the longlists was challenging because the works that we publish at Isele Magazine are brilliant, defiant, and poignantly explore themes that challenge conventional expectations. Publishing them was such a joy. These exceptional writers remind us of the transformative power of stories and the beauty of language.

The works that appear in these longlists encapsulate our mission: to provide a platform for writers who hold a mirror to our society.

On that note, here are the longlists according to their categories and in no particular order:

The Isele Short Story Prize

The Year of the Sun” by Esther Ifesinachi Okonkwo

Today She Will” by Saratu Abiola

Right” by Rilla Askew

Sunset Dreams” by Troy Onyango

Witch Hazel” by Gabriela Denise Frank

Souvenir” by Roseline Mgbodichinma

The Newlyweds Window” by Husnah Mad-hy 

The Children of No 39 Faulks Street” by Innocent Chizaram Ilo

The Only One I Have Not Lost” by Dennis Mugaa

Deliverance” by Jadesola Ajao

The Isele Poetry Prize

Two Poems” by Romeo Oriogun

Five Poems” by Adeyele Adeniran

Four Poems” by Joanna George

Balls of Mess” by Muyera Sokoo

The One Good Eye of the Room” by Susan Rich

there’s more” and “Two Poems” by Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike

Six Poems” by Sarah Rebecca Kersley

Six Poems” by Francine Simon

Three Poems” by Kelli Russell Agodon

Three Poems” by Chisom Okafor

The Isele Nonfiction Prize

Serengeti Saga” by Sylvia K. Ilahuka

Sense of Touch” by Nora Nneka

Feeling Your Way Home” by Uche Osondu

A Personal History of Cantaloupes” by Dot Armstrong

Women Who Bleed Colors” by Ope Adedeji

Adjuncts in the Age of the Coronavirus” by Frances Cannon

The Feminine and the Oracular” by Itiola Jones

This is Not My Hand on Your Back” by Tyler Orion

Cracks in Glass Identities” by Seyi Agboola

An Odd Sort of Thursday” by Ria Dhingra

About The Isele Prizes

This literary project celebrates the best of short stories, poetry, and essays by writers published in Isele Magazine

The prizes are split into three categories – short stories, poetry, and essays, and each category is judged by a panel of two judges. The longlists of ten stories, ten suites of poems or single poems, and eight essays will be announced in February, while the shortlists of five works per category will be revealed at the end of March. The winners will receive $200 each, presented to them at a ceremony at the end of April.

Only works published in Isele Magazine will be considered for the prizes, and the longlisted works will appear in the annual print project – The Best of Isele Anthology.

At Isele Magazine, we believe that literature and the arts are an integral part of the daily conversations that uplift and shape our thinking. We publish writers and artists who hold a mirror to our society and challenge conventional expectations about ways of being, how to be, and who decides who should be.

Follow this link to read more about how to submit your work for consideration, and click here to read more about our editors.

Important Dates

  • Longlists Announced: February 21, 2022

  • Shortlists Announced: March 21, 2022

  • Winners Announced: April 26, 2022

See here for the all the latest news and updates about the prizes.