We are delighted to reveal the shortlists for the inaugural edition of The Isele Prizes.

Our judges have carefully read the longlisted works, considering them against predetermined criteria relating to our vision for this initiative. The following short stories, poems, and essays are brilliant, defiant, and poignantly explore themes that challenge conventional expectations. These writers hold a mirror to society, opening hearts and minds with the transformative power and beauty of their words. Publishing them has been an honor. 

Here are the shortlists according to their categories and in no particular order:

The Isele Short Story Prize

The Year of the Sun” by Esther Ifesinachi Okonkwo

Right” by Rilla Askew

Sunset Dreams” by Troy Onyango

Souvenir” by Roseline Mgbodichinma

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

The Only One I Have Not Lost” by Dennis Mugaa

Click here to learn more about the writers.

The Isele Poetry Prize

Two Poems” by Romeo Oriogun

Four Poems” by Joanna George

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

Three Poems” by Kelli Russell Agodon

Three Poems” by Chisom Okafor

Click here to learn more about the writers.

The Isele Nonfiction Prize

Serengeti Saga” by Sylvia K. Ilahuka

Sense of Touch” by Nora Nneka

Feeling Your Way Home” by Uche Osondu

Adjuncts in the Age of the Coronavirus” by Frances Cannon

The Feminine and the Oracular” by Itiola Jones

Click here to learn more about the writers.

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.