Letter from the Publisher: Let’s get these competitions right.

In Sentinel Nigeria #11 we announced the commencement of the first Sentinel Nigeria All-Africa Poetry and Short Story Competitions. These competitions were designed to hold every three months just modelled after the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry and Short Story Competitions. As the competitions closed at midnight on the 30th of November, we have had a good hard look at it and come to some decisions that will make the competitions work better and be more meaningful as we go forward.


The first decision we have come to, based on careful analyses of how these competitions have progressed is that we cannot at this time successfully replicate the SLQ model in Nigeria on a quarterly basis. Whereas SLQ consistently registers up to 450 entries every quarter across the two genres, the SN attempt received just 46 entries across both genres. At the same time we received over 200 e-mail enquiries and  requests for more information or complaints from authors who said they could not find where to pay or how to pay. The 3-page option was problematic for people to navigate with unstable internet connections, we learnt. After redesigning the page, putting all information on a single page, the entries flowed in better, but it was too much too late.


We have therefore decided to extend the closing date of the competitions to the 28th February 2013, and hold them just once a year, instead of 4 times a year.  In view of this, the competition will be marketed over the next two months as SENTINEL NIGERIA ALL-AFRICA POETRY & SHORT STORY COMPETITIONS 2013. All entries received so far remain valid and all the entrants will be notified by email before the end of 2nd December 2012.


The results will be announced on the 30th of April 2013.

The winning and commended entries will be published in Sentinel Nigeria #14 in May 2013.

There are no changes to the entry fees or prize money.


What if an entrant cannot wait until the new closing date?


We certainly do not wish to imprison anybody’s work. Any of our entrants who wishes to withdraw his or her entry may do so and we will refund any entry fees paid.


We want to ensure that we build a competition as credible as what we have built in the United Kingdom that enjoys the respect and participation of top international writers.


Please direct any queries relating to these competitions to competitions@sentinelnigeria.org


With kind regards


Nnorom Azuonye

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