The country’s creative writer Wesley Macheso has been shortlisted for the Morland Writing Scholarships 2020 which was announced on Monday.
The Morland Writing Scholarships for African Writers is an opportunity to allow writers to finish a manuscript.
Scholars writing fiction receive a grant of 18,000 Euros, paid monthly over twelve months while those writing non-fiction texts may receive a grant of up to 27,000 Euros, paid over a period of up to 18 months.
In the past, the scholarship has been accorded to writers like Yewande Omotoso, Noo Saro-Wiwa, Ayesha Harruna Attah and Gloria Mwaniga Odari.
The 2020 edition of the award is judged by Muthoni Garland, who is the chair, assisted by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and Chuma Nwokolo.
From the 992 entries received, the panel announced those still in the running for the prize and they are 19 in total including:
Gothataone Moeng (Botswana), Howard Meh-Buh (Cameroon), Fred Khumalo (South Africa), Bwanga Kapumpa (Zambia) and Macheso (Malawi).
Miles Morland, the philanthropist, who the prize is named after, commented:
“Trying to select four scholars out of 992 entries, all of whom are published writers, is a nightmare. Anyone who gets on the shortlist can be proud of their achievement. Once again, the entries showed that uniquely African combination of energy and originality. It is also pleasing to see so many countries represented in the overall entries in the shortlist”.
The judging panel will meet on November 23 to select the 2020 scholars.
Meanwhile, a lot of people have congratulated Macheso after he posted the information on his Facebook page.
Macheso said with this competition, writers are asked to submit proposals for book projects that they are working on.
“I submitted a proposal of a novel I am working on titled In the Shadows of Empire, whose story is inspired by the events that led to the revolution and eventual ousting of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime,” he said.
He said he felt honoured to be nominated for this award since “it is arguably the most prestigious award for African writing”.
“It is good to be acknowledged, knowing that writing in the country is on its deathbed. It is inspiring,” Macheso said.
A lecturer at University of Malawi—Chancellor College in Zomba, Macheso is also a columnist for The Write Stuff in The Daily Times newspaper
In 2015, Macheso triumphed in the Peer Gynt Awards spearheaded by Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) when he came top.