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No winner for Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize

Etisalat Nigeria has announced that there will be no winner for its 2016 Flash Fiction Prize. The announcement was made via a Twitter Post by…

Etisalat Nigeria has announced that there will be no winner for its 2016 Flash Fiction Prize.

The announcement was made via a Twitter Post by the telecom company in which it said, “The Judging Panel for the 2016 Etisalat Flash Fiction Award regrets to announce that the Flash Fiction Prize will not have a winner and runners up this year as none of the entries met the criteria of quality and creativity required to win the award.” 

The announcement caused a lot of reactions among writers who had submitted their works and had spent time and resources canvassing for votes on social media to get on the long list of 50.

Other social media users have lauded the decision as a vindication of their earlier views that the vote-based long listing process is faulty and should not have been allowed to stand in the first place.

In his tweets, one Joseph Fredrick Omo tweeting as @joe_omofred said, “That didn’t come as a surprise,” and in has second tweet added, “When you decided to leave the verdict of choosing the winners in the hands of clickers.”

There have been many complaints about the model of the competition where the a long list is generated based on the number of votes writers are able to get. This year, even the voting process was marred by technical complaints, with many stories not being available on the website to be voted for.

One Twitter user, Faith O. tweeting as @Sisi_Ife said, “Please kill the voting system. Every story should be given a chance, vote or no vote.”

The debates have spilled over to Facebook where some commenters felt that the failure of the prize administrators to move away from the voting system despite criticism over the years resulted in the disappointing long list this year.

Eitisalat is expected to issue a full statement on the judge’s decision in the coming days.

The competition is for writers all over the continent who submit a short story of 300 words or less.

The competition has been held since 2013 with the winner walking away with 1, 000 Birtish Pounds sterling a cash prize of and a high end device. 

Last year’s winner was Tanzania’s Neema Komba.

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