Winner of the 2022 Kreative Diadem Creative Writing Contest
Here is the highly anticipated list of the winners of the 2022 Kreative Diadem Creative Writing Contest. Now in its sixth year, the prize seeks to recognize the best literary works by Nigerian writers aged 21 years and below.
Our guest judge, Praise Osawaru, selected the winner for the poetry category while the flash fiction category will be without a winning entry for this year’s edition.
Here is the winner with comments from the judge:
Winner: “Miracle Mountain” by Timi Sanni
Miracle Mountain is a prayer made directly by the heart to the universe. The poem describes how the pain of reality changes the beliefs of the writer, educating it at the same time, without being changed. It pushes the theory of the constance of sorrow—that life is heavy and despite faith or happiness, there will always be the “loud hammering of hunger on the belly.” The poem asks for answers to questions of self-help and significance in the concept of things—at this point, the writer questions the importance of the actions of people toward breaking apart their sorrow. Using a tender approach to language and structure, the poem explains continuous belief in a betterment, even in awareness of the desponding present. With this, the writer describes hope as a prayer and as a reference altar for positive change. It is absolutely phenomenal.
“Visiting Hours” by Muiz Ajayi
“Wanderlust: Boy” by Muhammed Olowonjoyin
Flash Fiction Category
A Note on This Year’s Flash Fiction Prize by Kunle Ologunro (Fiction Editor)
Since we started the annual flash fiction prize at Kreative Diadem, we have been committed to seeking out what we consider the best flash fiction pieces and rewarding the writers of each story for the hard work they put into their craft. We understand that “best” is subjective. And so when we read the contest entries each year, we look for creativity and quality. This can be conveyed in different ways: through the story being told and the POV used by the writer, the characters, the choice of details, the beauty of the language, and the emotional resonance of the story. We want stories that relate unfamiliar experiences to us in familiar ways as well as stories that tell us familiar experiences in unfamiliar ways. Simply put: give us what you consider your best.
Sadly, the pieces we received this year fell short of that metric. A good number of writers paid no attention to the guidelines; we received stories past the word count and in fonts different from the one we specified. This year, there were a lot of stories featuring blood and gore, gratuitous spousal murder and cheating partners. We are not opposed to this, we only ask that they be done right. But a lot of these stories were sensational, featuring one-dimensional characters that did not feel true to life. Some stories had titles that we considered to be dead giveaways of the story’s entire plot — and not in a good way. Many of these stories would have benefited with more editing or even an extra pair of eyes.
For these reasons, we have decided not to have any prizes for the flash fiction category this year. Thank you to everyone who submitted, we hope to receive stronger entries from you next year.
To give you a sense of what we are looking for, you can read some of our past winners here: PAST WINNERS
You can also read some of our craft notes here: NOTES ON CRAFT.
Congratulations to the winner and all those whose works made the shortlist!
We are grateful to our guest judges — Praise Osawaru and Joshua Chizoma — and everyone who sent in their work. Thanks to all our sponsors for their generous donations.
Interviews with the contest winners will be published at a later date.