You are a man with very deep convictions. God bless you real good sir. ~ Alex Nwangwu.
The above statement from my friend was the icing on my safe trip back to Ireland where I spent Christmas with my family after a hectic two months in Nigeria. It is amazing how spoken or written words can motivate us. That encouraging sentence inspired me to switch to vacation mode with a determination to do more.
Hello, my good friends and family, I wish you a happy new year and hope you had a fun-filled yuletide. Welcome back to the progressive public sphere where your intellect and pocket are rewarded. To say that the journey to becoming better writers has been worthwhile will be putting it mildly. It has been fulfilling and now full of prospects.
We started week 1 in August 2020 with eight entries all of which were published and by December we were getting up to twenty entries each week with over ten consistent writers. We also started with the aim of paying out N10,000 weekly, but by week 15 we had paid out close to N300,000 in cash prizes. This progress is in line with the ideology of starting small to grow big and we are doing just that. We can only get bigger and better.
So firstly, I want to thank everyone who has been with us thus far. My special thanks to the judges some of whom I’ve only met on social media for devoting their time and resources to do a thorough and tasking job. It is not easy to spend long hours reading and assessing these essays. Some of you have even supported us financially and equally awarded separate cash prizes to encourage the writers. Together, we say a big thank you and ask God to reward you immensely.
To our writers, we applaud you and encourage you to WRITE more. It is one of the sure paths to becoming a better writer. Don’t limit yourselves to the competition topics with the hope of winning the prize. Submit your other works and be rest assured that we will read all and publish those that meet our editorial standards. It is not easy to string words together into a comprehensible write-up and get published. All bestselling authors will tell you that every writer’s nightmare is filling those blank pages. Indeed, I’ve been impressed by a writer here who despite a seeming discourteous remark at the onset of the competition has become one of our consistent writers. So it should matter little whether or not you win, just keep writing.
We must begin to perceive real success as developing into champions in our endeavours win or lose. It should be more about the process than the product because it is a journey and not a destination. We have to be proud of our efforts. It is not only the winning essay that is worthy of commendation. So feel free to share your essays among friends, family, mates and colleagues. Discuss and engage each other, because the bedrock of progressive egalitarian societies is dialogue. Whatsmore, chances are that encouragement will come from that as we learn from each other.
We should strive to make the competition more responsive equally work to improve in other aspects like editing and sticking to the guidelines to make the job easier for our judges and the publisher.
So in this regard, we will be pursuing the following broad measures to help in achieving our objective of becoming better writers, readers and thinkers.
- Make the competition more interesting and engaging with visual interactions.
- Improve the feedback mechanism with regular tips from recommended resources such as texts, websites and social media handles.
- Set a reading target of 50 books per annum.
We shall elaborate further as we make progress. Next up will be the topics for week 16. Stay with us.