The Etisalat Prize for Literature has shortlisted three authors for 2016 edition of the annual literary awards.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Matthew Willsher, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
"The role of the judges is quite enormous and we want to thank them for the attention and dedication to the entire review process which birthed the top three finalists".
"At Etisalat, we have found the nexus between innovation and creativity.
"This is why we give people the opportunity to express their individuality and ingenuity so they can be the best in whatever they choose to do," he said.
According to him, the three shortlisted authors are: Jacqui L'Ange of South Africa for his book "The Seed Thief", Jowhor Ile (Nigeria) for his book "And After Many Days" and Julie Iromuanyi (Nigeria) who was shortlisted for the book "Mr&Mrs Doctor".
Willsher explained that the top three books were selected by a panel of three judges out of the tens of titles that were received following the call for entry.
He added that the three-man panel of judges was chaired by award-winning Nigerian author Helon Habila, who is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University, USA.
According to Willsher, the winner for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature will be unveiled at the Grand Finale scheduled to take place in March in Lagos.
He explained that the winner of the Prize would be awarded 15,000 Pounds, an engraved "Montblanc Meisterstück pen", and an Etisalat sponsored book tour to three African countries.
The winner is also entitled to an Etisalat-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.
In addition, all the shortlisted writers will also enjoy a sponsored multi-city book tour, while Etisalat will also purchase 1,000 copies of their books for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across Africa.
NAN reports that the Etisalat Prize for Literature, now in its fourth year, is a pan-African Prize that celebrates debut African writers of published book-length fiction.
The past winners of the Etisalat Prize for Literature include Fiston Mwanza Mujila from The Democratic Republic of Congo, South African novelist Songeziwe Mahlangu and Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo.