The President of the committee in charge of Ghana Writers Awards (GWA) Mr Zadok Kwame Gyasi, has said the awards would soon become the country’s Pulitzer for writers to contribute to national development.
He said the Oscars, the Pulitzer’s, the Commonwealth and all other recognized literary awards started with small beginnings but were now thriving in the literary space.
Mr Gyasi was speaking in Accra at the second edition of GWA on the theme: “My art my life; creating more opportunities for the youth in the literary art industry in Ghana”.
The Oscars is a set of twenty-four awards for artistic and technical merit in the American film industry, given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, to recognize excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy’s voting membership.
The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States.
Mr Gyasi said the organizers of the award were committed to the cause of building a very strong literary industry in the country.
He said, “Elsewhere, elders support young initiatives, but in my country, elders rather fight initiatives and destroy concepts because they see such ventures as threats to their self-seeking glory.”
Mr Gyasi called on corporate bodies to come on board to support the initiative to help build formidable writers for the country and help in securing a developed nation and a better future.
On the awards, Mr Gyasi said the GWA was a literary prize instituted by some young Ghanaian literary arts compatriots to celebrate excellence in the literary space.
He said the maiden edition of the awards was held on October 29, last years at Marvels in Accra.
Mr Gyasi said this year, organizers received 425 entries in five categories of Short Story, Poetry, Literature Blog, Spoken Word, and a Poetry contest on Galamsey but had to drop the Spoken Word Category due to violations in the guidelines regarding the contest.
At the end of the contest, 24 unpublished writers were shortlisted in the four remaining categories, while four were adjudged winners of the categories.
Mr Philip Arko Ewusi won the short story category with his “University Of Hard Knocks” and Mrs Celestine Nudanu won the Literature Blog category.
Mr Kwao Jonathan Tetteh won the poetry category with his “A Toil in the Dark” and Maame Akua Akyea Kodua with her “The Cry of the Land” won the Poetry on Galamsey category.
In the short story category, the following were shortlisted; University of Hard Knocks by Philip Arko Ewusi, Liberia Woman by Samuel Owusu Achiaw, Prayer Mongers by Nana Yaa Asantewaa Asante, Faded Beauty by Robert Owuodihia, Incapacitated by Nana Ama Gyemaah Otuahene, The Sound of Silence by Ruby Yayra Goka, Ruky and Buky by Serebour Badu Prosper.
In the literature blog category, Celestine Nudanu and the Creative Arts Society were the nominees.
In the Poetry on galamsey category the following were nominated; Dig Deeper by Yvette D. Adusei, The Dying Digger by Kweku Taylor, and The Cry of the Land by Maame Akua Akyaa Koduah.
In the Poetry category, the following were the nominees; The Piano Phone by Logoh Selorm Philip, Gentle Lucifer by Mohammed Shamsu-deen, A Thousand Mystics by Kofi Acquah, A Letter to My Oppressor by Emmanuel Agyei-Poku, That Jesus Name by Adjei-Arthur Bonsue, The Plight of a House Help by Gabla Godwin
Other nominees for the Poetry category were Africa of Old by Sacket Anthony Djaba, Little Black Children by Gayi C. Eyram, An Elegy for Awonoor by Abelumkeamah Bertrand Azags, A Toil In The Dark by Kwao Jonathan Tetteh, Of Our Land by Ekow Dodd and The Making of Silence by Nana Karikari Akyempo Prempeh.