The Isele Prizes 2024 Winners Have Been Announced
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The Isele Prizes 2024 Winners Have Been Announced

The Isele Prizes 2024 winners have been announced for each category: Fiction, Non-fiction and Poetry.

Famous for publishing writers and artists who reflect our society, Isele Magazine organizes an annual prize for submissions published in the magazine in the past year. From the imaginative world of fiction to the tender and descriptive words of poetry and nonfiction, ten are selected for each category’s longlist, reduced to five for the shortlist, and then one winner per category is chosen.

After months of judging, the Isele Prizes 2024 winners are:
  • Alex Leslie Wins the Isele Short Story Prize for “Propane, Propane”

  • Erinola Daranijo Wins the Isele Poetry Prize for “Three Poems”

  • Gloria Mwaniga Wins the Isele Nonfiction Prize for “A Few More Words About Breasts”


Read: Tips on Becoming and Eloquent Writer. 


About the Isele Prizes winning entries

According to Isele Magazine, Alex Leslie’s story,  “Propane, Propane”

is a masterpiece—one of the rarest kinds of stories, the kind that instantly draws you in—and you recognize that something very special is happening. This is not just another father/son story. A blaze of metaphors lifts an already nuanced plot effortlessly with a wakeful language and tone. The characterization pops with a lyrical freshness, opening a new world, one that is both unfamiliar and yet feels like it was ours all along.

The Isele Prizes 2024 Winner

For Erinola Daranijo, “Three Poems”

At the height of great injustice and unrest, Erinola Daranijo’s poems on resistance bring us hope. His poems resonate with a remarkable intensity, capturing the essence of resilience, defiance, and the relentless pursuit of justice. Set around protests against police brutality, “Epiphany of Roses”, “If One Must Resist, They Do So Together”, and “My Brother Falls, But I Refuse to Follow” give powerful commentary on collective resistance against oppression. The poems capture the electrifying energy of the protesters and the hope that drives them despite the constant threat of violence and suppression. Erinola’s ability to intertwine personal and collective experiences makes the poems even more heartfelt and compelling. The poems offer a vivid portrayal of the complexities of struggle and the timely reminder that hope, though intangible, sustains the spirit of resistance.

Finally, “A Few More Words About Breasts” by Gloria Mwaniga

chronicles her fascinating journey through puberty to adulthood. She recalls her amazement at the changes in her body, particularly with her breasts, and how this transformation initially rang like betrayal to her young mind because of the shame it stirred, the limitations it appeared enforce, and the intrusive attention it drew. She became intensely aware of the heaviness of language, how quickly words and gestures take on new meanings, especially when associated with matters of the body. People began to look at her differently, women had advice to give; society generally did what society often did: it had so much to say to the girl who only wanted to live a free and beautiful life. Ultimately, this memoir is a gorgeous story of acceptance, of growth and self-love, and also of the things we should do better when we talk about puberty. 


Congratulations to all the winners. 

If you are interested in submitting to writing competitions and magazines, you should check out this guide on how to successfully apply for writing contests. 


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