Michael Emmanuel has emerged winner of the Quramo Writer’s Prize 2018 for his manuscript, Running Waters. With his win, he will receive a N1 million cash prize as well as a publishing contract with Quramo Publishing. The winner was announced at the award ceremony which held on Sunday, October 21, 2018 at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos.
Just a few hours ago, as I type this, Micheal Emmanuel won the Quramo Prize for Literature 2018. This is a personal win because Micheal has been the designer for most of the content on cfwriterz, A literary community I founded. If there’s any writer I have exchanged ideas with a lot, it’s Michael.
One of his earliest works that started our exchanges was “The Last Word,” which was published on Brittle Paper. I had just started to build the cfwriterz team then and I could almost see that Michael would be a breaking story some time soon. One of the qualities for the cfwriterz team has always been a desire to tell stories consistently. Michael represented the ideals of the platform to every detail.
Working with Michael
After a while, he took on designs for the platform. His learning spirit is one which would come in very resourcefully. The first few months of his designing showed that he relentlessly wanted to tell stories and make beautiful images. Being a volunteer team, we have not been paying cash. This means that in the past one year or more, Michael has done designs worth close to the Quramo Award Prize money. The only way we have offered to pay is to support and mentor each of our members to be the best at whatever creative venture they pursue.
Despite the stress and strain of studies at Federal University of Technology Akure, Michael showed up at work. He also kept at his own writing and blogging. The team is a virtual one so most of our members have to spend on internet data to be available. It’s interesting to realize how much consistence and relentless effort can bring results.
A Well Deserved Win
As an advocate of excellence in the face of challenges, I can be proud of Michael. He has continued to weather the tough climes of Nigeria to pursue his dreams and it has paid off. On this blog, I have shared my story; how I won the Biopage International Essay contest and my Masters research funding by the African Real Estate Society. These stories have been a source of inspiration and the cfwriterz team is made up of this same “stock.” The kind of young Nigerians, Africans, who are willing to follow their hearts and be the best regardless of the challenges they face.
Michael has become such an inspiration to the whole team to remind us of the values we hold dear. There’s so much to learn from Michael’s story but I just want to share this little about him and congratulate a wonderful team mate.
An Exclusive Interview with Michael After His Win
I had the honour of doing this short interview with Michael (Mike) after his win. The interview emphasizes the importance of community for emerging African writers. Read on:
Damilola Jonathan O: Tell me about your brand (business, charity, social entreprenuership). Include contact details and social handles.
Mike: I’m presently branded as elumike_works. As a brand, we are all about creativity. I like to call myself a Creative, and two key ways I currently engage in creating is through WRITING and GRAPHICS DESIGNING. My Instagram account features our works in both fields, with the writing tailored for social media – micro fiction etc. Contact details: 08171256013 Social handles: elumike_works (Instagram), Michael Tolulope Emmanuel (Facebook). The social media handles might be refined soonest.
Damilola Jonathan O:
Is there a story that represents why and how you started?
Mike: There’s no precise story. It’s the everyday journey of each person. A Writing Figure I respect describes writing as a key to transform lives. It’s why we do what we do, because we are immensely thankful for the opportunity to join the Creator and with what our hands produce, transform a person’s journey. That, for us, is enough.
Damilola Jonathan O: What would you describe as your greatest achievements so far?
Mike: Okay, ahem, I should say the joy of identification. When someone is able to identify with what you’ve done, be it a short story written, or the story (however subtle) behind a well-prepared design. But then, I should also add, winning a Writers Prize recently ranks at the top.
Damilola Jonathan O: How do you fund your activities? Is there a money story?
Mike: Frankly, God provides. I’ve had opportunities to write freelance stories and earn from them at a time money was needed to purchase a book or data subscription. It’s been God who has brought opportunities.
Damilola Jonathan O: How do you tackle that feeling of wanting to just quit?
Mike: God. God strengthens and encourages and comforts by His Spirit. And God gives us community. I’m thankful for community.
Damilola Jonathan O: What sort of help do you need to grow to the next level?
Mike: Community, primarily. I don’t think it can be over-emphasised. Then, I believe Creatives should be supported by corporate sponsors. See what Miles Morland does to writers. Then, community, again. I don’t think it can be over-emphasised.
Congratulations to Michael and I hope you enjoyed this read.