Call for Essays

Nsibidi Insight is a new literary platform by the Nsibidi Institute that aims to build readership and disseminate knowledge in Nigeria. Central to our editorial philosophy is the need to cultivate spaces for critical thinking, the formulation of ideas, and the challenging of stereotypes. This philosophy is based on the notion that the intellectual, educational and creative landscape in Nigeria will benefit from the plurality of ideas that address our knowledge gaps, or extend the breadth of our thought. Through Nsibidi Insight, we wish to create a space for emerging writers to demonstrate their skill and thinking, and provide established writers an alternative, independent platform to share their views.

Towards this end, we will be awarding one writer N100,000 every month for a high-quality piece of 2,000-3000 words. We seek a diversity of perspectives on any subject, within the framework of Nigerian popular culture, history, development, and imagined futures.


Our Monthly Theme: September 2015

Across the continent, Nigerians are well known for their investments on short-lived experiences and non-essentials. This spending culture is not exclusive to the elite, but cuts across socio-economic groups as seen in the rising cost of weddings and burials, student expenses on imported hair, regular purchases of expensive imported fabrics and more.

This month we’ll be inviting writers to write about “The Champagne Campaign: How we spend and why”. Is there something particular about how we spend as Nigerians? How did this penchant for the extravagant display of material forms of wealth emerge? How is it expressed? What does it say about our society and contemporary culture? Most reflections on the subject are geared towards criticism based on notions of morality or the exposure of social contradictions such as rising inequality, misappropriation of public funds, and the growing discontentment and insecurity. Are there opportunities we may be overlooking, such as the impact of cultural exportation or the means to redefine global consciousness of black wealth and success? Should private expenditure be subjected to moral scrutiny in a free and modern society?

Format of Essay

The target piece is an op-ed article or essay of 2000 – 3000 words.

We encourage a wide array of formats spanning creative non-fiction and narrative journalism, such as satire, memoir and opinion pieces. Essays may be presented from a historical perspective or deal with contemporary reflections on the chosen subject. It can be styled as a personal account, relating an experience or expanding on a conversation.

The objective is to present a considered point of view that convincingly explores an element of Nigerian society in a thought-provoking way or that highlights lesser-known aspects of our collective history and experience. Only essays that are well structured and focused will be considered for publication.


Essay Submission

The monthly deadline for submissions is the 14th of the corresponding month. Submissions should be submitted via email to as a word document (single spacing, Arial, font size 10). Please include the following personal details at the start of the document:

–          Full name

–          Email Address

–          Contact Telephone Number


We will contact writers of successful submissions within 12 days. If you have not heard from us within 12 days, please assume that we are unable to publish your manuscript. We regret that we are unable to contact each person who submits an written piece due to the high volume of correspondence we are currently experiencing.

Successful submissions will be published on the Institute’s website and linked to our wider online community through our social media platforms. At the end of the series’ first year, a further selection will be made from shortlisted submissions over the previous months for a limited edition print publication.


Terms & Conditions

Only previously unpublished essays on the specified monthly will be considered for the essay series. Writers may submit one essay per month and are entitled to be granted one award per quarter. Multiple authors are allowed but must be clearly stated in within the section of personal details. The cash award of N100,000 will be award per essay and not per contributing author. Writers who live abroad are welcome to participate but should contact the project team at to prior to submission.


Other Ways to Get Published

If you are interested in writing about other topics or contributing to the Institute’s blog on a regular basis, kindly send a short bio and either a writing sample and proposal or the full draft of the intended submission. These should be sent to Kindly be advised that the award granted for publication under Nsibidi Insight does not apply here.