Foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, has launched the Dusty Manuscript Contest to give budding writers the opportunity to win publishing deals for their finished, but yet-to-be published, manuscripts. Organized in partnership with publishing houses Okadabooks and Farafina, the contest is part of the Bank’s YouREAD initiative which is aimed at promoting the culture of reading.

The Dusty Manuscript Contest is the latest in a long line of GTBank initiatives geared towards promoting the appreciation of Art and supporting creative potential. In 2017 the Bank remodelled the old Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba into a state of the art learning and recreational facility that would give people in the community and beyond the opportunity to build capacity, gain exposure and connect with the world. The remodelled library has been the venue of regular book readings and art expositions organized under the YouREAD initiative.

With the Dusty Manuscript Contest, the Bank is seeking to address the challenges indigenous writers face getting their books published. The top 3 entries in the contest will be rewarded with publishing contracts with Farafina as well cash rewards. The top 10 entries will get their books e-published by Okadabooks, including book cover design, book editing, and publicity. The top 25 book authors will also get a 2-day boot camp training on writing, marketing and branding.

The entries in the Dusty Manuscript Contest will be assessed by a panel of four judges which includes Eghosa Imasuen, the author of widely acclaimed novel, Fine Boys, and Yejide Kilanko, a poet and therapist in children’s mental health, Dr Ainehi Edoro-Glines, an Assistant Professor of English Language and Toni Kan, a writer and PR executive whose collection of short stories, Nights of a Creaking Bed, won the NDDC/Ken Saro Wiwa prize for literature.

Commenting on the Dusty Manuscript Contest, Mr Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “At GTBank we see art as not just a medium for creative expression but also as a means of livelihood, and by organizing the Dusty Manuscript Contest we are helping budding writers make a living off their works. He further added that; “By addressing the major barrier that our indigenous writers face in sharing their stories with the world, we hope to inspire and develop the next generation of award-winning and globally renowned authors.”

GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The Bank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation.