Shortlist for the Touch of Spice Contest and Judge’s Remarks

Shortlist for the Touch of Spice Contest and Judge’s Remarks


We have finally been able to collate the judges scores and the result from the public poll to select the shortlist of 15 stories that stood out for the judges. Winners will be announced on the 1st of June.

1 To a Brother, with Love by Bubbllinna
2 The Scent of Waters by Lulufa Vongtau
3 Love Is Like An Opioid by Fiyinfoluwa Akinsiku
4 Sunshine by Da Writing Engineer
5 Strange Love by Ablyguy
6 Enigma by Phoenix
7 Uloma Makes Her Move by Jollof
8 Sweet As A Rose by Scopeman
9 The Bet by Rita
10 A Touch Of Spice by Sunshine
11 Sticky Situation by howyoudey
12 Deep from Within by Eletrika
13 Love your Neighbour by Henry c.onyema
14 A Little Thrill by Shadiat
15 The Basics Are by Seun-Odukoya


You can also download the complete Score sheet for A Touch Of Spice. Below was the criteria the judges used, and two of them were kind enough to share their remarks. I hope those who took part in the contest find it useful.

– A great and entertaining short story about love/sex. In relevant scenes, the writer subtly promotes safe sex for young people.
– A story with well rounded female characters.
– Good grammar, style and creativity
– The story is ready – with light copy-editing –  for publication
-The story touches you personally. Will you buy this story?

Judge 1

I think most of the writers here mixed up the word ‘romance’ for ‘sex’, maybe that is the definition that ‘spice’ brought to them. There are several stories that missed the bywords of ‘safe sex’ and ‘developed female character.’  This caused some issues. The stories that were bad were bad and I had to treat them as such. However, there were some really lovely stories that didn’t seem to carry the heart of the competition with it. Now, the individual comments:

1. Re-union Confession by Amor (Too clustered. Mechanical errors. Off point!)
2. Letter to my love (Good one)
3. Love is like an Opioid (Interesting one here)
4. Forbidden Love (Mechanical errors and overt descriptions. Seemed like ‘strictly for competition’ stuff)
5. How Sophie Found Her Man (Bland, no surprises.)
6. To a brother with love by Bubblina (Long but made for a good read.)
7. Ada’s Dreams by Peter Sunday (Hmm, no thrill)
8. The scent of waters (Nice descriptions but there was a break in creativity somewhere and a flat end)
9. Sweet as a rose (Nice construction and all, bonus point for the classic Victorian style)
10. Before the Wedding Night by Lawore Olufemi (Good)
11. A Touch in the rain by Chinyere Chimodo (She did well. Interesting mix…minused a bit for some errors)
12. Incidental Pervert by Mazi Nwonwu (Nice writing but is romance only sex?)
13. A Touch of Spice by Sunshine (Proved an interesting read but I think the end was too abrupt plus there was some gaps I think the author should have covered.)
14. Living Again by Tosin (Lovely but lacks that magic spice the stories are meant to have)
15. My other other secret diary by Julius Bokuru (Interesting theme but Tense issues)
16. Snatched by Fate by Ogbole Agala (Nice but tense issues and all – would make do with great editing)
17. The Hawk and the Rabbit by Gg (Interesting)
18. Strange Love by Ably Guy (Bamn! A few typos and a flat end but nicely told)
19. Nana’s Knight by Laryoo (Nice but issues with construction and all)
20. Sticky Situation by Howudey (The story has issues but what! Had to rate it high for its freshness and creativity!)
21. The Love Triangle by Leewkid (Hmm. Too predictable. Really long sentences and all.)
22. The Bet by Rita (High marks because of including a rounded female character and also safe sex)
23. Love your neighbor by Henry Onyema (Nice and would have scored higher but there was confusion in rendition especially caused by the switch of M.Cs)
24. Pink Ribbon by Helen4ever82 (Tense confusion. It might be the word count limitation but the tale just wasn’t it to me)
25. Enigma by Phoenix (Nice and steamy)
26. The Legend of the Parallels by Sally Kenneth Dadzie (Nice but lacks the special spark)
27. A Little Thrill by Shadiat (Ha! Nice one!)
28. Deep from within by Eletricka (Plain with thrill killed by flat end; typos)
29. Stupid in Love by Positive (Nice and would have gotten more points but the writer’s technique didn’t come out right. Seemed somewhat rushed too)
30. Uloma makes her move by Jollof (Nice and different)
31. Change of plans by Deedeelicious (Nice and meets the bonus! Some parts can be reworked though)
32. The Basics are by Seun Odukoya (Okay but could have been better)
33. Spicy Soul Food by Lactoo (There is a yearning for something a bit deeper. The descriptions are not apt. Tense issues.)


Judge 2

Only about 3 stories really shone for me, most of them were downright depressing. Individual comments:

Scents of Water – A lovely story but I would have loved to see a happy ending. Also written from a male POV so didn’t get a feel of the woman. Otherwise high scores for creativity and writing.
Love your neighbor – I struggled to read this story. I didn’t connect with either main characters although the story was written from both POVs. This would need rework and editing to really shine. However, I enjoyed the use of pidgin as an alternative to English which made the story real in some sense.
The Bet – Loved it. Absolutely perfect.
The Love Triangle – If you’re looking for a story with a well-rounded female, this isn’t it. I also didn’t like that the guy seemed to be much older and he started lusting after her when she was just a child.
Sticky Situation – A fun enjoyable read.
Nana’s Knight – Loved the creative twist about the ghost lover but that’s about the only thing I enjoyed in this story.
Spicy Soul Food – Didn’t get into this one either. Felt long-winded.
Deep from Within – An okay read.
Strange Love – An okay read.
Stupid in Love – Another OK read.
Reunion Confession – I have problems reading this as I could not decipher dialogue from narrative.
Before the wedding night – Heavy on narrative, very little dialogue.
Letter to my love – Another one heavy on narrative.
Love is like an Opioid – Written in first and second persons. I got a bit confused with it.
Sweet as a Rose – I actually enjoyed this story. Although similar to some of the previous ones dealing with unwanted pregnancy, I like the way the writer deals with the subject.
Uloma makes her move – An intriguing start. Not quite happy with the ending.
A Change of Plans – This story confused me. I still don’t get it.
A New Beginning – A sad love story but also realistic. I like.
Sunshine – Sweet but kind of long-winded.
The Hawk and The Rabbit – Rape is not a love story, people!!!!
The legend of the parallels – Oh dear. Another one about death. What is it with this whole Romeo and Juliet syndrome? Love stories don’t have to be tragic. SMH.
Pink Ribbon – Another sad story but I really liked the protagonist and she earns my highest score for well-rounded female. Also like that it addresses cancer instead of the over-used HIV & pregnancy.
Incidental Pervert – Unfortunately, the protagonist wasn’t just an incidental pervert, he was an actual pervert.
Enigma – At last, a story I’d pay money to read. Loved it!!! I would buy a book written by this writer in a heartbeat.
The Basics Are – An Okay read. The dream adds a different twist to an over-used theme.
A Touch in the Rain – Now I’m getting depressed. Another sad story.
A Touch of Spice – Interesting story.
Forbidden Fantasy – A good read.
Snatched by Fate – Another sad story. Are no Africans happy in love? LOL
My Other Other Secret Diary – Interesting story.
Ada’s Dreams – Am OK read
How Sophie found her man – Couldn’t really engage with characters.
Living Again – An OK read.
A Little Thrill – Interesting story
To A Brother with Love – Another sad story.

15 thoughts on “Shortlist for the Touch of Spice Contest and Judge’s Remarks” by Admin (@ogaoga)

  1. Julius Bokoru (@africanromantic)

    What can I say?

  2. Congratulations to the authors of the 15 stories above! But NS should tell us next time that her judges hate sad endings so we can all write stories with happy endings. Don’t think sad ending should be a judging point. Life is full of binaries and a balance of the sweet and the sour is in itself A Touch of Spice! Good job though… I will definitely work harder hehehe and come back!

    1. @chinyerechimodo

      You have raised a very strong and valuable point. I think, in relation to your point here…whether we like it or not; personal choices still interfere with the judgment. I really don’t think happy/sad endings should come into play when judging such – but what do I know? There’s a reason why they were chosen as judges and we gotta respect that whether we like it or not.

      At this point I think so much more is clear – there’s always a lesson to learn. I’m grateful.

  3. It’s all good!

  4. NS should have been very categorical about the ‘happy endings’ criteria (because then I suppose everyone would have endeavor to write stories with particularly happy endings).
    But it’s all good. There’s always a next time; after all, they say failure is only when you didn’t try at all. Good luck and congratulation to all those whose works are deemed fit for this competition. Cheers.

  5. Who are these judges coming off high handed and forming expatriates? I want their names. I am judging these judges.
    Not even one of the judges got anything right. For chrissakes we read those stories too!

    Anyway, e no concern me

  6. Oh!
    The judges are Sueddie and Samuel Okopi??
    Can u just imagine!
    The nerve of those guys.
    Sueddie, I know where to find you…
    And who is this samuel fellow? Wait make I find you for facebook.

    1. @Kaycee wetin be your own. Story you no write, review you no gree. You for offer be judge na

  7. There is usually a job to do and most times, we do this based on certain parametres. True, you can’t and never would meet the views of everyone. We did our best.
    I would however want to apologise to anyone who thinks that in any way, the judges (myself inclusive) didn’t do perfectly.
    No matter those comments, I believe that every piece was lovely in its own way and merited far more than anyone can score. The true mark is in the satisfaction of the author in his work, not in any prize or comment by anyone else. This to me, is the heart and reason for every writing.
    Congratulations to all those who made the short list.

  8. sambright (@sambrightomo)


  9. Interesting…

  10. Mazi Nwonwu (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    Judge not the judge or you might be judged. lol

  11. Congrats to all.

  12. There’s nothing wrong with sad endings in my view.. If the story is a love story, promotes safe sex, has a well rounded female character with a touch of romance which doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘pornistic’ in nature, then its cool.

    Tense, spellings, structure, punctuation, and style should be put into consideration. I think these are what should matter…

    I’m vouching for those with heart breaking endings… Let justice prevail in the judgement without sentiments concerning sad ending. *my thoughts*.

    Congrats to those selected and welldone judges.

  13. The judges did well. Learnt quite a bit.

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