Naija Stories Science Fiction Contest – What If …

Naija Stories Science Fiction Contest – What If …

WhatIf is pleased to announce another Online science Fiction writing contest titled “What if …” sponsored by Lulu Vongtau. The idea for this contest came up on the science fiction story, Enestera Chronicles by @nicolebassey in which she imagines, what if NS was a planet of writers, ruled by a Queen and administered by Councillors and what if galactic communication and travel were possible?

British science fiction writer and children’s author, Christopher Evans, in defining Science Fiction said, “Perhaps the crispest definition is that science fiction is a literature of ‘what if?’ What if we could travel in time? What if we were living on other planets? What if we made contact with alien races? And so on. The starting point is that the writer supposes things are different from how we know them to be.”

Naija Stories is inviting you to write, in your most creatively, imaginatively expressed poem or prose, such scenarios that you can imagine about Nigeria, it’s culture, people and places, when you ask a question beginning with what if…? The entry does not have to be set in the future, or involve science, but it must be speculative and take us away from the mundane and regular.

There is a total prize of N20,000 on offer – N10,000 as the first prize, and N5,000 for the runner-up contestant, and N5,000 for the public choice award winner. So look around you, fire up your imagination, pick up your writing device of choice and get busy!

You can also check out this link HERE for ideas for your story or poem.

The Judge for this contest is Mazi Nwonwu, a member of Naijastories.

Mazi Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu is an editor and freelance writer with bias for speculative fiction. His articles and reviews have appeared in DailyTimes, Guardian, 234Next, Nigeria Village Square among others and his fiction has appeared in AfricanWriter, Sentinel Nigeria, Naijastories, Storytime and several other literary sites. He is published in AfroSF, the first PAN-African science fiction anthology, and Lagos 2060, Nigeria’s first science fiction anthology coming from DADA Books later this year. He is awaiting publication of his collection of short stories and working on his debut novel.


The rules are simple – they are as follows:

–         Both Fiction and Poetry will be accepted

–         The entries must original, and not previously published in any online or print channel

–          They must be no less than 500 words, and no more than 750words.

–          Only one entry per person should be submitted to this contest.

–         The entry must answer the question, what if  and must be set in Nigeria or have Nigerian protagonists

–         Submissions must be written in good, clear and grammatical English.

–         Special consideration will be given to entries that use language and imagery to express speculative ideas.

–         The deadline for submission is Friday, 31st of May 2013.


Dates for Contest:

The contest opens May 6 and submissions end on May 31, 2013.

Longlist of entries that meet the criteria will be released June 2, 2013

Poll for Public Choice Awards – June 3 – 14th, 2013

Judging (by Fred Nwonwu) – June 3 to 14th, 2013

The winner will be announced by June 17th 2012.


Prizes :

There will be three (3) prizes in this contest.

First Prize – N10,000

Runner up Prize – N5,000

Public choice Award – N5,000


Steps to Submitting your Entry:

1. You must be a registered member of

2. If not, register on and allow 24hrs to be approved.

3. Go to and enter your submission directly.

4. Submit your entry as a post with a title that defines your entry, starting with “What if …”

5. In the body of the post, provide the following;

a. Your name and location

b. A brief one-sentence summary of your story

6. Put the entry in the category of “What If Nigeria” and press the button, “Submit for Review”.


Contest Procedure:

There will have 2  strands for determining the winners;

Strand 1. – All the entries that meet the contest rules will be put to the public poll for the public choice award.

Strand 2. – Fred Nwonwu will select the winner and the runner up.


Judging Criteria:

– The site editors will make sure that entries stick to the criteria of science fiction and answering the question, what if? They will also be checking for clean use of the English language, so polish your grammar and keep typos to a minimum please! We will also be looking for creativity, so go on and give it your all.

– The judge will be looking for great writing. Be genuine! Be unique! Be original! Use this as an opportunity to give full rein to you imagination.


If you have any questions, please send a mail to

Good Luck and Get Writing!



40 thoughts on “Naija Stories Science Fiction Contest – What If …” by Admin (@ogaoga)

  1. sweet… science fiction, this rocks, but the word limit though. Nice one

  2. Great! But @ogaoga, climbing mountain Everest sounds a lot more easier than this, lol! Well let’s hope the god of science fiction bless me with something. If he doesn’t, I would sit back, relax and enjoy the show…

    @lulu, you’re the man! What does Vongtau mean? It sounds Mortal Kormbaish, lol! Thumbs up for sponsoring this…

  3. Oops, I don’t do sci-fi. Lemme sit back and watch how this unrolls

    1. @kodeya, if you have ever engaged your imagination to write a fictional story, then you are a potential sci-fi writer, in so far as you have asked yourself “what if there was this character who did such and such?” before starting the story.

      So think about it…

      1. @TolaO you make it sound like a piece of cake.
        I tried it and after 30mins, my head was ringing.
        You need to spice it up with some scientific jargons you know, given my background as a geographer, that was plenty of work.

        1. @Estee, i think that makes it easier for you, you could write something in relation to geography, I believe it still falls within the region of science. I for instance can’t write anything sci fi that focuses on robots or mechanical things because of my background as a biological scientist, but I could write about something in relation to biological processes.

          In Adichie’s words: “write what you know about”.

          I also think watching sci fi movies could help :D

          1. @Olan now our educational background is a ready-made excuse for not joining the competition. lol
            About the sci-fi movies, please can you give me some names?
            I can use N10,000 you know

            1. John carter (recommended for you, had to do with travelling to another planet), the rise of the planet of apes, no ordinary family(series), kyle xy (series), splice (had some really icky parts. lol)… E.t.c Science fiction is quite wide and diverse contrary to popular opinion.

        2. The point is, you don’t need scientific jargon to write a sci-fi story, @estee.

          Anything can follow the “What if”, although it has to be a big “What if”.

  4. Sci-fi… What if Papa Ajasco was superman?????

    Nice concept. Let the contest begin.

    1. sambright (@sambrightomo)

      hehehehe, i like your concept sir!

  5. Ah! Sci-fi…*light bulb experience*

  6. How interesting…

    Good looking Lulu!!!

  7. Hmmmm…deep and interesting competition. I am very interested in seeing what lovely creations will come out of this! Well done @admin,@lulu, and good luck to the competitors!

  8. sambright (@sambrightomo)

    This is just great.I like the words-limit, it makes for apt description and economy of imaginative expression.This is will be interesting indeed.

    1. @sambrightomo,

      Abeg, correct me if I’m wrong, but… isn’t the judge for this contest, Mazi Nwonwu, the one you claimed debased by stating in an interview that “serious” writers don’t post their stories here? Sure it’s an opinion, but could it be true? Na wa o.

      1. sambright (@sambrightomo)

        My brother @howyoudey, na so we see am oo.I just didnt want to rock the boat,however, you just triggered it.I think either @ogaoga at the top knows about it and thinks it served as a platform to promote NS or has chosen to ignore it.I think this sci-fi competition is serious, and if someone once said writers don’t post serious works on NS and is supposed to be the judge of her competition,I would rather ignore him and post my entry or ignore it as mediocrity! Afterall, I am still learning this trade. I hope @ogaoga pays attention to this.

      2. @howyoudey @sambrightomo Everyone is entitled to their opinions. We definitely did not think such a comment, if it exists debases Naijastories in any way. It may be a criticism and we can only learn from it. Thanks for yours.

        1. sambright (@sambrightomo)

          @ogaoga I opened a forum on this subject about 4 weeks ago here on NS.Check it out.I subscribe also to the reality that everyone is subject to their opinion and that is why I wouldnt shout more than this.And if you think I made that up, I beg to state here that the comment very much exist.Here is the link:

          1. sambright (@sambrightomo)

            One more thing, he actually said other good things about So let the entries begin to come in!

            1. Thanks @sambrightomo, we have a full picture now.

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

                  Perhaps @sambrightomo needs to read that part of the interview again. I am very surprised you saw any derision of naijastories there. I really thought the people who were derided were those ‘many who consider themselves serious writers’, and as such ‘don’t like posting their stories on naijastories’. How this was missed surprises me. :) Surely all is clear now?

                  1. sambright (@sambrightomo)

                    okay sir.

  9. A serious challenge.

  10. Do I wanna do this? Maybe.

  11. Lol. I’m going to enjoy this. I trust a lot of entries are going to be ridiculously funny.Flying saucers, flying spoons, flying this, flying that. Some people have found excuse to write foolishness.

    Let the foolishness begin.

    1. sambright (@sambrightomo)

      Really, they will disappoint you oo @kaycee

  12. Need to ask o. Will the description, name and location be included in the word count?

  13. princesa (@cynthiaukamu)

    As a new person to this site, am i allowed to enter for the competition, without points and all?

  14. @Admin,what if adding your name ,location and one sentence summary makes your word count pass the 750 mark. What should I do.

    1. I don’t think they are part of the 750 word count limit.

  15. What if… is the foundation for every great story, maybe I’ll try this

  16. Unable to submit my entry to the What if category, cannot find it among the categories, what do I do?

  17. Admin, I Thot the longlists r supposed to be out by now? Eagerly anticipating.

  18. @hymar did you send an entry. I hope my entry is chosen.

  19. @ogaoga we are eagerly waiting 4 d longlist oh!

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