Chukwuebuka Ibeh’s Blessings is Shortlisted for the 2023 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

You are currently viewing Chukwuebuka Ibeh’s Blessings is Shortlisted for the 2023 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

Chukwuebuka Ibeh’s debut novel, Blessings, has emerged as one of six shortlisted books in the running for the 2023 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

Blessings, is told from the alternating perspectives of Obiefuna and his mother Uzoamaka, as they reach towards a future that will hold them both. The book is an elegant and exquisitely moving story of love and loneliness. Asking how we can live freely when politics reaches into our hearts and lives, as well as deep into our consciousness; a stunning, searing debut.

Chukwuebuka Ibeh is a writer from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, born in 2000. His writing has appeared in McSweeneys, The New England Review of Books and Lolwe, amongst others, and he is a former staff writer at Brittle Paper. He was the Runner-up for the 2021 J.F Powers Prize for Fiction, a finalist for the Gerald Kraak Award and Morland Foundation Scholarship, and was profiled as one of the “Most Promising New Voices of Nigerian Fiction” in Electric Literature. He has studied creative writing under Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dave Eggers and Tash Aw. He recently completed his fully-funded MFA degree at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Launched in September 2015, the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation is a charitable organisation dedicated to empowering young writers, the advancement of the adventure writing genre and the promotion of literacy. 

The winner of the Best Published Novel award will be announced on Thursday 19th September. In the meantime, we invite you to dive into the shortlist. Read, share and recommend, and don’t forget to vote for your favourite. 

Congratulations to Chukwuebuka and all the immensely gifted authors who were shortlisted!

To read more on the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation visit 

Bongiwe T. Maphosa

Bongiwe T. Maphosa

Bongiwe Maphosa is a budding author with a passion for storytelling. With her thought-provoking narratives, she takes her readers on a literary adventure. Bongiwe's works on the human condition from a fresh perspective have earned her recognition and publications in the Avbob Poetry Anthology of 2019, The Writer's Club of South Africa 2021, and JAY Lit in 2021. She hopes to cement her place in the literary community.