Monday, August 31, 2009

Talent is not Enough!

Are you a practitioner in any of the following sectors in the Nigerian Creative Industries?

Advertising, Architecture, Art and Antique markets, Broadcasting, Crafts, Design (Including Fashion), Film, Video and Photography; Software, computer games and electronic publishing, Music and the Visual and Performing Arts, Publishing

Do you want…
  • To sharpen your business skills through training by leading educational providers in Nigeria and the UK?
  • To participate in networking events for business people in the creative industry?
  • To be mentored by successful entrepreneurs and leading business people in Nigeria and the UK?
  • To be part of secondments across Creative Industries in the UK and across Sub Saharan Africa?
  • Then Creative Enterprise Programme is for you!
To qualify, you must:
  • Already work in any capacity in any of the above named sectors in Nigeria
  • Be aged between 18 and 35 (Candidates outside the age range who meet other criteria may be considered and are encouraged to apply)
  • Be entrepreneurial
  • Have a passion for your sector
  • Have evidence of leadership capabilities in your sector
  • Have evidence of originality of ideas
  • Have English language skills to IELTS 6 - ‘competent user’ or above.
Click here for more information.
Deadline for applications: 7 September 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lauri Kubuitsile: Wriing is 20% talent and 80% hard work!

Lauri blogs here, where she blogs about her writing, Botswana and lots more. In this interview, she reveals that she carries a handbag book; shares birthday with Martin Luther King Jnr; her obsession with her email box; and the fact that writing is serious business. Sure you will learn one or two things from her...share with us!

Three adjectives that best describe you: Hardworking, loyal, cantankerous

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I tend to trust people straight away, but when they let me down I am brutally unforgiving.

Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to follow instructions. I tend to read a bit and just assume I’ve got it when in fact I don’t, then I set out on the project destined to stop midway through. This is why I’m dead useless with most technical things.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
1. Being without chocolate. 2. Being without caffeine. I contemplate suicide when these two happen simultaneously.

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh?
Exhibit A by Sarah Lotz. Very funny indeed.

What is the worth of a book?
Books have saved me. Within each cover is a beautiful journey that can give you an escape from real life which can sometimes be problematic.

You are Obama for a day, what would you do?
Ban ebooks. I think they might be the work of the Devil. (I vacillate on this point- don’t ask me tomorrow, I’ll surely give a different answer. But really how can we sign an ebook? It all seems unnatural.)

How does being a female Motswana influence your writing?
I’m not sure gender or nationality really matters that much to me. It’s all about life experience and your interpretation of it.

When is the best time to write for you?
I am a dogmatic Capricorn. I write Monday to Friday from about 9 am to 6 pm. Writing is my job and that job like all other jobs involves some busy work; so some of that time is taken up with phone calls, email, blog writing, editing yesterday’s writing, and paperwork. I usually finally get to new fiction writing in the afternoons, from about 3 to 6 pm. I do occasionally write on weekends too.

What is your most treasured possession?
I love my laptop and would be heartbroken if it dies or was stolen or stopped liking me back.

What inspires your writing?
Everyday life inspires my work. Also other writers inspire me. I am addicted to reading writers’ biographies. When I get an anthology, I always read the writers’ bios first. I like to know the many and varied paths people travel to get to this place.

What is your advice to young writers?
It is about 20% talent and 80% hard work. Best to know that at the beginning. Also you must have the tenacity of a barnacle.

Three blogs you always visit and why?
Blood Red Pencil- fantastic writing advice
Straight from Hel- Helen always has interesting writing topics to discuss
Book Trade- To stay current with what’s happening publishing-wise.

How will you introduce your child to literature?
I have two teenagers. When they were babies I bought them lots of books and read to them often. Our house is always full of books. I think that’s the best way to get kids to love books and reading.

What part of the process of writing do you enjoy most?
When writing books, I love the set up work I do before starting. I like laying out the plot, making character bibles, creating that world. I write my rough drafts very quickly after that, almost with a sort of desperation. All that beginning stuff is what I love.

What would a story about your life be called?
The Most Convoluted Way to get There

What is your greatest fear?
I always feel like I get better with everything I write, so I just hope I’ll live long enough to write something quite fantastic. I fear I won’t.

What do you feel about the awards and nominations?
I’m a contest junky. I think they’re important, they give writers validation and a bit of publicity and, in the rare case, a pile of money. Despite what many literary writers believe, earning money from your writing is not a bad thing.

Who are your favorite writers?
Kate Atkinson, Margaret Atwood, Andre Brink, Dr. Seuss, Kazuo Ishiguro, Bill Bryson, Tom Eaton, …. Actually my list changes all of the time.

Why do you write?
I am not one of these tortured people who must write or I will suffer untold injury to body and mind. I write because I have a bit of talent and I enjoy it. I’m slightly addicted to the gambling side of it. You send things out and you wait and it’s a yes or no. That waiting is quite a lovely torture for me. I love owning my life also.

What book are you reading at the moment?
I’ve just started Fuse by a young South African writer who goes by the pseudonym of S.A. Partridge. I’m also reading the flash fiction collection, 100 Papers by Liesl Jobson, another South African writer. My handbag book* is Nine Levels Down by William R. Dantz. (* a handbag book is the one you read in queues and on the bus. It needs to allow disruption so mustn’t be too literary and mind absorbing. Just fun.)

Which historical figure do you most identify with? 
I share a birthday with Martin Luther King Jr. and I’ve always been quite proud of that though, of course with no sound basis. He was a very pivotal person in the path to universal human dignity.

If you were to write your epitaph, what would it be?
I’ve actually made a decision, and in this case I do believe it is a final one (very few others ever are) – I don’t intend to die, so this question is irrelevant in my case.

What is the most important attribute in the business of writing?
For me the most important aspects of writing something worthwhile is the beforehand thinking and planning and the final rounds of editing. The first defines the borders within which everything will take place, while the latter polishes things so that the writing is presentable enough to go out in public.

Weird thing that ‘must’ be in place when you write
Not sure how weird this is but I am obsessed with email. I check it every few minutes. I fear some earth-moving news will appear in my inbox and it will sit unread for some minutes.

What is your philosophy of life?
“You’re only willing to succeed to the same degree you’re willing to fail” Wendall Mayes. I always try to fail spectacularly.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

AWF 2009 Literary Contest

As part of its objectives to promote the development of literature within Nigeria and beyond, the Abuja Writers’ Forum(AWF) proudly announces the AWF 2009 Literary Contest. Here are some rules:

The contest in this category is exclusively for writers resident in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – that is Abuja and the Council Areas of Abaji, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje and Kwali. Submissions should be of previously unpublished work in Fiction (Short Story), Poetry or Drama(One-Act Play). If the work has appeared in print or online in any form or part, or under any title, it is ineligible and will be disqualified. However entries in last year’s contest which did not win can be resubmitted if they have been reworked.

Contestants can enter in all three genres but only one entry per contestant in each genre. Send three typed copies of each entry and include on a separate sheet, contestants name, proper contact address, email, phone number(s), and title of entry. Entries should be sent to : AWF Literary Contest, P.O.Box 7131, Wuse, Abuja.

And the prize money? Top three in each category will win N50,000, N30,000 and N10,000 respectively.

Click here for more information.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bookaholic Blogger of the Month: Jude Dibia

Three adjectives that describe you: Complicated, determined, unpredictable.

How do you choose your characters? I think my characters choose me. There has never been a formula to that; it just starts with the story or an idea of the plot and from there, the characters emerge, all fighting to be heard and seen.

Who do you consider a writer’s writer and why? This is a hard question to answer. A literal interpretation of that would be a writer that writes for the pleasure and enjoyment of other writers exclusively. But, I don’t think that this is what you mean. My writer’s writer is Toni Morrison. The beauty of her words and craft is simply awesome; you get swept away by her imaginative prowess.

What inspires your writing? Everything. Life and the all important ‘what if’ factor.

What is the hardest thing to write about? My personal experiences.

What is the greatest problem of the Nigerian publishing industry? Distribution and the basic infrastructure do not exist.

When and why did you decide to become a writer? I never decided to become a writer. It just happened. I loved reading books and then I developed an interest in telling stories. I think it happened organically.

What is the secret to being a fine writer? You have to read a lot to acquaint yourself with what others before you have written and understand what works; why they were successful and be familiar with all the elements that make for fine writing.

What is the oddest job you’ve done? While I was pursuing a diploma in Arts school, I worked behind a counter in a popular evening hangout close to the university serving drinks and making sharwarma (not sure if that’s the right spelling).

Your first story written: I really can’t remember the name, but it was an adventure story much like the ones I used to read by Enid Blyton. I was quite young then.

Greatest achievement in writing career: I think for now, it’s just being able to tell the stories I have told, and the tremendous feedback and support I have received from readers.

What book are you reading at the moment? The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Rainbow by D.H Lawrence and One Hundred Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li.

Five favorite writers and why:
• Toni Morrison – She has a way with language and storytelling that simply leaves me breathless.

• James Baldwin – His novels are simply timeless.

• Virginia Woolf – I’ve always been fascinated by her writing.

• J.M Coetzee – Wonderful writer, almost faultless in his writing.

• The fifth would be all the wonderful Nigerian writers I have been reading lately and mentioning one would mean I have to mention them all.

Why did you write Unbridled? It was a story that simply refused to leave me and I was excited about the challenge of telling it in the voice that I did.

Who is your perfect reader? A patient reader.

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh? A friend’s recent note on Facebook!

How do you relax? Watching television.

Recently, your blog became more like a writer’s workshop, why? My blog is always evolving. I guess after I started receiving emails from people asking me about my writing process etc, I decided to share with them some of the things I picked up since I started writing.

How do you juggle being a writer and work in the corporate world? I wish I knew, but I don’t. I write when I am inspired and that could be late at night or in the early hours of the morning or weekends… I have managed to separate my writing from my career.

Which of your works was the most challenging for you to write? They were both challenging and in the process of writing either, I must have felt at one point of the other that ‘this is the most challenging work thus far!’

What should we expect from you in the nearest future? Well, I have had some short stories published recently in magazines, e-zines and the One World Anthology of short stories. I have just completed what I hope will be my third novel and I will start working on another book similar to my first novel, Walking with Shadows.

What is the value of a book? Good books are priceless. Once a book can achieve most of its goals, and in that, I mean its ability to inspire, inform, entertain and elicit the appropriate emotional reaction, then, it is worth every penny spent on getting it and becomes priceless.

Writing Sample: Excerpt from upcoming novel, Blackbird
Underground City was the real deal, with its smothering intimacy with violence and depravity. A conglomeration of roguishly built shanty homes, it flanked the Sambo creek, a torrid expanse of water snaking its way to the sea. The ‘city’ littered an entire mass of land, giving little or no room for roads or streets. Yet, on the other side of the water, were manicured suburbs housing the rich.

Omoniyi was alert; he had to be. The stories he had heard of how a man could be robbed of the shoes he was wearing if they looked like they could be traded for a wrap of hemp were not to be taken lightly. He also knew that he could be knifed in the back for staring at the wrong person. These worries were enough to keep him cautious. He stayed away from this neighbourhood as much as he could, but Scorpio lived here now and he had come to see him for work.

As Omoniyi walked from the bus, he suddenly felt intimate with this place. It had its own soul and its own vibe, expressed by a cacophony of hooting car horns, mixed with the cadences of tired bus engines that coughed and puffed under the baking sun, overlaid by a multitude of voices that talked, whispered, shouted, traded, cursed, laughed, cried, sang and sighed, all in unison. Once you set foot in Underground City, you felt its touch and its breath on you.

But Omoniyi recalled that it had not always been like this. Back in the 50s, he’d heard, it used to be a respectable settlement called Elnugeja. How had it changed? The story went that a young man called Bayo had returned to his native city with a law degree from England, where he’d been sent after winning a government scholarship. He’d suffered racial abuse there. On his return, he looked for a home––only to find that a colour bar operated in his own country, too. He searched for a home in Ikoyi and Apapa before he realised they were reserved for the colonial Europeans and other so called elite. Why, he must have wondered, did a racial-divide exist here? Why did the whites have a better stake in land and property than the indigenes?

Friday, August 21, 2009


DEADLINE: August 31, 2009.

GENRE: Short Stories, Novels, Scripts and Screenplays.

DETAILS: Free contest offers large prizes for mystery writing in
several genres: original plays, screenplays, teleplays, and short
stories for both adult and youth audiences. All entries should be
able to be performed (read) in under an hour.

PRIZES: $ 10,000 for "Best New Work" (one prize across all genres),
$ 5,000 for "Best New Writer", $2,500 for "Outstanding Screenplay
or Teleplay", $1,000 for "Best Work for Young Adults (12-18)",
$1,000 for "Best Short Mystery Play" (category includes one-act
plays, short screenplays, and short stories).


Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Special Art of Short Story Writing

Are you in Lagos? Do you write or are you an aspiring writer? Then, you need to read this.

The Centre of Excellence Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Lagos is squaring up to meeting a major need on "The Special Art of Short Story writing". The guest writer and special resource person for the worksop is the Guyana-Caribbean Nigerian wife, Prof. Karen King Aribisala, a creative prose writer of international craft.

Karen's The Hangman's Game won the Commonwealth 2008 prize as the First Best Book in prose fiction in the African category. Her first book, Our Wife and other stories is a most experimental collection of short stories with each story not exceeding two-three pages yet lucid and loaded in symbolism. In it, she does not only serve the taste of "Bitter Leaf" associated with cross-cultural marriages, she also shows the pleasures and pamperings therein. A Professor of African and Caribean literature and feminism with a fine creative bent, Karen will be workshoping writers into her findings on the special art of Short story Writing.

Date: Saturday August 29, 2009 Time: 2pm-5pm

Venue: Aina Onabolu Complex, National Theatre, Costain-Iganmu, Lagos.Karen King

Prof. Karen King Aribsala would also be reading from her book and doing the the infrequent, do an oral performance of her stories like the African griot.

Writers are expected to come read their short stories only. No poetry reading will be allowed. It is short story day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Baobab Prize: An African Literary Award

The Baobab Prize 2009, an African literary revolution for children

August 2009 -This month marks the launch of the second annual Baobab Prize, an international literary award established to encourage the writing of African literature for young readers. Issuing a statement to commemorate the launch of the prize, co-founder and director of the prize Ghanaian Deborah Ahenkorah said, “The success of our inaugural year gives us confidence as we launch today. We received entries from nine African countries and our participating writers ranged in age from eleven to sixty-four years. It is clear that the Baobab Prize is here to stay and to revolutionize African literature as we know it.”

The Baobab Prize annually invites entries of unpublished African short stories written for audiences either 8-11 years or 12-15 years. This year the prize will award $1,000 to the best story in each category and $800 to the most promising young writer (18 years and below). Also all short listed stories will be considered for possible publishing. The Baobab Prize is open to African citizens of all ages. Deadline for submission is April 15, 2010.

Rama Shagaya, Senegalese co-founder of the prize says, “the mission of the Baobab Prize is to identify the literary giants of the next generation and produce classic stories that will be appreciated for years to come. This year, we want to challenge African writers to unleash their imagination. Tell us a story we've never heard before. A winning story this year will be a story that stands out."

The winners of the inaugural year of the Baobab Prize were Lauri Kubuitsile from Botswana with Lorato and her Wire Car, the best story written for readers aged 8-11 years; Ivor W. Hartmann from Zimbabwe with Mr. Goop, the best story written for readers aged 12-15 years and Aisha Kibwana from Kenya, the most promising young writer with Strange Visitors that took her Life Away. The Baobab Prize has lofty dreams about the future of African literature. It envisions that in ten years bookstores all over the world will be brimming with top quality African stories written for children. The Baobab Prize was founded in July 2008. Two top stories from its inaugural year have been picked up for publishing in Africa. This literary award is made possible with funds provided by Bryn Mawr College, The Global Fund for Children and members of the Baobab Prize administrative team.

For more info on the competition, email Deborah Ahenkorah, or visit the BAOBAB website...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

NLNG 2009: $50, 000.00 up for grabs!

News we are getting from some quarters about the much awaited announcement of a shortlist for the NLNG prize 2009 (poetry).

From a total of 131 qualified entries, the nine writers whose works were chosen are; Lindsay Barret, Ademola Dasylva, Hyginus Ekwuazi, Nengi Josef Ilagha, Ahmed Maiwada, Ebinyo Ogbowei, Odoh Diego Okenyodo, Musa Idris Okpanachi, and Omo Uwaifo.

From the shortlisted nine submissions, three entries will be selected and presented sometime next month, while the final winner will be selected from the three.

However for the Science category, a professor of Biochemistry from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Andrew Jonathan Nok emerged the winner from a total of 26 entries in the science category.

Monday, August 17, 2009

From the Desk of the Anthill 2.0 Team

The art of the spoken word found a new expression when Anthill 2.0 was re-created in September, 2008. A concept that has accommodated other art forms such as music and chant. Today, we are prepared for yet another edition set to bring together a select gathering of the lovers of the art.

Held on the last Sunday of every other month, every edition possesses a special feature aimed at ultimately producing the best in poetry and music.

With five editions already gone by, and the Annual grand slam event well underway, Anthill is set to feature internationally celebrated poets among others.

We will be exploring two forms of poetry – the Sonnet and the Villanelle. Examples of these forms of poetry are available on our Facebook fan page. The next edition of Anthill will take place on the 23rd of August, 2009, at Red Restaurant and Lounge, Saka Jojo Street, off Idejo Street, off Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island. Time is 4pm.

All entries should be sent to on or before Wednesday 19 August, 2009. An entry fee of N3000 flat will be requested at the entrance. It’s Happy Hour (20% off drinks) and finger foods will be served as well.

P.S Kindly confirm attendance on or before August 19, 2009.

Warm Regards,

The Anthill Team.


NEXT newspaper has finally gone daily...they have their printing press all set up so now, you can enjoy the paper everyday of the week.

We have both written for NEXT in the past and will keep you updated in all our NEXT projects.

They have also launched NEXT on several television stations in Nigeria and on radio.

The retail price for the daily is N150 and N200 for the Sunday edition, we wish it was cheaper though...but then we want to be paid well too!

We'll keep you posted on our findings.

Ps: let us know what you think!

Saturday, August 15, 2009



The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) in collaboration with the sponsor of the ANA/ATIKU Abubakar Prize for Children’s Literature has scheduled to host a one-day workshop on children’s Literature for young writers below the age of 40 at ABTI American University Yola on the 12th of September, 2009. The workshop is targeted at promoting writing for children, which is a specialized art, among young writers and focusing on the achievements of the ANA/Atiku Abubakar Prize for Children’s Literature in enriching the Nigerian literary sphere in the past four years. The laureates produced by the Prize in the last four years under the ANA annual literary competitions will be showcased at the workshop and would also serve as resource persons alongside other experts on children’s literature.

In view of the foregoing, interested Nigerian writers and members of the Association of Nigerian Authors are hereby invited to apply for the workshop with their short biodata, contact address , phone number and a short sample of an existing or ongoing work in any genre on children’s literature for consideration for the limited spaces at the workshop. Such application should be sent by email (attachment) to ananatsec@yahoo. com not later than 20th August,2009. Only successful applicants will be contacted further.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

10,000 hits! Twitter & Doreen Baingana

We're celebrating 10,000 hits(almost) on the Bookaholic Blog with a twitter account, so now the latest scoop on the blog is now at the tip of your fingers. So get tweeting, get reading and while you are at it, check out the full 411 on award winning East African writer Doreen Baingana, you can check out a review of her book Tropical Fish here.

Three adjectives that best describe you:
What I think I am or want to be or what I really am? What I am reaching towards: Creative, a seeker, a mother, a sister. Those aren’t adjectives. 3 aren’t enough.

When and why did you decide to become a writer?
It didn’t happen all at once. When I first left home - for Italy, 1989 - I wrote lots of letters home and loved doing it. Started writing poetry a couple of years later, then fiction.

Why do you write?
To explore issues. Because I enjoy it. To portray what hasn’t been portrayed much: all the details, possibilities, imaginings of an “African” life.

What is the secret to being a fine writer?
Reading a lot and widely. Being disciplined. Doing it. Revising again and again.

Having been nominated for the Caine Prize in African Writing twice, what does not really hitting the mark mean to you?
They told us “we were all winners” so what are you talking about? Nomination was good enough. I don’t expect good things to happen to me so I’m not too disappointed.

Your favourite vacation spot:
Lamu island, Kenya.

Your first story written:
Can’t remember. First published: a sci-fi story about a machine that could be your best boyfriend.

Greatest achievement in writing career:
Having my first full manuscript win a prize that led to publication. – AWP Award for Short Fiction – a US prize.

Greatest regret:
Too many to count, but regrets don’t help. I still have time to make amends.

What do you think of Ugandan writing, are we there yet?
We’re getting there. Not sure where! We’ve got talent, but climate not very nurturing for writers for various reasons.

What book are you reading at the moment?
“Emergency Sex” – living the UN life in troubled spots. Not literary, not fiction but a good read about problem spots in the world and failures/successes of humanitarian aid. The title is somewhat misleading.

Favourite writer of all time:
Toni Morrison.

All the covers of Tropical Fish are very attractive who decides the choices?
The US hardcover was my choice: I sent the publisher a postcard of a painting I liked. The rest were chosen by the different publishers but sent to me for my opinion.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Ordinary people don’t get into history books.

Which gift would you most like to have?
Discipline, tenacity. 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I prefer not to go there.

What is your philosophy of life?
Look on the bright side.

How have your stories been accepted by Ugandans and internationally?
The literary community is proud of me. Others who have read mostly say they relate a lot to the stories and enjoy seeing a world they know on the page. A review or two have focused on the book’s explicitness about sex.

In the US, where I used to live, I’d done some readings at some universities and high schools, esp. to audiences that want to know more about “Africa”. That’s better than nothing. I hear from some fans here and there in the rest of Africa, the UK, and of course here in Kenya. The nominations and Commonwealth Prize helped a lot in terms of publicity.

Is the world ready for your stories?
Yes. The world I know is hungry for such stories that reflect its existence.

What is the hardest thing to write about?
What hasn’t yet been written. To make something out of nothing.

Who is your perfect reader?
Someone like me.

What books are currently on your bedside table?
None – I share my room with my baby so can’t read in bed.

Who are your literary heroes?
Characters? Tragic heroines like Tess in “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy and Anna in Anna Karenina. The daughter (can’t remember her name) in Burgher’s Daughter by Nadine Gordimer. Women who have to go through so much soul searching, confusion and suffering to achieve some semblance of inner peace.

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh?
“The Witches” by Roald Dahl. Yes, I know it’s a kid’s book, but I read it last month, I’d never read any books by him – a deprived childhood! He is wicked.

What book changed your life?
“Tess of the D’Urbervilles. It was one of the first literary books I read (outside class) and was astounded that someone could write about the life of an 18th(?) or 19th century white woman and portray MY issues so acutely well. I understood really for the first time the power of fiction.

How much of Uganda is in Tropical Fish?
All of TF is Uganda. Entebbe especially, boarding school life in the bad old days of Idi Amin, The early AIDS days, etc.

What is the worth of a book?
A perfect mirror to life, but not just the surface – the interior of our lives. You get to travel through people, to any country on earth and those not even in existence. You learn, you dream, you escape. A good book is priceless.

Which of your works was the most challenging for you to write?
What I’m working on now because it’s a novel. I’m used to stories.

What are three things will you take if you’re deserted on an island?
A plane to go back home. Jet fuel. Air stewards – male.

If you could be an animal what would you be?(This question is just too cute).
a) I am the animal I want to be: human
b) A kitten

Do you write better with a pen, pencil or a keyboard?
My head.

Who is the first person to see a draft of your work?
3 writing group friends: Steph, Donna and Angel.

How did Entebbe influence your stories?
It’s the place I know best. I know it’s smells, sounds, color. I feel I have a right to it. It’s my leaping off point and refuge. I can write about it with confidence.

What does Storymoja mean (to you)?
I’m doing meaningful work – helping develop/promote African writing. My skills are necessary. My bills are paid.

What does it mean to be a writer?
Facing a blank page. Trying to make something whole out of dreams and thoughts and resolve and memories. Having the audacity to give the world your take on it.

What advice do you have for rookie writers?
Just do it. Take classes. Find a good editor. Read, read, read. Write, revise, write.

Final words on your epitaph
Peace ya’ll!

Business Plan Competition

You say you are not a creative writer, that you only write to make money as a business person. Well, here's your chance.

Nigeria Leadership Initiative Business Plan Competition

The Nigeria Leadership Initiative Inaugural Business Plan Competition (BPC) is an effective program to build entrepreneurship skill and kick start Small & Growing Business (SGB) development.

Objectives include:
  • To identify entrepreneurs with high potential business ideas;
  • Provide selected entrepreneurs with training, mentoring and access to capital;
  • Act as a channel for equity and loan funds to the resulting SGBs;
  • Stimulate economic development through the creation of jobs and growth businesses.
Top fifteen entries will participate free of charge in a business plan training program at the Lagos Business School and audience with potential investors to pitch their business. Top three entries will also win cash prizes to develop their businesses. (Quick question: I wonder why the top fifteen entries would go for a training again? I think it should be last fifteen...)

The deadline for entries is August 14th, 2009.

Visit here for more information.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

HIV/AIDS Reporting Course at Reuters Foundation

The Thomson Reuters Foundation invites applications from journalists reporting on HIV/AIDS related issues to participate in a 5-day training course. This course is designed to encourage journalists to write with more confidence on a range of issues surrounding the sociological,developmental, economic and clinical aspects of HIV/AIDS.

The course will be conducted through a mixture of expert briefings, discussions, practical writing exercises and outside visits. The course usually features a high-profile public panel debate.

Course details:

- Start date : 02 November 2009
- End date : 06 November 2009
- Location : Nairobi,Kenya
- Language : English
- Deadline : 14 August 2009

Eligibility :
Participants should come mainly from developing countries in Africa, Asia, South America, Caribbean and Eastern Europe. Applicants should be reporters and feature writers on mainstream media who cover HIV/AIDS issues, not necessarily as specialists and should have about 5 years experience working with print, broadcast or online media.

Read more here

Thursday, August 6, 2009


DEADLINE: August 30, 2009

GENRE: Nonfiction

DETAILS: Nonfiction reviews of anything you like. 600 words maximum, enter as many times as you like. Winner is to be chosen by vote.

PRIZE: £250 (or dollar/Euro equivalent)


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

KWANI TRUST: Short Story Competition

Do you live in Kenya or have memories about Kenya? Kwani Trust is pleased to announce the launch of a national short story competition titled, ‘The Kenya I Live In’, inspired by the recent push for ‘The Kenya We Want’, and ubiquitous conversations about a 2030 vision that places our heads in the clouds and obscures who we are and what we really are.

The 46-year old Kenya’s official narrative of ‘inherent’ goodness, indigenous beauty and widespread peace has now been running on empty for a while. So we seek newer stories that reflect our day to day lives, both private and public: the stories and narratives exchanged in schools, colleges, matatus, offices, churches, pubs, streets, suburbs, estates, mtaas, trading centres, valleys and hills. Stories told through song and dance, paint and brush, word and phrase, lens and shutter – stories now being told by a new generation, spurred by new imaginations, revealed by new narratives and expressions.

In addition to being published in tour upcoming issue, Kwani? 06, the three best stories will bag cash prizes. Submission deadline is September 7th 2009, also read submission guidelines here

Monday, August 3, 2009

Man Booker Longlist

Man Booker Prize released the longlist which includes Summertime by J.M. Coetzee, who is one of only two novelists to have won the Booker Prize twice with Life & Times of Michael K in 1983 and Disgrace in 1999.

William Trevor, previously shortlisted four times for the annual prize, is longlisted for his new novel Love and Summer.

Read more here.

However, I wonder when an African publishing house would make that list; though we say value should not be judged by awards but I really can't help but our books that have even won international acclaim were first published abroad. Is it possible to find our way to this list or am I just dreaming?