Friday, April 30, 2010

Chimamanda Creative Writing Workshop - Abuja

The Abuja Writers’ Forum (AWF) in collaboration with the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy, Abuja is proud to announce a one-day creative writing workshop in Abuja on May 15, 2010.

Resource person for the workshop will be Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who will also be doing a public reading in the evening of the same day.

Prospective participants for the workshop must be aspiring writers under 30 years of age and will be chosen on the basis of their application which must include their personal data and a 600 word story or article. There will be room for only 25 participants.

Closing date for applications is May 2, 2010. All applications should be emailed to

Details of the Chimamanda reading will soon be announced.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 Voices Saving One Woman at a Time

Sometime last week, I stumbled on this blogger contest on maternal health. I read through many interesting ideas. And decided to write on's innovative idea on media and maternal mortality. Enjoy it. Feel free to post your comments; your voice could also be a voice  for change. The post should be up on the Mommy Movement website soon. Voices Saving One Woman at a Time
“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.”~ Virginia Woolf.
Early this year, I saw three short films
Too Young, Too Far, Too Late about maternal mortality by Communicating for Change, an NGO based in Lagos, Nigeria. For the first time the ‘demons’ that kill pregnant women by the minute clawed at my heart so strongly. These women were not just figures, they could be my sisters. It could be me, on that bug-ridden bed, soaked in my own blood, dead cold.

Ignorance is a primary factor that leads to maternal mortality: ignorance from women on the importance of their health; ignorance by health workers; ignorance from the government. Ignorance reeks everywhere; it kills us. The media can rescue us from this death.’s innovation is about the possibilities of media to keep women alive.

A coalition between the arts and the media will go a long way to effect the change we see: one poem, one song, one film can save one woman at a time. Entertainment sinks the message into the deepest parts of us. It is watching
Too Young and being grateful for the power to decide when I would get pregnant. It is watching Too Far and being sad about pregnant women in rural areas walking miles to their death. It is watching Too Late, and getting angry seeing religious ignorance as a blanket of death. I bought a book on maternal health for my pregnant sister; I wanted to see her alive even as I carried her child. I dream of women’s smile as they look into their babies’ eyes.

I stumbled on Lisa Russells
idea about the role of the media in safe motherhood recently. My co-blogger made a blogpost about it. Two poet-friends are interested in the project. Information is the first step; living is the end in sight. Media has the power to transform the dying ‘anonymous’ woman to your mother, your sister and your wife. can unify forces for change at the personal, communal and social levels. Each poet, each writer, each person in the innovation is a voice; a voice with potential ripple effects. These voices can keep thousands of women alive.

The road to change is not easy but it is not impossible. The revolution has started
online but shouldn’t end there; the drums should be heard everywhere: schools, offices, government houses, hospitals and the market. Maybe then, women would pay more attention to their bodies. Maybe the government would execute more maternal friendly laws. Maybe medical personnel would pay closer attention to women’s health. Maybe life-endangering practices against women would end. Words and pictures stamp themselves on our hearts. They cling to our throats till we change. They would not let go until women no longer die as they give life.

Temitayo Olofinlua is a freelance writer based in Lagos, Nigeria. Her essay,
“Fear—The Enemy of Gender Equality” won the Women Learning Partnership Essay Competition earlier this year.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Top 10 Illustration Tips

Remember the belief supposedly engraved on every picture editor’s heart…a good picture is worth a thousand words. It’s certainly true, and here’s something else that’s true…article writers quadruple their chances of acceptance and double their fees by submitting photographs with their work. So, here are 10 tips on how to do it!

1. You don’t have to be a photographic genius. With today’s digital cameras and a little knowledge of image manipulation (which you can easily learn) you can take photos good enough to illustrate your articles – and they’ll be unique.

2. If you really can’t take the pictures yourself, try to come to a fair agreement with a good amateur photographer or a friend who is confident with a camera. Do a project together and then split the proceeds – a win-win situation for both of you!

3. Many places of interest – museums, stately homes, theme parks etc. – will give you permission to use the PR photos that they have in their brochures or on their website for free. They usually expect you to credit the pics to them but this shouldn’t create a problem. But you must gain permission as the copyright will be theirs or belong to the photographer who took the shot.

4. Remember that if you are writing a biography or a feature and the subject provides you with a photo that was taken in a studio, then the copyright still belongs to that studio or the professional photographer working for them.

5. Also, you can’t just reproduce images that appear on the Internet – you have to get permission to use them – and if you can’t get this from the site on which they appear then forget it!

6. Many amateur photographers love taking ‘artistic’ shots of sunsets, clouds, landscapes etc. These may be beautiful but what most editors are looking for are clear pictures that contain a person – especially if they are doing something visually interesting. They want photos that are well-composed and actually get the reader involved with the subject on some level – whether it is a person or an inanimate object such as a building.

7. Always supply pictures in the format that the editor specifies. So do your research thoroughly. Many will accept digital images, clear prints or transparencies. But if you are sending digital images make sure you know whether they prefer them on a disc or as attachments in the preferred format.

8. However you send your photos, make sure that they are properly labelled with clear, descriptive captions.

9. Always ensure that you make it clear that you are giving permission for single use only. If an editor wants to use the picture more than once he should be prepared to pay you again.

10. Above all, be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment. Have confidence in your own ideas – digital imaging sets amateurs free to produce pictures that rival those produced by the professionals.

The Bookaholic Blog credits the E-zee Writer newsletter of the Writers Bureau.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Summer 2010 Writing Contest

Win $1,500 for publishing the most popular ebook on

Publish an ebook for sale on between now and June 30, and you are automatically entered to win $1,500.

If you are not yet registered as an author, just sign up to get started (registration is free). You can also find out more about being an author here.

Eligibility & Rules

   1. The Contest is open to anyone over the age of thirteen (13).
   2. There is no entry fee.
   3. Each contestant must submit at least one work in ebook form.
   4. Multiple submissions per contestant are allowed.
   5. Entries can be in any language.
   6. There is no minimum length requirement: poems, short stories, and essays are eligible, as well as longer works.
   7. Entries can be fictional or non-fictional, and about any subject.
   8. The winning ebook is the most popular, as determined by total sales (number of downloads times sale price).
   9. Free ebooks are ineligible.
  10. Contestants may enter work that has been submitted in other contests or work that has appeared elsewhere.
  11. All entries must abide by the Terms of Use.
  12. The deadline for submissions is June 30th, 2010 at midnight, Eastern Time.
  13. The winner will be determined the following day and announced on
  14. The prize money will be paid in U.S. dollars (if you are not a U.S. resident, payments will be made in either your local currency or U.S. dollars, depending on your location).

For more information, click here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

AWF Showcases Lola Shoneyin

The April 24 edition of the Guest Writer Session, a monthly programme by the Abuja Writers’ Forum (AWF) which showcases a published writer, will feature Lola Shoneyin who has established a reputation as daring and adventurous with her poetry.

Educated in England and Nigeria, Ms Shoneyin is also a fellow of the Iowa International Writers Programme, and has three poetry collections to her credit - So All The Time I Was Sitting On An Egg, Song of A Riverbird and  For The Love of Flight. She has also recently published her debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives and a children’s story book, Mayowa and the Masquerades is forthcoming.
Her poems have also recently appeared African Writer, Next, Sentinel Poetry, The Times, New Scotsman and Maple Tree Literary Suplement.

Her debut poetry collection Sitting On An Egg, drew attention not only for its long and seemingly strange title but because it announced the arrival of an assured poetic voice handling “diverse, everyday, seemingly insignificant matters” centred around women.  The follow-up collection – Riverbird is regarded as displaying “a tough, terse wit and assured confidence that both arrests and enchants the reader.”

In his review of Flight,the third collection which was published recently, the England-based Nigerian lawyer and writer, Abdul Mahmud (also known as Obemata), observes that Shoneyin, “ not only highlights the direction of her feminist poetics but accentuates the themes, the narratives of everyday life evident in her other collections of poems. And as always, she locates her poetics within the feminist tradition that resists norms, rebels against patriarchal attitudes and ‘hones the flints of her existence’. And by so doing, she offers details of her perspective within those liberation traditions that hark back to the vibrant generation of feminine poets before her own. Shoneyin is bold when she confronts the diverse; when she seeks to reclaim the ‘sensibility of the modern woman’ in a manner the renowned activist-poet, Ofeimun, describes as ‘soothing yet unyielding’.”
Obemata further states that “Shoneyin’s genius is the brilliant way she negotiates complex ‘thematic runways’ and yet simulates a steadier, safer take-off and softer poetic landings that mark her out as a poet truly at home with her art. And she truly is.” 

Ms Shoneyin has been in London in the past few weeks promoting her debut novel published by Serpent’s Tail in a variety of media including the BBC and The Scotsman. She currently resides in Abuja where she teaches at an international school.

The April 24 Guest Writer Session holds by 4pm at the regular venue, Pen and Pages Bookstore, White House Plaza, Plot 79, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja and will include the usual side attractions of poetry performance, mini art exhibition and live music.

Shoneyin’s reading will kick-start the second quarter of the reading sessions. The first quarter had featured Eugenia Abu, Halima Sekula and Dul Johnson.

For more information, email abujawriters@ or click here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Global New Media Site Seeks Creative Content

Dear Friends and Fellow Artists,

In collaboration with Grammy-award winning singer, Maya Azucena (, I'm developing a global new media project in partnership with various international agencies and artists that blends the creative world with the humanitarian world around the issue of women/motherhood/maternal health and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) #5.

Briefly, it's a new media "mash up" site that houses license-free music, film and spoken word clips by participating artists representing diverse genres, cultures and regions around the world. Users of the site will be able to mash up these clips to create their own advocacy PSAs. The site will be programmed so that these PSA's can be forwarded to networks, policymakers and development institutions. It will be focused around the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and will be promoted extensively around the international community starting in the fall.

We're looking for creative content contributions of all genres, styles, etc by artists including filmmakers, musicians, DJs, poets, who work at the local and/or international level.

In exchange for your contribution, we will promote you, your work, and your website, distribute your promotional materials at various events and strive to make linkages between two worlds which don't communicate with each other as often as they should, in my opinion.

If you or someone you may know is interested, please contact me at and I''ll forward more information and an Artist Invite Letter.

Lisa Russell, Director/Producer

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2010 Competition were announced today by Joel Kibazo, Chair of the independent judging panel. The competition is now in its 15th year.

This year the competition received entries from 975 journalists from 40 countries throughout the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa.

There are 27 finalists from 15 countries:
• Halima Abdallah Kisule, East African, Uganda

• Kofi Akpabli, freelance for Daily Graphic, Ghana

• Njaka Andriamahery, TV Plus, Madagascar

• Pelu Awofeso, freelance for NEXT on Sunday, Nigeria

• Najlae Benmbarek, 2M TV, Maroc

• Teresa Chirwa, Zodiak Broadcasting Station, Malawi

• DispatchOnline Team, Daily Dispatch, South Africa

• Mustafa Haji Abdinur, co-founder SIMBA Radio, Somalia

• Thanduxolo Jika, Daily Dispatch, South Africa

• Zipporah Karani, KTN, Kenya

• Charles Kariuki, World Vision Kenya for NTV

• Alexandre Lebel Ilboudo, Le Patriote, Côte d’Ivoire

• Lucas Ledwaba, DRUM, South Africa

• Tsitsi Matope, Public Eye, Lesotho

• Emmanuel Mayah, Daily Sun, Nigeria

• Kassim Mohamed, Star FM, Kenya

• Oarabile Mosikare, Botswana for Mail & Guardian, South Africa

• Francis Mugo Mwangi, freelance for NTV, Kenya

• Boniface Mwangi, freelance for The Star, Kenya

• Rose Ramsay, eNews, South Africa

• Sam Rogers,, South Africa

• Sergio José Sitoe, Rede de Comuniação Miramar, Moçambique

• Leon Ssenyange, NTV, Uganda

• Lamia Tagzout, El Watan, Algérie

• Sebastião Vemba, Novo Jornal, Angola

• Kaara Wainaina, NTV, Kenya

• Roseline Wangui, NTV, Kenya
This year the recipient of the Free Press Africa Award is Mustafa Haji Abdinur, co-founder of SIMBA Radio in Mogadishu and founder of Somali Media for Peace and Development (SOMEPED). He is awarded this prize for his work in Somalia including the ‘Peace Journalism’ initiative which he launched with the help of fellow Somali journalists. The Award is also in recognition of all the journalists in Somalia who have put their lives at risk in telling the story. There are nine journalists who died during 2009 whilst fulfilling their professional duties:
Abdulkhafar Abdulkadir Hasan, freelance

Mohamed Amin Adan Abdulle, Radio Shabelle

Hassan Zubeyr Haji Hassan, Al-Arabiya

Mohamud Mohamed Yusuf, Radio IQK

Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe, Radio Shabelle

Nur Muse Hussein, Radio IQK

Abdirisak Mohamed Warsame, Radio Shabelle

Said Tahlil Ahmed, HornAfrik

Hassan Mayow Hassan, Radio Shabelle

The winners of the competition will be announced at an Award Ceremony and Gala Evening in Kampala, Uganda on Saturday 29th May 2010.

The hosts for the evening will be Isha Sesay, presenter of CNN International’s weekly programme ‘Inside Africa’ and Dr Ronnie Mich Egwang, a well-known Ugandan presenter.

Announcing the finalists, Joel Kibazo said: “2010 is a record breaking year for entries to these awards. Not only do the numbers continue to grow each year, but the standard rises too. I was particularly impressed by the increasing number of journalists that crossed borders in pursuit of stories. This maturing of journalism, across the continent, combined with technological advances, created a greater body of work and made the awards more exciting to judge.”

Reflecting on the role of the awards, Kibazo added: "The competition is now truly established as a way for African journalists to better their lives. I firmly believe the quality and number of people entering reflects the fact that the awards offer a fantastic opportunity to change an individual’s future.”

The independent judging panel, chaired by Joel Kibazo, journalist and media consultant, includes: Ikechukwu Amaechi, Editor, Daily Independent, Nigeria; Jean-Paul Gérouard, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, France 3 TV; Ferial Haffajee, Editor-in-Chief, City Press, South Africa; Arlindo Lopes, Secretary General, Southern African Broadcasting Association; José Luís Mendonça, Press Counsellor, Angolan Permanent Delegation to UNESCO; Zipporah Musau, Managing Editor, Magazines, The Standard Group Ltd, Kenya; Kim Norgaard, CNN Bureau Chief, South Africa.

The prestigious sponsors include: Coca-Cola Africa; Ecobank, IPP Media, Tanzania; Kampala Serena Hotel; Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD); NN24 Nigeria; Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry solution; Safebond Africa Ltd and A24 Media.

The Kampala Serena is the delegate hotel for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2010. The hotel extends a truly warm Kampala welcome to finalists, judges, attending media and guests from across the continent. The finalists will enjoy an all expenses paid five day programme of workshops, media forums, networking and have the opportunity to see some of the sights of Kampala.

Tony Maddox, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of CNN International said: “The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, coinciding with CNN celebrating 30 years as the world’s pioneering news provider. As CNN encourages, promotes and recognises excellence in journalism at all levels, we are particularly pleased to be able to support journalists who represent our future. I have witnessed the quality and excellence of work in this competition strengthen year on year, and am proud that it continues to maintain its place as the most prestigious Pan African journalist awards.”

Collins Khumalo, President MultiChoice Africa, said: “We congratulate the 27 finalists of this year’s awards. The great success that this event has enjoyed over the past 15 years makes the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards the one honour that journalists and media houses throughout the continent want to be associated with. Through these awards, MultiChoice in partnership with CNN, continue to acknowledge and celebrate the best journalistic talent and skills that Africa’s media have to offer.”

The CNN African Journalist of the Year Award was founded in 1995 by Edward Boateng (formerly African Regional Director for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., CNN’s parent company) and the late Mohamed Amin, to recognise and encourage excellence in journalism throughout Africa.

Competition Criteria

To enter the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2010 competition the journalist must be an African national and work on the continent for African owned, or headquartered, media organisations that produce a printed publication or broadcast through an electronic medium (television broadcaster, radio station or website) primarily targeted at and received by an African audience.

Entries were published or broadcast in 2009 for the following awards: Arts & Culture: Digital Journalism Award; Economics and Business: Environment: Free Press Africa; HIV/AIDS Reporting; MSD Health & Medical: Mohamed Amin Photographic; Print General News; Radio General News; Sport; Television Features; Television News Bulletin; Tourism; Francophone General News Awards (Print and Electronic Media); Portuguese Language General News.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Theatre @ Terra: Prison Chronicles

Four men and a Warder in a Maximum Security Prison...

Prison Chronicles starring Carol King, Kenneth Uphopho, Sola Roberts Iwaotan, Gbenga Adekanmbi, Precious Anyanwu and Mike Okorie.

Written and directed by Wole Oguntokun.

Every Sunday in April in the Theatre@Terra. 3pm & 6pm. 

Price: N2500.

Terra Kulture is located at Plot 1376 Tiamiyu Savage Cresent Victoria Island, Lagos.

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Writing Magazine Seeks Submissions

The Writer's Haven Magazine is calling for submissions.  The site is due to be up and running by May 1.

How-to's: 250 - 1500 words. How To Write A Query Letter, DealingWith Literary Agents, How To Choose the Literary Agent That's Right For You, How To Overcome Rejection, How To Write For Magazines etc. This is just a partial list of the 'how to' articles we need each month.

Other ideas: Writer's Block, Dealing With an Editor, Manuscript Formatting... E-mail your best work. Payment is in copies: 5 copies and a byline. We need every kind of how-to for beginning poets and
writers. Previously published material acceptable.

My First Sale: 250-750 words.

Fiction: 1 story accepted per month. 250-750 Words.

Poetry: Up to 20 lines, any subject. No more than 3 poems per
writer per month.

Markets Columns: Up to 50 new markets each month - length of
article varies. We need a new column every month - anyone
interested in having this spot every month, please e-mail me with a
sample of your market column ASAP. We need updates every month.

Include a brief bio with all submissions.

The Writer's Haven
Marcella Simmons
106 Fletcher Drive, Logansport LA 71049


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kulture Alliance Creative Arts Fellowship 2010

Kulture Alliance Creative Arts Fellowship 2010
November 26 to December 11, 2010 – Nairobi, Kenya

Kulture Alliance, in conjuction with the Centre for Creative Arts, Kenyatta University, Kenya and the Ben Ezigbo Foundation, is pleased to announce the commencement of application for its 2nd annual ‘Creative Arts Fellowship 2010.’

As in the previous edition, fellowship application is by an essay competition, and is only open to persons who have, at least, a good university degree, or its equivalent.

Performance arts have an increasingly important role to play in social transformation. Their role in achieving social inclusion have been acknowledged time and again by various government authorities who perceive them as tools for achieving purposeful and planned social outcomes with a wide range of people and communities experiencing poverty, disadvantage or discrimination. However, there are several factors that hinder the actualization of this role, especially in developing countries.

The theme of this year’s contest is: “The Creative Arts – Veritable Tools for Social Change”

Essay Description: Essays should focus on how either of the three major performance arts – dance, drama, music – can be used to fight societal problems, and propel the sense of communal responsibility. Entries should also address the problem of funding and show how the various art forms can be tailored to suit and reach an international audience.

There are 12 fellowship awards for the 2010 contest.

Essays must not be less than 2000 words (approx.). Fill “Creative Arts Fellowship” in the box for contest title on the submission form. Entries must be written in the English language and attached to the submission form as a Word Document (not more than 10MB).

Essays will be judged based on creativity, clarity and relevance to subject matter.

Entry Submission Deadline: April 19, 2010 (12 noon, G.M.T)

The judges for 2010 include Yasmil Raymond, Curator, Dia Foundation, John Spencer Jnr. (FESPAM), Koffi Mensah (Ghanaian Playwright) and Segun Arinze (2009 Kulture Alliance Fellow and current President, Actors Guild of Nigeria).

After submission deadline Kulture Alliance and its partners will not enter into correspondence with entrants prior to May 12, 2010 when essay winners will be announced. All enquiries should be forwarded to: Ms. Rose Abayomi, on email:

Essay contest winners will be published on on Thursday, May 13, 2010. In addition, successful candidates will be notified by email, and may be requested to forward copies of credentials and supporting documents.

Click here for the online application and entry submission.

Kulture Alliance Fellowships are two weeks long. Fellows begin by staying in Nairobi for three days where they participate in programme briefings and seminars, in preparation for their 10-day Community Theatre Projects.

Subsequently, the fellows move to Parkland where they are assigned offices equipped with computers, internet, phone and fax facilities.

During their stay, all Kulture Alliance Fellows receive free accommodations at a hotel within a few minutes walk of the Kulture Alliance office in Parkland.

Fellows are offered free return tickets to Nairobi, Kenya with necessary travel insurance.

Each fellow receives a stipend of 1130 USD during their stay to help pay for meals and expenses.

Kulture Alliance Fellows must agree to return to Nairobi at the end of their short projects, on December 11, to take part in a public presentation at which local artists will join fellows to discuss their projects, observations and recommendations.

Summary reports produced by K Eulture Alliance Fellows will be published on the websites of Kulture Alliance and its program partners here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

LAGOS: 2060

LAGOS: 2060
As Nigeria celebrates 50 years of independence in the year 2010, the nation’s history remains closely related to the growth of Lagos as an urban center. Lagos 2060 is a project designed to creatively capture the essence of Lagos in futuristic scenarios, well grounded in the city’s origins and present urban renewal efforts. The project will engage young persons with strong creative writing abilities in workshops that will touch on architectural and urban planning theories and concepts, historical overview of the city’s growth, ideas and tips for science fiction writing. The workshops will be interactive and will be led by the duo of Ayodele Arigbabu and James George. There will be three monthly workshops during which participants will be encouraged to produce exciting short fiction based on the theme and an anthology of the most remarkable of the participants’ works will be selected, published and distributed by DADA books in 2011.

Lagos: 2060 refers to a fictional / futuristic take on the city of Lagos. What will Lagos evolve into in the next fifty years taking into consideration the mega city’s rich history and current urban renewal efforts by the State Government? What will it be like to live in Lagos 100 years after Nigeria gained independence from the British?

• Three workshop sessions spread over three months for talented young persons.
• Continuous online exchange will be maintained during the duration of the project to give the participants access to the facilitators through the DADA books blog, facebook group page and email exchange.
• The works found most engaging will be selected, edited, illustrated and published in an anthology titled Lagos: 2060 by our publishing imprint- DADA books.

• Young creative persons are encouraged to signify their interest in participating in the workshops by sending an email with ‘LAGOS 2060_interest’ as title and a sample of their writing of not more than 300 words to until the 18th of April 2010. Interested participants should be committed to making themselves available for the workshop dates and meeting up with the creative writing exercises planned for the duration.
• The first workshop will hold on Saturday 24th April 2010 (at the Center For Excellence in Film and Media Studies, 44A Palm Avenue, MKO Abiola Gardens, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos) and the facilitators will make presentations and lead the participants in discussions on the highlighted areas of history, urban planning / infrastructure, and creative writing / science fiction. The interaction will continue online through the dedicated blog and email exchanges between the facilitators and the participants as the participants plot and develop their short stories set in Lagos in the year 2060.
• The second workshop will hold on Saturday 22nd May 2010. This workshop will serve as a mid-term review of the first draft of the writing carried out by the participants up until that date. The participants will be given extra tips on how to fine tune their stories based on examples taken from amongst their works.
• The participants will submit their short fiction on or before the 19th of June 2010, the day of the third and final session during which they would present their works and share experiences in an extended peer review session.
• Announcements would follow on the selected works and publication details from DADA books.

1. James George- Architect, urban researcher and theorist on the growth and development of Lagos,
CEO, HUB CT Technologies.
2. Ayodele Arigbabu- Architect, author and publisher, DADA books.
3. Chris Ihidero- Coordinator, Center for Excellence in Film & Media Studies.

1. Studio 1.5
2. Dream Arts & Design Agency (DADA books)
3. Center for Excellence in Film & Media Studies

Ayodele Arigbabu
Dream Arts & Design Agency
1st Floor, 95 Bode Thomas Street,
Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria.
Telephone: 234-01-7451990
Mobile: 234-803-3000499

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Nigeria Pride Youth Essay Contest 2010

Be among the 3 winners of $350 each and global profiling by submitting a page essay on the topic.

"Discuss any skill,knowledge, technology, issue, product etc that Nigeria can develop, master and
begin to teach the rest of the world as a leading nation in that field by 2020 and beyond"

Eligibility - Nigerian youths 18-30 years of age and resident in Nigeria.

Deadline - entry closes April 15th, 2010.
Winners announced in May 2010

Submit entries with CV, passport photograph and a referee to

Organiser: Youngstars Foundation Jos with support from Skipsted Ideation, Denmark.

The time has come for Nigeria to become a leading country in a field of endeavour and contribute in making the world a better place. To achieve this, it is time we begin to think about areas we can develop further, master and become the best in such fields such that the rest of the world can learn from us. Different countries  of the world have today become known for one thing or the other, the Chinese have become known for herbal medicine as well as technology, Japan became known for technology also. India is also becoming a hub for ICT. USA is known for commerce and industries. The Asian Tigers also are known for all kinds of manufacturing. It is time Nigeria becomes known for something it is teaching and giving the world. Young people can lead in this discuss as we are sure to be the major actors come 2020 and beyond.

Winning essays shall be essays that are
   * Clear about the idea is it proposing that can make Nigeria a leading nation
   * Demonstrates good historical background about the issue being discussed
   * Point how Nigeria can begin to develop this field over a long term period
   * Grammar, creativity and simple use of English can make a huge difference.

Selection and Judges
From the pool of entries, 10 essays shall be selected and posted online for our team of local and international judges to evaluate and score up to 60points. After their scoring, the audience shall be invited to vote for their winning essays covering 30points. Youngstars shall have a 10point score to also award. After this process, the 3 winners shall be announced.

By submitting your essays, you agree to waive the following
Ø  Appealing against the final decisions of those announced winners for any reason whatsoever.
Ø  The essay once submitted to Youngstars becomes the full property of Youngstars Development Initiative, and by that the organisation is free to use the essays and articles for any other interactions
it deems fit.

(+234) 8065479817, (+234) 7035538876
or competition@youngstarsfounda, ystar27@yahoo. com

Thursday, April 8, 2010

JLF Writing Competition

JLF a non governmental and non profit organization in the country is set to dig deep into the Nigeria earth and uncover raw an uncut literary diamonds and polish them into 530 carat polished literary diamonds as it unveils its writing competition tagged JLF Writing Competition.

In the words of the organizers of the competition, the competition is ‘’instituted for the purpose of identifying talents in literature through competition, with the intent to evaluate and maintain the success of each competition by selecting the best, compensating them, preparing them for organized programs, to sustain and groom the winners!’’

The completion is open to all irrespective of age religion or social background. The only criterion is ability to write original, scintillating and captivating literature.

The competition is divided into categories to accommodate as many writers as possible. The categories include; Romance, Religion, Crime, Nature, Traditional, Science fiction and Thriller.

The completion offers exciting prices and opportunities. The winner of the contest will go home with $1,000 dollars and the opportunity to position themselves to write scripts for T.V, soap opera, journals and novels.

The first runner up will and second up will get 500 and 250 dollars respectively. There also consolations prizes for 20 entrants.

Entry for the competition is opened till May 30, 2010.

For more info, click here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easy Bibliography

As writers, research is key even if it is for a made up fantasy story, you still need to get your facts right and in many cases credit them. In non fiction articles and books, you might have to do a bibliography...something you might not have done since your school days. Not to worry, you can use this great online tool aptly named Easy Bib, it makes it for you! Plus it is easy and free, and so gets a thumbs up from us! Check Out Easy Bib

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Flying Editor: Emma Woodhouse

When did you start writing? I only started to really love writing in my late teens when email, instant messaging and sms came along. Suddenly writing was less about thesis statements and essay structure and more about spontaneity, anecdotes and interaction.
Do you think print will eventually go into extinction, the way cassettes and videos have been made obsolete? In Nigeria and other African countries where the internet can be extraordinarily slow and not everyone has access, there is still huge scope for print media. Luckily Wings is a free inflight magazine so we don't have a problem with distribution. I'm not completely skeptical about the industry on a global scale.  A stopped clock is right twice a day. When the novelty of i-Phones and Kindles die down, we will use the new technology but we'll fall in love with books and magazines again. Magazines are there to be dog-earred, circled, have pages ripped out and be read in the bath. There is a romance about print media you will never get from a screen.

Share with us your favourite blogs. - The coolest thirteen year-old on the planet. - Appeals to the geek in me.  - the hilarious things people eavesdrop

   And of course Bookaholic!

Apart from your day job which involves writing and editing, is a book in the making?
I don't think I have it in me. My attention span is suited to feature articles. I have so much admiration for novelists, especially the new breed of Nigerian talent like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. To write a long and captivating novel that moves people is an extraordinary skill.

Tell us about your experience  on some of the books that you have worked on.
I've worked on a few but my all-time favourite was, ironically, almost free of text. It is called Nigeria, Through the Eyes of a Passerby, a photography book by Victor Politis. It’s not a perfect collection of glossy lifestyle shots nor is it ground-breaking or controversial photojournalism. It's a book showing people on the streets in Nigeria, mostly at work. He took a lot of the photos hanging outside of his car window so it's as pure a representation as you can get. With minimal interference the book shows how amazing Nigeria is. Like with most of the best creative work, the beauty is in the simplicity.

How has your educational background affected your chosen career?
I specialised in lifestyle journalism in my degree. I learned a lot about the magazine industry through practical internships but more than anything, it gave me confidence that I could do it. But I don't think you necessarily need a degree to have that confidence. If you have a keen interest in people, trends and subcultures and you have an idea of what people might like to read, you can be a good journalist or editor. It's about having eyes and ears. So much market research goes in to magazines. At the end of the day, a good book or magazine should be like a good friend. If you yourself are interesting, so will your writing be.

Do you have any embarrassing moments in your career?
When I went to interview James Brown I expected a larger-than-life figure to emerge from the dressing room. He was the Godfather of Soul after all. The person who opened the door was a short man in a red suit with an enormous hairdo. He grunted “Whatchoo lookin’ for?’ I got the giggles big time. He was so completely different from what I expected that I could barely speak. I could only bite my lip to keep from laughing.

How much has living in different parts of the world affected your view on humanity?
No one is special and everyone is remarkable. The mainstream media focuses so much on inconsequential celebrities and politicians. Some of it like the UK Daily Mail is downright racist. Every single person has a story that would blow you away but the media is lead by stereotypes and people who are famous for being famous.  When you travel you find out people’s stories. Even though I'm not Nigerian or even African (though I was born in Harare ;)... I wasn't too nervous about starting Wings. My job is to try and find the best local talent and stories and to scope out the remarkable...not create my own narrative from my own perspective. 

What are you reading now?  Emma by Jane Austen. The protagonist is also called 'Emma Woodhouse.' When I landed in Lagos a while ago, I stood in the customs queue at 5.30am waiting for the grumpy official to interrogate me. Instead, he opened my passport and exclaimed "Ah -ah! Emma Woodhouse! Jane Austen's Emma Woodhouse! Where is Mr.Knightly? Welcome to Nigeria!"  It was such an unexpected and hilarious moment I felt obligated to finally read the book.

What do you do for fun?
Socialise. I'm obsessed with meeting people. After that, power-walking or rollerblading through the park with my headphones playing loud hip-hop, soul or dancehall. I'm fully aware I look like a New Jersey soccer mom mouthing the lyrics to  LL Cool J but I don't care!

What should we expect from Wings in the future?
Between London, Lagos and New York, we have a small and passionate team. Expect irreverent, informative and slightly offbeat articles and interviews, and jaw-dropping photography. We couldn’t be luckier with our destinations. Arik Air flies all over West Africa, and to New York, London and Johannesburg. The scope for great content is huge and we are reveling in it.

How can people contribute to your publications at Voyager Media?
We are always looking for content. Send an idea for a feature, interview or column,  or news of an interesting project or person you think should be publicised to:

What advice do you have for writers and editors out there?
1. Make the Effort. Don't say  "Let me know if you want me to write for you." Send a list of  feature ideas with a brief synopsis of the angle and the people you will interview for the piece. It is those who make the effort to present solid angles that will get work.

2.  Be topical Unlike writing books, magazine writing is all in the timing. Find an event, statistic or trend and have that lead your article or be the angle. Editors are more likely to choose work that has a reason to be published ‘now.’

3.  Everyone loves an expert.  With so much competition it’s important to find a niche as a writer. Your niche could be Lagos street fashion or French food reviews. Have it on your website or blog. Even spectacular idiots get to lofty heights through rhetoric  and self-promotion. Some of them even run countries.  

In one word, you are? A flibbertiggibet!

Friday, April 2, 2010

10 Ways To Get Reading & Buying Books

1. Buy and read the book – when you buy a book you ensure that author’s effort is rewarded and you help to make sure that the publisher publishes their next book. One guy read Diana Evans’ 26a and liked it so much because it helped him to understand what happened to his daughter and as a result he bought 100 copies and gave them out to schools near him. Till today, we know that if no one buys our books, at least 100 copies of every book we publish will be sold to this guy. You don’t have to commit to that amount, but you can decide that you want to continue to support our effort by committing to buying a certain number of any books published by us.

2. Spread the word – hearing somebody you trust speak about a book with passion and excitement is one of the most powerful ways to get people to buy a book. I know this because most of the novels I buy come through word of mouth. Not as a result of awards or reviews - as important as they are, but through others recommending them. You cannot imagine the number of bestsellers that rely on mouth-to-mouth. If you like a book, talk about it, Facebook it, tweet it or blog it. You can even have a picture file on Facebook with the covers and information about your the books you like or want to recommend and add the link of the author/publisher’s website.

3. Buy the book as a gift for others. When I was growing up, books featured more prominently as Christmas pressies than anything else. For the summer holidays, I was lucky enough that my mom would buy me at least ten books to read. I love giving books as presents and I love receiving them. If I like a book sufficiently enough, I’ll buy maybe three or four as presents. Bibi on the other hand used to go crazy and buy up to fifty copies of one book and send them off one by one. I remember thinking she was obsessed with Maria Rainer Rilke’s Duino Elegies and sending copies to friends all over the world. But online purchasing has changed all that. You can order books from Cassava Republic and surprise a friend with the package.

4. Blog about the book. On this blog, I have just over 200,000 unique visitors every month, yet I don’t promote books as much as I ought to. I’ll start henceforth. If you have a blog, blog about books and authors you like. You can leave comments on your favourite blog about your favourite author or a good book you have just read. Spread the word because it is powerful!

5. Get your local bookshop to stock the book. Sometimes bookshops only order books that they have heard about. You should wax lyrics about why they should order the books you like.

6. Request your school or college library to purchase copies. If you like any of our books or any books by an African writer recommend them to your school or your children’s school. You’d be amazed how many libraries in private schools in Nigeria do not have books by many contemporary African authors. We have found that many don’t even know and they are pleased to buy the books once we recommend it to them.

7. Recommend a book to your book club. We give discounts to book clubs for our books. I would like to be in a book club. However, as far as I know, all the book clubs in Abuja are women only. I think Bibi’s club are reading Al Aswany’s Chicago. This is a wonderful way to share what you like.

8. Tweet about the book you are reading. If you like a book, tweet it. Even go as far as quoting a line or two from the book. Remember to give the correct author’s name and title.

9. Buy books for your old school. Old school networks are so strong and powerful in Nigeria. Make use of them to purchase books for the benefit of the current crop of students. Also, use the network to invite authors to your alma mater.

10. Attend a book reading. There are lots of opportunities to hear writers talk about their work. Support them by attending their book events. Get your friends, colleagues and families to a reading and show an author your support.

Courtesy Jeremy Weate's Facebook Post. Check out how you can support Jeremy's publishing company Cassava Republic Press here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

WAPi (Words and Pictures)...the Finale!

WAPi (Words and Pictures)...the Finale!

Takes place on the 3rd of April 2010 @ TRIBECA, 82, Adetokunbo Ademola street, V.I, Lagos.
Time: 10am to 4pm.

Confirmed to attend:
Big Brother Africa winner Kevin Chuwang Pam, Eldee, Omawumi, Knighthouse, Kel, Leony, Dipp, Celebrity BloggerLinda Ikeji, SDC, Twisted Minds, Myst,Teeto, and new sensation Airis.

It's all for the love of Art and JOS!

Be there!