Thursday, September 30, 2010

Calling African Women Poets!

So you think you are an African woman? So you write? See this...

Across the continent as well as in the African Diaspora, African women are well known for their word craft. Over the centuries, African women have accomplished difficult feats using a capacity for words that is only surpassed by their ability for physical labor. This project on Contemporary African Women’s Poetry is looking for submission of poems written by African women from all works of life. We are looking for:
  • poetry about contemporary African life and experience on the continent;
  • poetry about life in the African Diaspora.

Poems may focus on any of the following: the work life, motherhood, wifehood, children, the state and nation, war, Africa’s wealth or lack thereof, poverty, HIV-AIDS, prison, freedom, celebration, grief, happiness, border crossings, marriage, birth, the environment, loss, love, trans-nationalism, migration, race, class, and any other topics or issues that interest African women globally.

Unpublished poems are preferred. The original poems can also be in any African language if the poet will provide a translation into English. If the original is accepted, it will be published alongside the translation. If a translator is used, the author should indicate how credit should be acknowledged. Maximum number of submissions per person is three (3) poems.

Deadline:  December 31, 2010.

Please send submissions by email to: Anthonia Kalu (; Folabo
Ajayi-Soyinka (; Juliana Nfah-Abbenyi (

More information here

Monday, September 27, 2010

Something New...&Old

Introducing the Nigeria Beehive Project

The Nigeria Beehive, is One Global Economy’s online initiative in Nigeria. The main sections of the website are: Health, Agriculture, Education, Health and Money. Through the Beehive, we provide Nigerians with information that helps you make better decisions in their lives. Information is power; thus, we hope to empower people through access to information. We also hope to:
Provide access to local, national and global content useful to the Nigerian audience. There's something for everyone: students, teachers, job seekers, health workers, children, parents, investors and the tourists who want to know more about Nigeria.
Be a one-stop mobile shop for Nigerians to gather information that cover citizens' interests from a local perspective.
Give action tips through which you can implement all that you learn on the website. The Beehive will guide you through what to do next after you are informed.
Start a network. We hope that after getting informed, you can work other organizations/individuals at the grassroots to transfer the information. Knowledge of all is the power of all.

What you can do:
Visit the Beehive Website
Blog about the Nigeria Beehive.
Join the Beehive Nigeria Facebook Group here
Tell A Friend

  • Invite your friends to join the group
  • Send them messages to join
  • Put a word about the Beehive on your Facebook Status
  • Link to the website on your status by sharing articles from the website
  • Tweet about the Beehive.

Something Old...

An interview with Nnedi OkoraforEnjoy!

What does it mean to be a writer?
It means solitude, which often becomes loneliness. It means hard work with little initial reward. Discipline. Distorted nakedness. And it means that you have a place to channel your fury and a place to create your dreams.

Visit Nnedi's blog here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ideas for a Free Society

Another essay opportunity...there are so many coming up that  I am sure the deadlines would be almost impossible to meet. All the best!

Choose any of the five segments inside THE IDEAS FOR A FREE SOCIETY CD, and using a text or more write a 1500-2000 worded essay, on any of the following:
•    A free market economy: the missing link in Africa’s development: Discuss
•    Globalization: the key to development
•    A government big enough to give you all you want can take it all away: Discuss
•    Entrepreneurship: The key to self-actualization.
•    Capitalism is a moral philosophy: Discuss

This essay is open to African students and professionals between the ages of 18-35. Submission deadline: 15 November, 2010. Winners to be announced on 15th December 2010

Send your entries to:
Adedayo Thomas, Nigeria – at adedayo,,Franklin Cudjoe,
Imani Ghana at, Murray Sanderson – Zambia – institute for public policy Analysis at, Mike Rotich –Nairobi Kenya at,

More info here

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bookaholic e-Reading List...

Here are some things we've been reading. Enjoy!

Emmanuel Iduma interview on Blacklooks

Sentinel Nigeria Magazine

Latest issue of Words Without Borders

Critical Perspectives on Short Story Writing by Jude Dibia

VQR Interview with Garcia Marquez

Quest for Corvo Blog

Tell It to the Mountain--The Problem of the Problem Novel

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bound Books vs E-books

I love the sincerity of this piece in Publishing Perspectives; the realisation that new technology has come to stay. However, I fear that bound books may well be taking a backstage soon. I was going to only use an excerpt but every word in this piece sits where it should.

Victoria BC.
The bound book is an ancient, heavy, environmentally dubious technology. But it’s also one of the most convenient, tactile, beautiful, and versatile things ever invented. It can contain odes, information, instruction, pornography, and photographs –– sometimes all at once. It can be highly cerebral or totally escapist. It can be kept on a coffee table or tossed in a purse. Its pages can be marked, folded down, and one can flip between them. It can be read on the subway, in a park, or on the beach. In fact, since many people only have time to read while on vacation, and since I’m lucky enough to live near an ocean, I often think the beach should be the ultimate test between the book and the ereader.

In this competition, the traditional book wins easily. It can be read in the glare of the sun, dropped in the sand, and you don’t have to worry about it being stolen if you go for a swim.

But it’s not just that ereaders strike me sterile and less convenient than advertised (or that I suspect producing gadgets –– which will break down or quickly become obsolete –– may be worse, environmentally, than printing paper books). There’s also this: when books become computers, they will no longer be books.In a world where people read on electronic devices, books may become mash-ups of media, including music, video, and possibly advertising. (Advertising in ebooks is of particular concern if we distribute them for “free” or nearly free.) An electronic, interactive Alice in Wonderland is an incredible thing, and I’m intrigued by the possibilities of the technology. But the electronic Alice may be closer to a video game than to Lewis Carroll’s 
original. So perhaps I simply have a problem with the vocabulary: can something that is not bound, not made of paper, and not necessarily meant to be read –– can that thing still be called a book?

And if books are no longer envisioned and executed in the same way, will something of  their essence be lost? Full disclosure: I work in a bookstore, so ebooks threaten my job and the jobs of many of my friends. I’m also an author whose book is available as an  ebook. And I’m a reader who loves the simplicity of words on a page, which I’ve found contains the most possibility –– to inspire me, bore me, infuriate me, educate me, and enchant me.

Mostly, I’m a story writer. This means I like beginnings and endings, though not necessarily in that order. Most of the stories that appeal to me have to do with time, with the way it marches on, bringing loss or wonder or any number of surprises. I find that computers in general, and the web with its various platforms and apps in particular, are so far not very good at capturing a sense of time, of movement, of story. 

Currently, the Internet is not built for stories, but for “information” and “content.” One link leads to another in no particular order, endlessly. On the web, we no longer have beginnings and endings. Especially endings. We can click and scroll forever. It’s something like a denial of death, and it’s addictive. It leaves me occasionally exhilarated, but mostly overwhelmed and exhausted.How will traditional books –– with their sense of history, their King James Bible and their Shakespeare and their Flannery O’Connor –– how can they exist on the same phones and iPads that give us the ever-updating Internet? How can traditional stories about time’s movement, about the frailty of being alive –– how will they survive the transition to this new form of “content delivery?” How can the quiet, introspective solitude and focus required to read a book –– how can that exist on the same device that gives us email and Twitter and countless distractions?

My hope is that the traditional industry will be able to co-exist, on a smaller scale, with the new technology. There are many signs that this is possible: the existence of hundreds of wonderful book blogs, libraries that house both physical and electronic collections, books –– like House of Leaves –– that are published in gorgeous paper editions as well as extraordinary digital versions. And there’s me: a so-called literary writer who sometimes (hardly ever!) browses celebrity gossip sites for the latest on Lady Gaga and watches adorable YouTube videos of kittens eating peanut butter.

Both the old and the new exist firmly within me, and this must be true for most people. So I hope that my worries are unfounded (I can take it –– being an absolute hypochondriac, I’m used to unfounded worries). I hope it’s not books versus ebooks at all. I hope the new technology might broaden the definition of what a book is in ways that are inspiring for writers and readers, as opposed to impoverishing. In the brave new world we inhabit, a world without newspapers but with Tumblr and Chatroulette, a world where publishers will struggle and attention spans diminish, I hope there will remain a place for the writers and readers of books.

Deborah Willis was born in Calgary, Alberta, and currently lives and works as a bookseller at Munro’s Books in Victoria, BC. Her first book,Vanishing and Other Stories, was published in Canada last year. It was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for fiction and named one of the Globe and Mail’s top 100 books of the year. It was recently released in the U.S. by Harper Perennial.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WYMD Essay Contest

Let's start the week with some work ;)

The World Youth Movement for Democracy, a youth network of the World Movement for Democracy, is pleased to announce the launch of its Global Essay Contest. Fifteen semi-finalists (3 in each region: Asia, Central/Eastern Europe & Eurasia, Middle East & North Africa, Latin America & Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa) will be announced on Human Rights Day, December 10, and will have their essays published on the WYMD Web site. Two global winners will be invited to participate in the upcoming Community of Democracies Ministerial Meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July 2011.  

Democracy has been practiced in different ways and in different contexts. We believe there are core universal democratic values and aspirations that we all share, which transcend our differences, even though we live in different cultures, speak different languages, and eat different food. The purpose of this essay contest is to highlight personal engagement in democracy by promoting critical thinking about the role of young people in democracy and to connect youth with broader democracy movements. The questions posed below for this essay contest aim to challenge youth to write about their perspectives on democracy and their understanding of democracy activism, particularly their own.

Essays are required to address one or more of the following questions:
1. In what ways have young people contributed to democratic participation in your community? Highlighting some of the strategies and tools they have used, what difference have their
efforts made?
2. New media and social networking are increasingly becoming popular tools for community organizing. In what ways have you and/or your organization been using new media for democracy promotion? How effective has it been and what challenges have you faced in using these tools?
3. What practices, do you think exemplify human rights activist protection or violation in your country that is not openly recognized? What do you think are the justifications for this and how can it be either replicated, in the case of a good example or stopped, in the case of  a bad example?
4. What new factors can youth activists bring to longstanding human rights issues in your country? How have these issues been addressed in the past?

Please submit your essay by World Youth Day for Democracy, 18 October 2010, via email attachment as a Word document. The format must have 1’’ margins, double spaced, Times New Roman font, and size 12 font. Please make sure to clearly designate, in the body of your  email, full name, age, gender, physical address, and phone number, to the relevant regional email address listed below. Do not enter your name or other details on your actual essay. Essays can be submitted in Arabic, English, French, Russian, or Spanish, and the essay must be no more than 2,000 words. Authors must be no younger than 18 and no older than 30 years old before
October 18).

. Central and Eastern Europe & Eurasia: WYMD.EURASIA@GMAIL.COM
. Middle East & North Africa: WYMD.MENA@GMAIL.COM
. Latin America & Caribbean: WYMD.LAC@GMAIL.COM
. Sub-Saharan Africa: WYMD.AFRICA@GMAIL.COM

More info here

Friday, September 17, 2010

Download literary podcasts

Here are some sites where you can download readings, interviews, books etc. We would be glad if you add more to this...have a great weekend :-) Methinks I will start recording book readings I attend, with permission of course!

CBC Radio's The Next Chapter

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Residency Training Academy

The Residency Training Academy featuring: Talks, story writing, debates, Reality TV, Life Performances, Trips, Film shows.

Young people can apply for the Residency Training Academy. Anybody from any part of Nigeria that is less than 25 years old or just clocked 25 can visit this link to apply and for more information.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Think on this...

...From Letters of Note

Page from a letter by Oscar Wilde written in response to a question posed to him by a student at Oxford about the line "All art is quite useless," from The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Transcript of letter:


My dear Sir

Art is useless because its aim is simply to create a mood. It is not meant to instruct, or to influence action in any way. It is superbly sterile, and the note of its pleasure is sterility. If the contemplation of a work of art is followed by activity of any kind, the work is either of a very second-rate order, or the spectator has failed to realise the complete artistic impression.

A work of art is useless as a flower is useless. A flower blossoms for its own joy. We gain a moment of joy by looking at it. That is all that is to be said about our relations to flowers. Of course man may sell the flower, and so make it useful to him, but this has nothing to do with the flower. It is not part of its essence. It is accidental. It is a misuse. All this is I fear very obscure. But the subject is a long one.

Truly yours,

Oscar Wilde

More interesting posts here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Message from Saraba!

I guess it's no news again that we are fans of Saraba Mag. Those guys are impressive with the work on the magazine. Here's an excerpt from their last newsletter. We even love those too :-) Very important info in RED.

After more than two months of trying, we are glad that we finally have Issue Six up for download on our site. This is partly due to the commitment of Dolapo Amusan, one of us, and partly due to our resilience - What does one do after a long arduous task, except to praise himself?

Two quick issues. One, our next issue would not be out this month again, as scheduled. We want you to take all the time to chew and digest the God Issue. It would be out in October. This means that we are still welcoming entries that essentially theme on Technology. Works with other themes are welcome, but note that we're giving much space to considerations of how Technology has changed and shaped our lives, altered, if you wish. Please use our new submission manager. Go to this link ( to submit. It's easier for us. Deadline is September 30.

Our website is presently undergoing major repairs. So expect a new look soon. The new site would ensure that we have more content. If you have not considered advertising in Saraba, please do so. The rates are in the current issue of the magazine.

Two, our next Chapbook (theming on love) would be published before the end of this month. We're featuring new poets and new poems. 

New links: Our Poetry Editor on Maple Tree Literary Supplement (, 
Our co-publisher's interview (

Until next time, we assure you that nothing's going to come between us and Saraba; it's an everlasting love, and passion.

Warm literary regards,

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Monologues are Back!

So you missed it the first time, here is another chance!

The V Monologues v. The Tarzan Monologues starring Kate Henshaw-Nuttall, Bimbo Manuel, Carol King, Soul Snatcha of the Rooftop MCs, Iretiola Doyle,Kemi lala Akindoju, Katherine Edoho, Michelle Dede, Kenneth Uphopho, Ayo Orobiyi, Sola Roberts Iwaotan, Tunde Aladese, Precious Anyanwu and Paul Alumona.

The issues the monologues tackle include: Money, Sex, Erectile Dysfunction, Sexual Abuse, Religion, Emotional Pressure, Sterility, Virginity, Infant Mortality, Job loss, relationships, Age, Marriage, Infidelity, Women Trafficking...

Directed by Wole Oguntokun.

Dates - Sunday September 12 and 19

Tickets - N3,500

Time - 3pm and 6pm every Sunday

Venue - Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Peter Drucker Writing Challenge

Been dreaming of visiting Vienna all expense paid? Read on...

Today's situation is not identical, but we too are faced with a worldwide economic crisis  and a society in transition. It's a transition on many levels - technological, economic,  societal - that needs to be properly managed. To do that the contributions of the young  generation will be key. They will have to find the right balance between continuity and  change, will have to find innovative and contemporary ways without ignoring or even  destroying old and time-tested practices and tools that worked and still work.

We want to hear from young people, want to hear from YOU - about to enter the workforce or  already with some first-hand experiences in companies, organizations, or as young entrepreneurs: Where do they see the biggest and most realistic opportunities for innovation and change - and where would they be most needed? How can we be successful in managing those changes?

The essay may focus on specific institutional fields such as public sector, education, corporations, small business etc. or may take a transversal perspective. Concrete recommendations for directions to take and concrete measures should be part of the conclusion.

  • Participants must not to be older than 35 years. 
  • The length of the essays should be  between 1.500 words and 3.000 words (which roughly translates into 5-10 pages). 
  • Essays can be submitted in both English and German - the two languages Peter Drucker wrote his 
  • articles and books in. 
The new deadline for submitting the essays is September 15th, 2010.

What is the prize?
- The authors of the top 3 essays will be flown to Vienna and invited to participate at  the "Global Peter Drucker Forum 2010" in Vienna on November 19. Winners will also be  invited to participate in the Senior Executive Symposium on November 17.
- Up to 40 authors of high quality essays with free access to the "Global Peter Drucker Forum 2010" on November 18 and 19.
 More info here

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

News from the Literary World...

In a bid to keep you on top of things in the literary world (wherever that is!) we compiled this. Just so you know...

Kwani Trust, 2010 Prince Claus Award Laureate

Congratulations to Kwani Trust. Good their work is being recognised and aawarded.
"Kwani Trust has been awarded a 2010 Prince Claus Award, given annually in recognition of exceptional achievements in the field of Culture and Development. Each year, this prestigious award run by the Prince Claus Fund invites an expanding network of colleagues, partners and experts in artistic and cultural fields that are relevant to the Fund’s mission to nominate candidates for the award."
More info here

Penguin Prize for Africa Writing Announces Winners

Congratulations to Pius Adesanmi (Nigeria for his work, You're Not A Country, Africa) and Ellen Banda-Aaku (Zambia for her novel manuscript, Patchwork) for winning the Penguin Prize for African Writing, Non-fiction and fiction categories respectively.

More information on the Penguin site.

Read the Sentinel Newsletter with updates on what they've been up to here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Re-Introducing African Roar...

African Roar is a fiction anthology drawn from the very best stories published from 2007-2009, in the StoryTime weekly literary ezine dedicated to publishing African writers. Between these covers you will find eleven stories that stand as a testament to the upsurge of talented African writers boldly utilising the cutting edge of technology and the writing craft to be read globally. Spanning Africa and the African Diaspora in past, present and future, each story has a fresh and diverse vision that opens up new vistas of experience. From the lucid terrors of domestic violence through the eyes of a child, and the anguish of those left behind by a fleeing Diaspora, to a full circle, when the prey becomes the hunter and has the opportunity for revenge, and a dryly humourous look at what it's like to lose a quarter of your brain, to name just a few of the treasures that lie within. Edited by Emmanuel Sigauke & Ivor W. Hartmann.

African Roar Features works from: Ayesha Harruna Attah, Ayodele Morocco-Clarke, Beaven Tapureta, Chuma Nwokolo Jr., Christopher Mlalazi, Emmanuel Sigauke, Ivor W. Hartmann, Kola Tubosun, Masimba Musodza, Nana A. Damoah, and Novuyo Rosa Tshuma.

AR is now published by solely by StoryTime, here are some of its links:

Official website:
Facebook Page:

Reviews: Ikhide Ikheloa reviews AR on Nigeria Village Square

A Review on Ghana Web