Saturday, December 31, 2011


He ran his left hand through his silky brown hair like he would do when his colleagues at the office were responding too slowly on a task. She held a frozen smile. She stuffed her items into her grey hand bag, yet she knew she wanted to be in that house for five years more. With quick steps, she grabbed her panties from the silver hanger in the toilet. She remembered that night when they had dinner at the Chinese food court in Mega Plaza, how he held her hands every minute, how he asked her softly what they were going to order, how he told her to raise her head from his thighs when she was going to take a nap, because she was too tired from work and he didn’t want people to think she was giving him a blow job in public like Oyibos would make Naija girls do. She was going to miss him taking her out, as usual, for a treat; instead of making her cook dinner for them both.

The young French-Djiboutian author Abdourahman A. Waberi is one of the more inventive of a new wave of African writers, and is also unique in the range of his influences. His work manages to reference authors as diverse as Nuruddin Farah, Rimbaud, and Walter Benjamin, which also gives you a sense of how he has continued to confound expectations of both literary genres and African writing.

This girl whose name eluded him. She was skinny and small and probably more than a little high on the miraa bulging in her cheek. She looked very different from her voice, a rough, rousing roar of four in the morning in those dark little hovels by the roadside, the ones run by fat round women called Rhoda and Francisca who serve cheap lethal brews to broken men in oversized jackets. Now she spat suddenly into a polythene bag magically extracted from somewhere in the complicated folds of her clothes. And then she was unwrapping half of a Big G, chewing it, making rude, rhythmic clicks. She seemed to appreciate the sound more than the flavour. She stared at him the whole time, her large liquid eyes shining out of the khanga that covered her head and framed her face; the rest of it disappeared inside a fur-lined jacket, unzipped half-way down to reveal a T-shirt tucked tight into a pair of worn jeans. Limuru, he knew, got very cold. He wondered what she would do with her jacket in the heat of Kampala. But it was the boots with their steel-tipped points that convinced him this was a malaya, going west to seek new flesh markets. There was no money in Kenya. Everybody was leaving, and lying about it.

The world is now privy to the myriad lies and exaggerations of the acclaimed writer, Professor Christopher Abani regarding his imaginary ordeal in Nigeria’s prisons (mostly Kirikiri). The lies are compelling and give Africa a black eye: The death sentence imposed on him because of his involvement in military coups as a teenager and his alleged witness to the execution of at least one 14-year old through death by nailing of his penis to a chair until he bled to death. The shocking revelations of Abani’s “419” activities are detailed here on my blog.

His mother ruffled his hair, which he hated for its darkness, hair that made him feel marked out, different.  Hair as dark as if Mussolini himself had snuck over the Bavarian border into his mother’s bed, the night Otto was conceived.

He wasn’t the only brunette, of course, but as a general rule where most of the children were large, he was small; where they were clean, he was grubby, and where they were amused, he was bored.  Childhood, to Otto, seemed like very hard work and he found himself wishing away the days from a comparatively young age.
The summer of 1926 was hot and to the twelve-year-old Otto’s delight, mosquitoes laid their eggs in places where it was normally too cold.

Have a great 2012 Bookaholics!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Naijastories Christmas Nostalgia Contest is pleased to announce another online writing contest titled “The Christmas Nostalgia Project”. The purpose in running this particular contest is to encourage the writing of Narrative Non-fiction and also celebrate the season. While we love the massive increase in the number of fiction pieces submitted to the site, there is just something heartwarming about reading true to life recollections.

In Nigeria, only politicians and war generals seem to write or need (auto)biographies, but this should not be the case. In order to prevent collective amnesia, a communities memory is painted in by the personal stories of the individuals that make it up. Naijastories therefore, wants to encourage memoirs, diaries, and non-fiction of the personal variety. As a start, we are keying in to the Christmas spirit, and hereby call for entries recounting experiences of Christmas past in Nigeria, either as a child or an adult.

Dates for Contest:

The contest opens December 12 and submissions end on January 5th 2012.

First round Polls – January 6th – 12th

Judging – January 6th – January 12th

Final Judging – January 13th to January 19th 2012

The winner will be announced by January 20th 2012.

Prizes :

There will be one (3) overall winners in this contest.

First Prize – 100,000 points ($100)

Second Prize – 70,000 points ($70)

Third Prize – 30,000 points ($30)

There will also be 7 consolation prizes of 1000 points each

Contest Guidelines:

1. You must be a registered member of

2. Submit your entry as a post with a title that defines your entry.

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

a, the year and location in which the incident you’re recounting happened,

b, since we cannot determine your reality or fiction, the only rule is that the entry must be written in the first person, “I”,

c, stories should be set in or around the month of December or the 25th specifically,

d, we encourage happy or funny recollections but this is not mandatory .

4. Your entry should be between 500 and 1000 words.

5. Put the entry in the category of “Christmas Nostalgia” and press the button, “Submit for Review”.

Contest Procedure:

There will have 3 stages for determining the winner;

Stage 1. – All the entries that meet the contest rules will be put to the public poll.

Stage 2. – At the same time, the Naija Stories team will score all the accepted entries. This will be added to votes polled on to select the top 10 entries. These will proceed to the last round.

Stage 3. – Ikhide Ikheloa will select the winners. (Read about Ikhide HERE)

Judging Criteria:
- The initial site editor will make sure that entries stick to the criteria of non-fiction and the use of first person.

- Second round judges will be checking for clean use of the English language, so polish your grammar and keep typos to a minimum please! We will also be looking for creativity, so go on and give it your all.

- The final judge will be looking for great writing. Be genuine! Be unique! Be original! Use this as an opportunity to pay tribute to the best/worst/funniest Christmas of your life.

If you have any questions, please send a mail to

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Bookaholics! Enjoy!

Christmas Season

by Roger W Hancock

Church Bells ringing, carolers singing,

this the time of Christmas season.

Jesus Christ our celebration,

of His birth to a virgin, Mary.

Forest tree cutting, bows decorating,

this the time of season cheering.

Gifts of wise men start tradition,

gifts between us, friends and family.

Turkey trimming, great pie fillings,

this the time of Christmas feasting.

Christ’s last supper, our convention,

remembering Christ at Calvary.

Church Bells ringing, Carolers singing,

this the time of Baby Jesus.

Born to die for our redemption,

within our spirits, souls be merry.

(c) December 9, 2008 Roger W Hancock

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Introducing Book Republic by Emotion Press

Book Republic is a Nigerian literary blog established by Emotion Press. It is basically dedicated towards promoting the reading culture in Nigeria.

In our creative way, as usual, we plan to write on both old and new books and other things that matter in the Nigerian literary scene.

Every forth night, from January 2012, we will be hosting a Guest writer. The Guest writer series will feature essays and interviews by the writer.

The Book Republic blog is

As Emotion Press' two releases - The Man In The Moon and The Grasshopper Race - will be out in December, the first ten followers of the blog will be given the electronic copy of those books free of charge! They will be the first ten people to read the books.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Book N Gauge VII: Poetry Party

Just like yesterday, the year began; just like this morning, we started Book N Gauge. We have been here for seven months, reading books, asking questions and entering the worlds of imagination. We think this calls for celebration.  We have the Saraba Mag team with us on this; they would be giving out awards for the PEN/Saraba Poetry Prize.

What are we waiting for? We have an interesting line-up of poets and activities; let’s dive in even as we hope that you RSVP the event, share the event on your blogs, Facebook profiles, invite your friends and get more people interested in reading. That’s the small request we have? And yes, the poetry party is our Christmas gift to all booklovers 

Benson Eluma: Poet and Academic
Born in Abeokuta, grew up in Lagos. Eluma has a degree in Communication, Language Arts and Classics, from the University of Ibadan. A confirmed Academic and poet, his interests range from caricatures and rhetorical analysis, psephology, ethnography of conflicts, art criticism, sexualities, the politics of language and virtual society. We guess he will tell us more about these big big words on Saturday. He is currently a PhD Student at the Institute of African Studies while he works as a Research Fellow at the Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique (IFRA), Ibadan.

When Benson is not thinking of Tolulope Odebunmi, he is drinking beer with a riotous conclave of friends while doing stuff online or battling with words in the early hours of the morning or coming to terms with the absurd. Go figure!

Akeem Lasisi: Journalist, Poet and Academic
Looking for the physical definition of “son of the soil’? We present to you, Akeem Lasisi. Born in Ibadan in 1967; attended Ibadan District Council School, Solalu; Iroko  Community Grammar School, Iroko; Oyo (now Osun),  Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and the University of Lagos for his Masters and is at present a doctoral candidate in the English Department.

Lasisi is the Features/Arts Editor of PUNCH by day and poet by night. He is a two-time winner of the ANA/Cadbury Prize for Poetry.  He has three albums of music poetry, ‘Post Mortem’, (1999), ‘Ori Agbe’ (2004), ‘Wonderland/ Eleleture’ (2011). Traditional poetic forms like  Ijala, Esa Egungun, Iremoje, Ekun Iyawo, Ege Egba and Oku Pipe are a great source of inspiration to Lasisi, who is renowned for toeing the steps of Yoruba oral poets.  He is also the author of works ‘Ekun Iyawo: The Bride’s Chant’, ‘Right Option English: Lexis and Structure for Secondary School Students’ and ‘Goodness and Messi: A Collection of Jokes.’

He has performed at events organised by the Ford Foundation, British Council, French Cultural Centre, the USIS, Goethe Institut, GTBank and MTN.  He performed at POETRY Africa in Durban, South Africa in (2003) and Africultures, Berlin, Germany (2009).

Omale Allen Abdul-Jabbar: The Writer-as-a-Civil-Servant
Omale Allen Abdul-Jabbar has a Master’s degree in Law & Diplomacy. He has a rich working experience with the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) at the state and national levels. He writes poetry, fiction, drama and essays.  His work has been published in Hints, Daily Times, Weekly Trust, Fifty Nigerian Poets, Punch, THESE! Magazine online. He was a Finalist on in 2002 for the poem "Love affair" and subsequently published in anthology "Letters from the Soul.”  He writes with the pen name Mmaasa Masai. Married to Rahmah-Allah and blessed with a daughter, Imani, he is currently a Planning Officer at National Commission for colleges of education, Garki, Abuja. Speaking of the “writer-as-a-civil-servant.”

Ekweremadu Franklin Uchenna: Writer
Ekweremadu Franklin Uchenna resides in Kaduna State of Nigeria. Apart from poetry, he also writes short stories and drama. His works have appeared in Flashquake, Sentinel Nigeria Literary, A&U American AIDS Magazine, Wilderness House Literary, and elsewhere. He is working on his first novel.

We have special appearances of poets Niran Okewole, Jumoke Verissimo and Tade Ipadeola.


Ijofire: For the first time on Book N Gauge, we will have a dancer and choreographer; well that’s why it’s a poetry party ;) Ijofire, improved his dancing as a student of the Department of Drama, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He has thrilled many crowds with his dancing. Dancefire performed at the Nike Art Gallery, Osogbo; choreographed for Ajantala, for the 50th Anniversary and for the Osun Contingent at the Abuja Carnival last month.

Plumbline studied as a Geo-scientist, rather than digging oil pipes; he “mines” words. Influenced by poets like the late Mamman Vatsa and the late Ken Saro Wiwa, the songwriter and spoken word artist wrote poetry from his secondary school days.  He performs Spoken Word Poetry at most Lagos Events like Wordslam, Anthill, Taruwa and hosts Chill and Relax. His words dash straight through the heart of the audience and leaving them with thoughts, little mementos to take home.

Aduke is a lady of the strings, with a fantastic voice to complement it. She has opened many shows. She is also an active member of Crown Troupe. Aduke is a different person on stage, in a role; different character on stage with a guitar. Watch out for her album next year.

Auction Session: There will be an auction session. What do you get? Latest books that you can only find online. Hot CDs that are yet to be on the streets (loads of them!). A CD of all Saraba Mag editions (I bet that’s a collector’ item!). The lovely purple Pulpfaction Club T-Shirt (A few people have the shirt!). And yes, the big one: a Kindle so you can take your books everywhere you go. What can we say? E fit be you o!

Open Mic: For the first time ever, we will be giving upcoming poets the stage. Do you have a favourite poem, yours, an old Saraba poem or just a classic? Then send us a short profile with the title of the poem you would love to perform:

·        A one-on-one interaction between authors, performers and readers.

·        A platform for book enthusiasts to meet, interact and network. (Members of PulpFactionClub on Facebook and followers on Twitter would have a grand opportunity to meet).

·        Freebies, lots of it. Let’s start with this. Invite five friends, ensure they come for the event and win a free book.

·        Live performances by: Jeffrey Plumbline and Aduke

·        Book signing.

DATE:  17th December, 2011

TIME: STRICTLY 2pm – 5pm

VENUE: Debonair Bookstore, 294, Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo, Yaba.

Remember: Bring five friends and win a free book! Gifts are available for early birds too.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Introducing: Lumina Literary Agency

The progress of any nation is inter-twined with the quality of the imagination of the people and Lumina Literary Agency has taken up the mandate to contribute to the sustenance of both the quality and quantity of Nigerian writers. It is this self-imposed cultural agenda that necessitated the birth of Lumina Literary Agency (one of the subsidiaries of the Lumina Foundation) in Nigeria. The new agency is poised to aggressively scout for new and undiscovered talents, edit manuscripts, and provide publishing opportunities and publicity as a means of promoting these writers.

Due to the dearth of publishing in Nigeria, thousands of gifted Nigerians eager to share their stories have limited or no outlets for their writing. Hence, Lumina Literary Agency has arrived to fill the void.

The relationship between creative enterprises and commercial enterprises may not be very obvious in a society such as ours, and in such interesting times we live and produce. What is visible is the amount of creative resources Nigeria as a country is blessed with. These resources as we can perceive need nurturing and careful mentoring. It is on this premise that Lumina Literary Agency has chosen to search, edit, and publish talents as our entry point into the business of imagination and imageries. The Agency will be working in collaboration with Oracle publishers in Lagos, Nigeria. It is interested in adult fiction, collections of short stories, children’s fiction, and Poetry. At least one of each of these genres will be published every year.

Lumina Literary Agency will also provide editing and proof-reading services at the rate of N300 (naira) per page. However, writers selected for publication will not pay for anything. In due course, more information can be obtained at: 

To kick off its activities, Lumina Literary Agency hereby calls for short stories of not more than 2,500 words from Nigerian Writers. Other African writers living anywhere in the world can also submit their stories. Sixty of these short stories will be selected and their authors will be invited for a workshop in Lagos in July 2012. At least one Nobel Laureate will be one of the facilitators of this workshop.

Deadline for submission is January 31, 2012. After the workshop, further selections would be from the work done at the workshop and these will be published in three collections. Royalty will be paid to the authors in the published collections accordingly. Reading sessions and short tours will also be organized to give the authors and their work ample publicity.

For submissions and for further inquiries, contact the coordinators: and

Ogochukwu Promise and Unoma Azuah

Friday, December 9, 2011

Book N Gauge VI: Pictures

Who says Nigerians are not reading? Next Book N Gauge holds on December 17, 2011 at Debonair Bookstores, Yaba. 2pm. It is always fun with music, readings and question sessions. Where would you rather be?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

IRep Film Show

On Saturday, Irep would be showing Pina at Silverbird Galleria. Pina is a feature length dance movie in 3D featuring th unique and inspiring art of great German Philosopher, Phillipina "Pina" Bausch who died in the summer of 2009. the film was directed by German director, Wim Wenders.

RSVP event here

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Your dreams hold your days together.
            You spend your time transforming stars into

kitchen implements that you could bake potatoes in. 
            Or coming up with one good reason for crying

over dirty socks or falling asleep each night with all
            the lights on in the house. Waking, you can’t help

remembering the first, but not the only, time
            you took off all your clothes and stood there

"She knows that the blonde does not really want to help her. She can hear her thinking, "Afrikaanse woman, with jeans that look like they come from Wibra and a shirt that is frayed and faded, what can she want in this boutique? What can she afford?"

Oge ignores her and feels a silk dress that looks like a nightie. The woman appears right beside her and without waiting for Oge to ask says, " three hundred euro, mevrouw", her voice comes out sounding like a toothpick being snapped in little pieces. Oge knows that she is making an effort to remain polite and she enjoys it. She wonders for how long she will remain polite.

Oge walks to the opposite end of the air-conditioned shop and runs her hands against a skirt. The woman's bobbed hair brushes the back of her head as she comes and positions herself behind her, offering the price in a weary voice, "three hundred and fifty." Oge wonders if she thinks she cannot read. For Pete's sake, the price is hanging on it in neat dark print.

"I will take that", Oge says, feeling heady, the way her earning power makes her feel.

Baba Luku cleared his throat and spat. ‘We’re all going to join them one day,’ he answered. ‘Nothing to be scared of. But that’s not to say protection is not helpful. You have to be close to God.’ He dipped his hand into his pockets and brought out a plastic rosary with a small wooden crucifix at its end and a Gideon’s Bible. He wound the rosary around the Bible and slapped it on his left palm three times. ‘No weapon fashioned against me shall prosper,’ he said, in English. ‘Lailai.’

He waved the Bible over his head, as though swiping at flies. He switched back to Yoruba. ‘There’s nothing to fear in the daytime. It is at night that you have anything to fear.’ The Bible fell from his hand. He cursed and snatched it up, offering a sign of the cross with his head tilted upwards, as if offering a silent apology to heaven. He dusted the Bible on his sokoto and blew at it endlessly, and then carefully placed it back in his pocket. Bayo watched this ritual patiently. A lone black bird circled overhead. Then another joined it. There was silence. A cough floated in from far off.

"If you are to ask me what are the greatest issues in Africa, I would say it is that people love, people fuck, people kiss, people speak."

You heard there was another bomb blast yesterday? Not in Maiduguri this time, in a new place, Dama-something. Yes, people died. Those mallams are serious o, we can’t stop them again. I saw it coming. After the police did their mago-mago and executed Yusuf in jail, wetin you expect? Trouble, of course! Those abokis are not cows—you can’t control them by cutting off the head, by killing their leaders. I will tell you free of charge, Yusuf’s murder was a big mistake. And the army made matters worse. Too many people died, my friend, just too many. You saw the pictures? Home-made guns and cutlasses against automatic rifles and grenades; bodies scattered everywhere like firewood. But that’s what happens when you recruit stark illiterates into your police and army. Open extortion, rampant brutality, senseless shootings. See Odi, see Apo Six, see Ogoni Nine, and now Boko Haram

These are just excerpts to whet your appetite; follow the links! Have a great day!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

In Drear-Nighted December by John Keats

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would 'twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.

John Keats

Happy new month Bookaholics. May the new month usher you into a great 2012. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When Will The New Nigerian Thriller Come?

Toni Kan writes about a reading tradition, long forgotten, he once again asks the question: when will popular fiction aka thriller, manifest as the Pacesetter Series return to Nigeria?

The Pacesetters series was launched by Macmillan. I am not sure of the year but I began noticing them as I turned ten. The stories, the cover images, the size, the language and subject matter all seemed to suggest that Macmillan was targeting a younger, more cosmopolitan audience different from the academic audience which read novels in the African Writers Series.

Read more here.

Okay, main problem is that publishing is near dead. But why does it seem that I think that everyone strives to do "literary writing"; I think there is an audience for the "Pacesetter Tradition." Will there be a time when that tradition will bounce back to existence? What do you think?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book N Gauge VI: Many Worlds of Two Writers

The sixth edition of Book n Gauge is scheduled to hold on November 26, 2011 @ Debonair Bookstore, 294, Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo, Yaba. 2pm - 5pm. In the month of November, we would be hosting you to two amazing writers, three performers and it’s going to be a blast. We would go on a trip to the many worlds of these writers, the world of their books, their writing world, the human world and of course, the other worlds that they are a part, the worlds that you do not read about behind a novel.

Ayodele Arigbabu
Writer, Publisher, Architect and businessman, Ayo is always looking for ways to express his creativity. On these many lives, Ayo says “I’m always amazed to find myself to be the only one who is not confused about my ability to wear many hats. I don’t really enjoy introducing myself to people I’m meeting for the first time in public, because when they ask: “so what do you do?” and I get started, the look of consternation on their faces makes me want to talk about something else. I’ve learnt not to get worried anymore about other people being worried about me going all out, in my own little way, to live my life to the hilt. I’m more worried now that so many people out there are living such plain linear lives….sheesh! They don’t know what they’re missing!”

Ebi Akpeti
Ebi Akpeti is the author of The Perfect Church which was adapted for the big screen and television by Wale Adenuga Productions; it features Nollywood stars starring Ramsey Noah, Olu Jacobs and Funke Akindele. For her journalism, she has won awards lik the Capital Market Reporter of the year by the prestigious Nigerian Media Merit Award NMMA Award (NMMA) for her story "Trigger for Fraud."
Ebi decided she had a thing for fiction and decided to put pen to paper and see what pans out of it. She released Growing Pains in 2006 and later on, she wrote and a book titled Castrated, which was used by the inaugural class of the Masters Students of Pan African University Lagos for their Creative Writing course.  This contributor to several magazines is passionate about writing. She is currently working on a new novel, For the Sake of Peremoboere and a screen play, God has a Sense of Humour.

D Tone
He’s one of the new Nigerian singers to watch out for. His new singles “Sunkun Ife” and“Ife Gbagbara” have been attracting rave reviews. He has performed on stages with Nigerian musicians like Dj Zeez, M I, Banky, 2 face, 9ice, Sunny Ade, Femi Kuti and P-Square. Eyes closed, fingers strumming the guitar, sonorous voice tantalizing the audience, D Tone is always a delight to watch.

An addicted lover of music, she has written over 100 songs. In 2008, she was part of a show called ‘Divas Unplugged’ in the city of Jos; the show had all the leading female artistes in the Nigerian music industry. Aramide is also a Guitarist and the Saxophonist. She’s passionate about are freedom of women and love. She has worked with artistes like M.I and Jesse Jagz. For soulful Aramide, music is life.

Femi Kayode
He has a way with words. It does not matter if he is doing a poem on his name or on Nigeria, his words warm through your hearts and ruffles you in your seats. His style of delivery draws you into his world, into our world, easily; it is not a rough pull but a gentle tug at the strings of our hearts, we simply follow him. He has performed poetry on many stages in Lagos. When he is not doing poetry, he is acting or writing copy for an advert.

Auction Session: There will be an auction session. What do you get? Latest books that you can only find online. Hot CDs that are yet to be on the streets. The lovely purple Pulpfaction Club T-Shirt. You don’t want to miss this!
There promises to be:                            
  • A one-on-one interaction between authors and readers
  • A platform for book enthusiasts to meet, interact and network. (Facebook members of PulpFactionClub and Twitter followers would have a grand opportunity to meet).
  • Freebies
  • Live Musical performances by:  guitar masters D Tone and Aramide.
  • Book signing
DATE:  26th November, 2011
TIME: STRICTLY 2pm – 5pm
VENUE: Debonair Bookstore, 294, Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo, Yaba.
Remember: Bring five friends and win a free book! Gifts are available for early birds too. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Writing Advice

Jeffrey Small, author, The Breath of God writes in his article on Huffington Post "Tough Lessons From a Debut Novelist." We like the 4th point. You can read the remaining part of the piece. Have a great week Bookaholics!

4. Write one page at a time. 
The thought of writing 400 pages of a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end that has all sorts of twists and turns is intimidating to point of being paralyzing. Novels, however, are not written in one fell swoop. Each day, I had to sit down and begin by starting with a single/page, just as twelve step programs encourage their members to take one day at a time. Rather than focus on the end product, or even the challenges that might face me in the next chapter, I set a modest goal for myself: 1000 words a day, about four or five days a week. But I always starting with that first single page. Day by day, the pages began to add up."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Call for Submission: Fingerprint Press

Fingerprint is looking for unsolicited work in English language from writers all over the world, in the following genres: Fiction (romance, mystery, thrillers, humour, fantasy, young adult)General and narrative non-fiction, Autobiographies and biographies,Self-help, health and fitness and Spirituality

We do not publish poetry and children’s books.

How to go about submitting your manuscript:

1. Please e-mail your proposal to with the following attachments :

a. Detailed synopsis of your book (about 2,500 words)

b. The first three chapters of your manuscript

c. Plot summary (not more than 100 words) that should appear on the back-cover of your book.

d. Your bio-data.

e. Your recent photograph

f. Total word-count of your complete manuscript

2. We’ll take about two weeks to evaluate your work and if we’re keen to read further, we’ll contact you with a request to submit your complete manuscript as a hard-copy, via regular post/courier to the following address:

The Editorial Department,
Fingerprint Press,
c/o Prakash Books Pvt Ltd.,

Book Merchant, Kariappa Marg,

Sainik Farms,


New Delhi - 110017


3. All submissions should be typed in typeface Garamond, font size 12, on plain white A-4 paper. You may use both sides of each page.

4. Remember to mention your name, age and contact information clearly on the first page of your manuscript.

5. Make sure that you preserve a copy of your manuscript with yourself. We do not return submitted manuscripts, irrespective of the outcome of the evaluation process.

6. Please give us at least a month’s time to completely evaluate your proposal and arrive at a decision. If you don’t hear from us within this time period, drop us an e-mail at

More here

Friday, November 11, 2011


Theme: I Vote To Read: The  Book and The Voice Of The People.

Dates: November 18-20, 2011
Main Venue: Freedom Park,  Broad Street, Lagos

Scheduled Programme of KEY Events

Pre-Festival Events
Monday November 14:
1. Opening of the National Reading Week

Festival Events
Thursday (November 17)
2. Publishers Forum: Theme: Bridging the Digital Divide. A business forum for publishers designed to add value to their business through critical feedback on processes, input on the most challenging areas they have to deal with and
useful networking. This year’s Forum will run a set of seminars on harnessing digital applications available today for the publishing industry (Subject to pre-registration. )

Thursday (November 17) 5pm-6.30pm
3. Publishers’ Interface With The Public /Pre-festival cocktail(Open event): A roundtable discussion involving some publishers and some ranking writers and journalists, will explore the publishing business from the digital perspective and key projects that the publishers have undertaken or currently have under development within that context.  A cocktail will round off the discussions.

Friday (November 18), 9am-1pm  (FREEDOM PARK)
 My Encounter with the Book (Kiddies’ Segment– Chima Ibeneche (Petroleum Engineer and Managing
Director, NLNG)-a motivational talk to kids, kicks open the kiddies’ segment of the festival.

 5. (11am-1pm, Hall 1) The Festival Colloquium(I):
Theme: Documenting The Governance Challenges: Africa In The Eyes Of The Other -I: Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (a)A Swamp Full Of Dollars- Michael Peel (b). Dinner With Mugabe-Heidi Holland; (c)A Continent For The Taking- Howard French,

Friday, (November 18),1pm-3pm(FREEDOM PARK)
5A. (1pm-3pm, Hall 1)The Festival Colloquium (II) ArrestedDevelopment: “Why Can’t ‘They’ Get It Right?:Africa In The Eyes Of The Other: Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (a)The State Of
Africa-Martin Meredith, (b)Nigeria: Dancing On The Brink-John Campbell, (c) It’s Our Turn To Eat- Michaela Wrong 

Friday, (November 18),3pm-5pm(FREEDOM PARK)
6. How Familiar Is This Town? The City As A Key Character In the Fictional Narratives Of The Continent. Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (1)Good Morning Comrades(Luanda, Angola)-,
by Ondjaki, (2)The Yacoubian Building(Cairo, Egypt) by Alaa Al Aswany (3) The Secret Lives Of Baba Segi’s Wives(Ibadan, Nigeria), (4)Tropical Fish (Entebbe, Uganda)-Doreen Baigana; (5) Under The Brown Rusted Roofs(Ibadan, Nigeria)

More information on their website. Questions? Contact: 08022016495, 08036554119 or mail: or

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Writing Advice: Elmore Leonard

This was published in Guardian. It was so on point, we thought to share.Read more here. 

1.  Never open a book with weather. If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a charac­ter's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead look­ing for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways than an Eskimo to describe ice and snow in his book Arctic Dreams, you can do all the weather reporting you want.

2 Avoid prologues: they can be ­annoying, especially a prologue ­following an introduction that comes after a foreword. But these are ordinarily found in non-fiction. A prologue in a novel is backstory, and you can drop it in anywhere you want. There is a prologue in John Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday, but it's OK because a character in the book makes the point of what my rules are all about. He says: "I like a lot of talk in a book and I don't like to have nobody tell me what the guy that's talking looks like. I want to figure out what he looks like from the way he talks."

3 Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But "said" is far less intrusive than "grumbled", "gasped", "cautioned", "lied". I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated" and had to stop reading and go to the dictionary.

Learn some prompts that would help kick-start your story here.

1. When planning your story, choose names, which reflect your characters.
2. Write Character Profiles - know your characters inside and out.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


 In light of the October 18th announcement of the 2011 prize, the Review's editors asked Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, presenter of the U.S. National Book Awards, to provide a bite-sized "take" on each Booker or Man Booker recipient (its sponsorship changed in the 1990s). He responded with precisely 25 words on each and every winner.

His thoughts on Famished Road. 1991 -- The Famished Road by Ben Okri -- Raises the coming-of-age novel to the thrill of epic, candidate for the Great Nigerian Novel. Okri is a worthy successor to Achebe, predecessor to Adichie.

To Fall Twice for the Same Trick (or Déjà Vu) by A. Igoni Barrett

"As I pushed the second leg into my yellow tiger paw boxer shorts, my mobile phone rang. Startled by the shrill of a ringtone I hadn’t selected, I lost my balance and pitched forward. My head struck the edge of the new writing desk, I hit the floor, and just before my mind emptied I said to myself: so this is what it feels like to die with your pants down.When I awoke the first thing that strolled up and muttered “hello” was the pong of clinical iodine. I opened my eyes to find that my nose, too, had turned traitor: I was sprawled at the foot of the new writing desk. I reached forward to pull myself up, and grasped a leg, which, after I whipped up my head to look, became in my hand the leg of the new writing desk.The floor was cold; My head hammered; The phone rang."

Tolu Ogunlesi on the Jaipur Literary Festival and literature in India

"Jaipur stands out for the prominence it gives to literature in local languages; as many as half of the fair’s guest writers write in Indian languages. This may also account for the popularity of the festival, in a country where the number of speakers of Hindi, a local language, is 4 times the English-speaking population, and where as many as 22 local languages each have more than 1 million speakers."

The 9th Issue of ITCH Online
The 9th issue of ITCH  Online features a variety of multimedia works exploring the notion of ∞ (the mathematical symbol for infinity).Poetry, prose, video artworks, graphics, drawings, photography and more dig into the corners and stretch out the sides of this sign of intertwined forever-ness.

Have a great week!

Friday, November 4, 2011

iDebate: Are We Writing in Africa?

Emma Iduma asks in Mantle
"The question this piece primarily addresses is whether or not we are writing in Africa (especially writing in the English language). The answer is a simple, yet complicated yes. It is simple because, indeed, we are putting pen to paper, and fingers to keyboard. There is evidence of this on the Internet – the growing number of platforms, including online journals, Facebook groups and networking sites. Yet it is a complicated yes because intra-African literary institutions are few, and insufficient. For instance, Nigeria, with over 150 million people, has less than five standard book publishers, less than five print literary journals, no grant-giving body, and few prizes.If we are writing in Africa the necessary corollary is that we are being published in Africa, by Africans, and for Africans (I am only interested in "Africa" as a geographical space, as a physical and territorial delimitation). This is not exactly the case, in a lot of ways, with only very few exceptions.It does not cost little to write in Africa; aside the fact that obvious glamour is not guaranteed to the young writer, there is the absence of intra-African visibility. The concerns, then, I propose, must shift from singular considerations of what is being written to pluralized considerations of how what is being written will be read, understood and contextualized."
Is Africa writing what she wants to write, the way she wants to write it? If she uses Western media, does it affect anything? Does it change the sound of her voice or the slant of her words? Is there a way Africa can be written? Tell me...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For Steve Jobs, for Creatives Everywhere

Steve Jobs may be dead..but his works live with us. They will continue to live with us. Read the top lessons that we think every creative person should learn from him, even as we find our paths.  Live your life, not anybody's. Write your own story, not another person's...only then will the life or the story be yours. Happy new month :)
"The most enduring innovations marry art and science – Steve has always pointed out that the biggest difference between Apple and all the other computer (and post-PC) companies through history is that Apple always tried to marry art and science.  Jobs pointed out the original team working on the Mac had backgrounds in anthropology, art, history, and poetry.  That’s always been important in making Apple’s products stand out. It’s the difference between the iPad and every other tablet computer that came before it or since.  It is the look and feel of a product.  It is its soul. But it is such a difficult thing for computer scientists or engineers to see that importance, so any company must have a leader that sees that importance." 
"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. 
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Monday, October 31, 2011

After the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2011

The winner for 2011 was new writer Phillip Nash. So, yes you can. It does not matter if it is your first story, just keep at it.  It was announced about two months ago. Beyond the stories, we loved his words. And yes, for lack of ideas on what to post at the end of the month *wink wink*
"For me, short stories are like tight-rope walks. Because every word counts, even the tiniest slip can be fatal. "
There are no Nigerian winners this time. The winner for the Africa region was Kenyan,  Martha Basett Buyukah, Kenya. Where are all my Nigerian short story writers? 

Learn more about the Commonwealth Writers Prize here. And yes, there is no longer a Best Book Prize. You plan to apply for the next short story contest, learn about writing short stories for radio here.

"To write an effective short story for radio, you mustconsider everything you want to do in the light of howit will sound.Be careful not to lose or confuse the listener. For example, clarify different speakers.Try to help the listener imagine your story unfolding.They will work with you to ‘see’ your characters and the action, and to feel the setting and the emotion."

Saturday, October 29, 2011


The purpose of fiction is to entertain not to educate. If you want to educate, write nonfiction. This lesson was the most difficult for me to handle. An early editor who read my novel told me that I had written two books in one: a suspense novel and a non-fiction book on comparative religion. I'd always loved the thriller/suspense genre, but I wanted to write one that made people think. I grew up a Tom Clancy fan. I loved how he interwove the technical details of military strategy, espionage, and cool hardware into his thrillers. I wanted to do the same with the topic of religion. The danger with such an approach is that the non-fiction elements can take precedence over the fictional ones. The book can become preachy or, worse, boring. People read fiction to be entertained. It took me many drafts to strike the right balance: a balance that puts primacy on story and character. The educational aspects of the book had to be woven into the story and integral to the plot and the journey my characters take.

Jeffrey Small, author, The Breath of God writes . What do you think? What is the purpose of fiction? Does it have a purpose?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Book N Gauge V: Writing the Nation, Two Writers and Two Performers on their Craft

Nigeria was 51 as an independent country, October 1, 2011. Nigeria’s independence is one that is pregnant with many questions. How independent is the country? This question is one that is also asked in literature today; how independent is Nigerian literature? When it comes to themes, forms and awards? Book N Gauge V will feature conversations with two writers, Sam Omatseye and Chuma Nwokolo and performers Efe Paul Azino  and Jeffrey Jaiyeola aka Plumbline.

Writers & Performers
Chuma Nwokolo, lawyer, writer and the publisher of African Writing magazine. He is author of the poetry collection Memories of Stone, the serial Tales by Conversation, and many novels, including Diaries of a Dead African, the Pulpfaction Club Book of the Month for October. He was writer-in-residence at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Chuma’s writing has been termed as funny yet witty.

Sam Omatseye, poet and writer and frontline columnist with The Nation newspaper. His journey into journalism started in 1987 as reporter with Newswatch. He has won several awards, including the inaugural winner of the Gordon Fisher Fellowship for journalists in the British Commonwealth (1991). He also won the Alfred Friendly Press fellowship (1997). He won the Diamond Award for Media Excellence (2010) and Nigeria Media Merit Award for columnist of the year (2011).  

His latest works ‘Crocodile Girl'; ‘Lion Wind and Other Poems' and ‘In Touch', were published in 2011.
Efe Paul Azino got a rousing ovation after he thrilled the crowd at the last edition of the Book N Gauge. Regarded as one of Nigeria’s leading Spoken Word Poets, Efe Paul has been a headline performer in many performance poetry venues, including Anthill 2.0 and Taruwa.  Efe has delivered Spoken Word Poetry locally and internationally.  Reflecting the suffering in African societies and the hope that keeps them going; Efe Paul’s poems cut across class, social and religious boundaries.  Efe Paul is at once entertaining and thought-provoking; he leads a generation of poets in lifting poetry off the printed page, out of the shadows of academia and placing it right before the audience.

Plumbline studied as a Geo-scientist, rather than digging oil pipes; he “mines” words. Influenced by poets like the late Mamman Vatsa and the late Ken Saro Wiwa, the songwriter and spoken word artist wrote poetry from his secondary school days.  He performs Spoken Word Poetry at most Lagos Events like Wordslam, Anthill, Taruwa and hosts Chill and Relax. His words dash straight through the heart of the audience and leaving them with thoughts, little mementos to take home.

Ruby always knew she was going to sing. Her name is Ngohide Ruby Ann Gyanggyang; everyone calls her Ruby. Her father introduced her to soul music, to the world of Aretha Franklin, Miriam Makeba, Onyeka Onwenu, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Yolanda Adams and Jill Scott. In Jos, she met M.I and Jesse Jagz, who were then both starting out in music. Then Loopy Music started as a group of young people making good music. Together, they recorded and organised popular jam sessions in Jos and Abuja. Ruby's music tells stories of pain, passion, longing and love, of the mystery of life. When she is not making music with her 4-octave range voice, Ruby focuses on providing platforms for “musical expression” for female artistes such as her Diva's Unplugged.

Auction Session: There will be an auction session. What do you get? Latest books that you can only find online. Hot CDs that are yet to be on the streets. The lovely purple Pulpfaction Club T-Shirt. This month, we will support Wana Udobang’s fund raising efforts with 1k for Cancer. 10 percentage of the money off the auction goes towards giving cancer patients a better life.

There are prizes to be won for those who buy our Book of the Month Diaries of a Dead African before the event. To order, call:
  • A one-on-one interaction between authors, performers and readers.
  • A platform for book enthusiasts to meet, interact and network. (Members of PulpFactionClub on Facebook and followers on Twitter would have a grand opportunity to meet).
  • Freebies, lots of it. Let’s start with this. Invite five friends, ensure they come for the event and win a free book.
  • Live Musical performances by: Ruby, Jeffrey Plumbline and Efe Paul Azino.
  • Book signing.
DATE:  29th October, 2011
TIME: STRICTLY 2pm – 5pm
VENUE: Debonair Bookstore, 294, Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo, Yaba.
Remember: Bring five friends and win a free book! Gifts are available for early birds too. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CIPE Essay Contest, 2011

Each year, the Center for International Private Enterprise invites young people to share their ideas on how youth can help strengthen democracy and the private sector. It's that time of the year. 


Students and young professionals aged 18-30.

Length and language
2,000-3,000 words. All essays must be in English.

For winners:
For each category, first, second, and third place authors will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and CIPE will publish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place essays.

Deadline: November 14, 2011

Democratic transitions: Young people and the technology they used to share knowledge and coordinate action were at the core of movements for democracy in Tunisia and Egypt earlier this year. Meanwhile outside of the Middle East, in Southern Sudan, Nepal, and other countries, young people also have opportunities to help power new democracies.

How can youth play a significant role in newly-formed or emerging democracies? Do existing broad-based civil society groups or parties provide youth with opportunities to participate? How might youth in your country form their own groups and voice their concerns and needs as future leaders?

Economically-sustainable development: One of the challenges facing democratic and economic development is making progress economically self-sustaining. Policies and practices that address the sources, not the symptoms, of underdevelopment ensure that momentum builds over time. For development programs to be sustainable on their own, they must have financial and political commitment from local stakeholders.

How can youth take ownership of the most pressing development issues and solutions in your country? What can the next generation do to build democratic and economic development that is self-sustainable for the long run? What can be done to make sure progress is locally-driven, effective, and not dependent on foreign aid?

Corruption: Corruption undermines a fair and open business environment that can provide jobs, opportunities, and tax revenues for a healthy democracy. Often corruption occurs at multiple levels of society, thus making it difficult for businesses and policymakers to curtail it. Without reforming practices and incentives at the root of this problem, corruption hurts business and weakens confidence in political leaders.

How does corruption influence the way business is done in your country? How do nepotism, cronyism, and/or bribery make doing business difficult or more costly? What are some innovative, new initiatives that the next generation should take to address corruption (e.g.: are there ways to change the incentive structure to discourage such behavior)? 

Find out more here

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Teju Cole on Tomas Transtromer, winner, Nobel Prize for Literature, 2011
"There’s a kind of helplessness in many of the poems, the sense of being pulled along by something irresistible and invisible. There are moments of tart social commentary, a sense of justice wounded (“the slum must be inside you”—for many years, Tranströmer worked as a psychologist at an institution for juvenile offenders). There is also in the poems a kind of motionlessness that is indistinguishable from terrific speed, in the same way Arvo Pärt’s music can sound fast and slow at the same time. It’s a good thing I’m unembarrassable about influence, because I realize now how many of Tranströmer’s concepts I have hidden away in my own work...The satisfaction, the pleasure, the comfort one takes in these poems comes from the way they seem to have pre-existed us. Or perhaps, to put it another way, the magic lies in their ability to present aspects of our selves long buried under manners, culture, and language. The poems remember us and, if we are perfectly still, give us a chance to catch sight of ourselves."
Joseph Omotayo on Roses and Bullets
"Literature is good for one thing: it gives equal honour to people to tell their stories. In narrating a story, they are different sides each sub-story presents various individuals. Roses and Bullets shouldn't be condemned for being reflective of the stitches of wounds that scar the bodies of many. My fray though is on the stickiness of a region'sliterature to one side of a war that has been so written to wear and tear. There are other issues people are not talking about. Out of the large heart of the proponent of the war are streaks of the selfishness to rule his people at the cost of guns and gore. There were scores of fragile lots who would never be the same again after the war. There were lots too who sacrificed everything for the war they least know about."
Everything was fine except the fact that he kept on calling Ginika, the main character, Ganika

Introducing Zazugist, the first full pidgin news site in Nigeria
"Anyway na so I open door for Zazu. If you see wetin this my old hungry friend deck put for body and the scent wey follow am, you go understand say government money na Sosorobia. Kai, I begin weep for inside my belle. This na parrot wey I dey grind groundnut for, na im dey talk of dollars and pounds for my face.Anyway, im say im get one kain runs for me and im and some other ogbonge people, from London to America to Jungle City. Say im don serve both dead and living presidos and since im wan begin work for im Six-year term agenda, say im want position imself for internet well well. I come tell am say, well if you want make we do anything for you, our hands suppose clean o and we nor suppose get skeleton for wardrobe. Na so Zazu para for me, kinikan kinikan, me I think say im na murderer abi im na willywilly wey go get skeleton. Anyway sha I come cool am down say wetin im want. Im say im wan begin give naija people, African people and the whole world  gist for pidgin. And im want website wey every-every na pidgin. My brothers and sisters and congregation, na so we see ourselves for this place wey im name Zazugist o. So I don move comot from my old neigbourhood to join Zazu my friend build we country with pidgin o. Make una pray for us o."

Scholarly Research and Social Networking  in Publishing Perspectives
 Social media has the potential to change the overall perception of the inputs and outputs of scholarly research. True?

Robert Coover's "Vampire" in the latest Online Edition of Granta
"He sets off one day on an arduous journey to a remote kingdom, wondering, as the weeks pass, about the wisdom of it. Even the purpose. When he launched forth, he was sure he had a purpose, but by the time he reaches the primitive mountain village at the edge of the wilderness, he can no longer remember it. In fact, he is not certain this was his original destination. Wasn’t he going to the barber shop? It was summertime when he left, but now it is winter and the dead of night and he is alone and dressed only in his golf shirt and orange-and-green checked Bermuda shorts. He is met by villagers, huddled in heavy furs, who stare at him with expressions of dread and horror. He’s a friendly guy, even among strangers, always ready to buy the first round, and he puts his hand out and flashes them his best smile, but they shriek and shrink back, crossing themselves theatrically."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Man Booker Prize 2011: Julian Barnes Wins

Julian Barnes has been declared winner of the Man Booker Prize 2011 with his novel The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape - Random House). 

Barnes has claimed that the Man Booker process "usually produces some psychosomatic malady - a throbbing boil, a burning wire of neuralgia, the prod of gout" in the writer. Abeg get me one big dictionary ;) This should encourage one to keep going! This is the fourth time Barnes work would appear on the long list. 

“It’s easy to read the book innocently, trusting the narrator, believing his account of things, and letting yourself be carried along as by an unthreatening breeze. Maupassant is often called ‘a natural storyteller’: that’s to say, a professional, practised, unnatural storyteller.” (On We Sail in the London Review of Books)

"And sometimes the nature of the writer's oeuvre creates a problem of choice ... Should you choose one of those previously unopened? Or go for one you suspect you misread, or undervalued, at the time? Or one, like Couples, which you might have read for somewhat non-literary reasons?" (The Guardian)

“Books say: She did this because. Life says: She did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren't. I'm not surprised some people prefer books. Books make sense of life. The only problem is that the lives they make sense of are other people's lives, never your own.” (Flaubert’s Parrot)

“He talked about the myth of the writer and how it was not just the reader who became trapped in the myth but sometimes the writer as well – in which case we should feel pity rather than blame. He thought about what hating a writer might mean. How fast and how long do we punish thought-crime? He quoted Auden on time pardoning Kipling for his views – “And will pardon Paul Claudel / Pardon him for writing well.” (Homage to Hemingway, New Yorker)

“It's easy, after all, not to be a writer. Most people aren't writers, and very little harm comes to them.” (Flaubert’s Parrot)

“How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but - mainly - to ourselves.” (The Sense of an Ending)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saraba Mag: Call for Submissions

Saraba Magazine invites writers of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, to contribute to the forthcoming Music Issue. Given that we are exploring a theme that moves, thrills and touches, we expect submissions that are the writer's personal experiences and definitions of Music. We also expect insightful and relevant submissions. We have tiny space for works that touch on other themes.

The Music Issue is our last for the year. The deadline is October 20. Please send submissions via the website