Friday, April 29, 2011

Writing Opportunity

Here's an opportunity for playwrights. Seems like a good way to end the month. All the best.

Arterial Network, in association with TeatrNowy in Poland, the National Theatre Studio in London and South Africa’s National Arts Festival and ARTSCAPE Theatre, hereby calls for the submission of scripts by African playwrights living in Africa as part of a project to promote African theatre on the African continent, in Europe and indeed globally.

Aims introduce African theatre-makers (writers, directors and actors) to regional and international theatre markets in a manner that builds and sustains the presence of African theatre in these markets on a medium- to long-term basis; establish formal partnerships and collaborative projects between theatres, festivals and theatre institutions in Europe and Africa in order to learn from each other, influence the content and form of each other’s work and increase global market access for African theatre in particular ; contribute to the emergence and upskillingof new African playwrights, and to provide platforms to project excellent theatre work from Africa to Europe and beyond; engage in debates, research and intellectual and aesthetic rigour through seminars, residencies and exposure to each other’s work as a means of contributing to global and continental debates about the practice and future of theatre-making in an ever-changing, globalised world.

The projected outcomes of this project for 2011 are:
1.the selection of 4-8 African playwrights to participate in dramaturgical workshops at the National Theatre Studio (see );
2.the selection of at least 5 plays for inclusion in an African Play Series publication, a version of which will be produced annually;
3.staged readings of some of the selected work at theatres in Africa and Europe;
4.the selection of at least one play for production in Europe and/or Africa in 2012.


  • Plays may be submitted on any theme, and in any genre, style and language. If the play is not in English, it will be read in its original language.
  • As 2011 marks the initiation of this project, we are not looking for entirely new, un-staged or unpublished work. The aim of the project in 2011 is to identify African playwrights who have the best potential to stage their work in regional and international arenas.
  • All scripts should be typed (no handwritten submissions will be accepted).
  • Submissions are to include the writer’s full name, email address, postal address, country of residence and telephone number (country code, city code and number). Each writer may submit only one script.
  • Submissions may be sent by email to Rebecca Radford (Subject line: African Playwrights’ Project) Submissions may also be sent by post to African Playwrights’ Project, Arterial Network, Union House, 25 Commercial Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.

The deadline is 31 May 2011.

For more information about the partners, visit Arterial Network 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April: Mark Your Calendar

Come watch celebrities read from their favorite book, alongside invited authors! And get the chance to chitchat and network with them, the students and their fans amidst media glitz and grandeur.

Bisila Bokoko (Executive Director, Spain-United States Chamber of Commerce & Founder, Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project)
Ali Baba (Ace Comedian/Doyen of Nigerian Comedy)
Sound Sultan (HipHop and R&B Singer/Recording Artiste)
Andre Blaze (Seasoned VeeJay/Entertainment TV Presenter)

Guest Authors:
Michael Afenfia (Writer/Author of the book 'When the moon caught fire')
Teresa Oyibo Ameh (Children Books Writer & Author of 5 bestselling Children Books)

Live Musical performances by: Deji Williams (UK-based), Melony, Strings, Eleri and Eclipse.

Date - 30th April 2011 
Venue - Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage Str., VI - Lagos. 
Time - 3pm prompt.
Admission Is FREE! RSVP here

Visit Celebrity Read

Debonair Music & Books party
Debonair Bookstore in partnership with Gbagychild Entertainment is pleased to bring you the Debonair Music & Books party. The event will feature musical performances from established & upcoming artistes from Nigeria, Ghana and the UK. We'll release teasers of the artistes on our Facebook page, so become a fan of Debonair Bookstore on Facebook to know more.

The event coincides with the introduction of original CD's and DVD's to Debonair's bouquet of product offerings on it's online bookstore and in-store.

This event is free for fans of Debonair Bookstore! Join Debonair Books on Facebook.

Date: 29 April Time: 6:00 - 9:00pm
Place: Debonair Bookstore,
294 Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo-Yaba
Lagos, Nigeria

Monday, April 25, 2011

Give /Buy a Book...Win Books!

If the government refuses to upgrade the libraries, individuals trying to should be supported...that's what we think. Do you have books you want to get rid of? Here's an opportunity to do it nicely, and get people reading. Happy Easter to the Christian Bookaholics!

..the RAW Opportunity. 

The RAW Book Drive is a community project within Abuja.  Each week, volunteers will drive to a public space within a community in Abuja and spend some time reading short books, encouraging storytelling and playing games. Families from that community will be welcomed to come along and enjoy it all for free. 

We need your support and donations:

  • Books for children, young people and adults as well as picture books. Books should be in good condition and in English.
  • Games/Toys: If you have some board games or toys that you no longer need, please donate them to RAW.
  • Rugs/cushions/bean bags: in reasonable condition.

This is part of RAW’s initiative to inspire a love of books, overcoming the difficulties in areas where there is little or no access to books and to encourage families to support their kids reading. 

How to Donate
Books and games donations can dropped off at: No.18, Usuma Street, off Gana Street or collected from wherever you are. Please encourage friends and colleagues to get involved, collections can also be arranged from offices/compounds. 

If you would like to donate your books and games, or register your interest in volunteering, please email: / call: +234 (0)7060514007. 

...Save The Africa Book Centre
The Africa Book Centre is currently stock-rich, but cash-poor and if this situation isn't reversed over the next month or two, we will be forced to consider closing for good. If you value our service and want us to continue providing a very wide range of books from and about Africa, you can help by buying something from our clearance sale catalogues. They are arranged in five sections: music, language, children's, travel and bargain books. Discounts are from 30% to 70% off usual retail price and there are hundreds of genuine bargains on offer. You will find the sale here or email to or or by

You can also write: 
David C. Brine
Africa Book Centre Ltd.
Preston Park Business Centre
36 Robertson Road
Brighton BN1 5NL

...JALAA Writers' Collective Give-Away
JWC is giving away two copies each of its new titles this April. To win a book, send an email to and tell us which of our authors' previous works was your favourite. Win one of Roses and Bullets, Pride of the Spider Clan, Blackbird or The Runaway Hero. Eight books to be won to kick start your Easter reading frenzy. Winners will be announced on the JALAA Fb wall Thursday 28th April 2011.

What are you waiting for? Start writing! Start buying! Start giving! Get people reading again!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Reminder: Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop

The fifth edition of the creative writing workshop organized by Farafina Trust, is scheduled to hold between June 23 to July 2 2011 in Lagos. Award-winning writer and Farafina author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will be teaching alongside Kenyan writer, Binyavanga Wainaina. The workshop, sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc, will take the form of a class. Participants will learn a lot as they will be assigned a wide range of reading exercises, as well as daily writing exercises. The workshop aims at improving the craft of Nigerian writers and encouraging published and unpublished writers by bringing different perspectives to the art of storytelling. Participation is limited only to those who apply and are accepted.

To apply, send an e-mail to Your e-mail subject should read ‘Workshop Application.’ The body of the e-mail should contain the following:

1. Your Name

2. Your address

3. A few sentences about yourself

4. A writing sample of between 200 and 800 words. The sample must be either fiction or non-fiction.

All material must be pasted or written in the body of the e-mail. Please Do NOT include any attachments in your e-mail. Applications with attachments will be automatically disqualified. Deadline for submissions is April 27 2011. Successful applicants will be notified by June 15 2011. Accommodation in Lagos will be provided for all accepted applicants who are able to attend for the ten-day duration of the workshop. A literary evening of readings, open to the public, will be held at the end of the workshop on July 2, 2011.

More info here

Friday, April 22, 2011


For Nigerians, it's a really long break this weekend; the Easter break till Monday and the Tuesday break for voting. So, here's a list of interesting online reads...enjoy!

Ben Okri Interview in Granta
"You write poetry, essays, short stories, novels . . . How do you choose how you will tell your stories?
It is as if some sleeping self wakes for a moment and expresses a note of wonder Before a novel is born in the mind of the writer, it isn’t a novel. Before a short story is conceived, it isn’t a short story. A poem is often an incomplete swell of feeling, or maybe even just a beat that latches on to a wandering theme. The point I am trying to make is that, before they become what they are, all these forms are an insubstantial swirl of a mood inside us. How often has the mood or an idea of a short story become a novel? Or the mood or idea of a novel become a short story? It is all in its original, pre-creative state. This becomes the germ of an idea, and depending on its inner potential for drawing all sorts of related elements in one consciousness, it will take a certain form. Which form this is depends on the inner magnetism of the idea itself. So I stress the idea of listening – you hear an idea, but what is it? The form of a thing doesn’t reveal itself in the import of its creation, or even in the nature of its unfolding. Sometimes things are grown way beyond their destiny and sometimes things are under-nurtured and abbreviated. So I think one of the most difficult things in a writer’s life is knowing what a thing ought to be."

"Will a pipeline leak one day kill off his old growth hardwood trees, foul his three natural springs, and poison the deer now roaming his land? If TransCanada’s checkered history is any guide, it’s a real possibility. Energy kills. In Japan. In the Gulf. In Appalachian mines. And in the Corn Flake capital of the world. If Winnsboro, East Texas, is added to the list, it won’t be a surprise, not to David Daniel anyway. He knows what we all know now: in the hands of corporations whose only concern is profit, energy is ugly."

Story South, Best Online Stories in 2010, Igoni Barrett;s story "I am Joy" in Fox Chase Review was mentioned (excerpt below).  

"She is drunk, he isn’t. Her weight on his arm is what causes him to stumble every few steps, to walk lopsided, like his broken wing is dragging in the dust. Her heels clatter on the asphalt: clak-a-clak-a-clak. When he stumbles she teeters, her hands fly out and claw his arm, his shoulder, his neck. Her mouth jerks open, ejects noises that turn to laughter. His anger has become a raw taste in the back of his throat—each time her fingers rake his skin, each time her beer-breath washes over his face, he feels the sourness eat deeper into his oesophageal lining. He endures. With each wave of anger he overcomes he feels himself become a stronger man, a better person.

Drunk or not, he will fuck her this morning."

Seun Kuti's Interview in Guardian UK (We love the writer's style, really nice! It feels like you were in the room when he had the interview. )

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

...On Translation

Kola Tubosun starts an interesting discourse here and it has kept me wondering. Every writer wants to be a part of the world. However there are questions that have to be answered. Many of them are raised by Kola Tubosun:

"What is lost in translation? What remains? How authentic is that product of translation in representing the original thought of the writer? Who makes the call of how translations should turn out? How much is taking too much liberties with original ideas? Where does translation end and improvisation/adaptation begin?" 

One thing that I know is that it's either translation enhances a work or it kills it. Yeah but how do you know if all you are reading is the translation? How does the writer know that the translator did justice to their work when they don't understand the language? These are some questions on my mind....what do you think?

Monday, April 18, 2011

CALL FOR SUBMISSION: Antoloji of Naija Puems

Interesting concept here. Poems in pidgin.

Arojah Concepts, an Abuja based edutainment outfit in collaboration with SOMETIN FO EVRIBODI has concluded plans to publish an Antoloji of Naija Puems (Poems in Nigerian Pidgin) and thereby wishes to invite interested Nigerians to send in their entries.

The anthology which will be released in the third quarter of the year is part of efforts by the organizers, in collaboration with the Naija Langwej Akademi and the Institute Francaise de Recherche en Afrique au
Nigeria (IFRA Nigeria) to promote writings in Naija Langwej (aka Nigerian Pidgin) which is growing steadily across the country. Interested Nigerians/Poets are expected to send in their entries in accordance with the following guidelines;

- Between 3 – 5 poems written purely in Naija langwej (pidgin English).
- Each of the five poems must not be more than 2 typed pages
- Typed with font size 14 (point) Garamond
- Must be original and never published
- Poets/poems are free to explore any theme/subject of their choice.
- Poems are free to offer an appraisal of the relationship and cultures of Nigeria and other cultures.
- Entries should include contact details of Poets.
- Allentries in MS word should be mailed to or
- All entries must be received on or before Friday 29th of April 2011

* Ten poems will be selected from all the entries received and the Poets will receive various categories of prizes in appreciation of their creativity.

For further enquiries: 0803 453 0786, 08080900813

Friday, April 15, 2011


With a root in the Latin word stylus which is "a pointed instrument used for writing." Today, "style" has taken on so many meanings which includes "the way in which something is said, done, expressed, or performed.". Often equated with figures of speech, it is also usually said that each writer has his or her own style.

What does it mean to write "with style"? Is style a quality that writers have in them, a gift? Is it something they learn? Does it grow over time? Can a style ever be good or bad--or is it more a matter of taste? We found some definitions from some old masters.

  • "People think that I can teach them style. What stuff it all is! Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style." (Matthew Arnold)
  • "A man's style should be like his dress. It should be as unobtrusive and should attract as little attention as possible." (C. E. M. Joad)
  • "When we see a natural style, we are astonished and delighted; for we expected to see an author, and we find a man." (Blaise Pascal)
  • "The essence of a sound style is that it cannot be reduced to rules--that it is a living and breathing thing with something of the devilish in it--that it fits its proprietor tightly yet ever so loosely, as his skin fits him. It is, in fact, quite as seriously an integral part of him as that skin is. . . . In brief, a style is always the outward and visible symbol of a man, and cannot be anything else." (H.L. Mencken)
  • "You do not create a style. You work, and develop yourself; your style is an emanation from your own being."  (Katherine Anne Porter)
  • "What's important is the way we say it. Art is all about craftsmanship. Others can interpret craftsmanship as style if they wish. Style is what unites memory or recollection, ideology, sentiment, nostalgia, presentiment, to the way we express all that. It's not what we say but how we say it that matters." (Federico Fellini)
  • "Proper words in proper places, make the true definition of style." (Jonathan Swift)
  • "The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time. It pays off slowly, your agent will sneer at it, your publisher will misunderstand it, and it will take people you have never heard of to convince them by slow degrees that the writer who puts his individual mark on the way he writes will always pay off." (Raymond Chandler)

What is style to you? How important is it to writing?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

UN GOI Peace Essay Contest

As today’s young people are crucial for the shaping of our future, it is imperative that they are enabled to develop to their full potential. UNESCO’s objective is to help empower young people, reaching out to them, responding to their expectations and ideas, and fostering useful and long-lasting skills. This annual essay contest is organized in an effort to harness the energy, imagination and initiative of the world's youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world.

Many people experience inner change that motivates them to create a better world.
Please share your story of inspiration that has affected your life and changed you to make a change in the world.

  • Essays may be submitted by anyone up to 25 years old (as of June 30, 2011) in one of the following age categories:
  • Children (ages up to 14) b) Youth (ages 15 - 25)
  • Essays must be 800 words or less in English, French, Spanish or German; or 1600 characters or less in Japanese, typed or printed.
  • Entries may be submitted by postal mail or online

DEADLINE: Entries must be received by June 30, 2011.

AWARD: The following awards will be given in the Children’s category and Youth category respectively:
1st Prize: Certificate and prize of 100,000 Yen (approx. US$1,200) ... 1 entrant
2nd Prize: Certificate and prize of 50,000 Yen (approx. US$600) ... 2 entrants
3rd Prize: Certificate and gift ... 5 entrants
Honorable Mention: Certificate and gift 
... 25 entrants
* 1st prize winners will be invited to the award ceremony in Tokyo, Japan scheduled for November 2011. (Travel expenses will be covered by the organizers.)

More info here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Give Out Books...

Hope the week has started well. You found time to vote and rest before Monday? Celebrity Read needs your help. Not big help like that, they need your old books. Through them, you may educate a child you may never meet. Is that not what true kindness is? Helping people who cannot reciprocate?

At every edition of CelebrityRead Africa, books are donated to participating schools, needy kids and the children of the dustbin estate (LOTS). If you have some gently used books and are willing to give them away, donate books to needy kids & share the power of reading today!

More info here, here and here

Here's your opportunity to change a life, to reach out. Make use of it! Have a great week!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Theatre@Terra: Anatomy of a Woman

Wole Oguntokun ’s Renegade Theatre presents in the Theatre@Terra, "Anatomy of a Woman". What does an African Woman really want? Money? Security? Children? Power? Love? A mix and match of all above? Renegade Theatre takes a humorous look at gender relations, the frictions and the fall-outs. 

Starring Eyimife Gold Ikponmwosa; Precious Anyanwu; Ijeoma Grace Agu; Kanayo Larry Okani and Austine Onuoha.

Date: Every Sunday in April 2011
Time(s): 3pm & 6pm
Venue: Terra Kulture
Tickets: N2500

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Writing Quote

Typing your own manuscript for submission is a lot like dressing to see that old lover who left you five years ago —Ira Wood

In his novel, The Kitchen Man, Wood expands the simile as follows:
“Ready to walk out the door you stop one last time at the mirror, just to be sure they’re going to regret what they walked out on. Well, maybe the belt is wrong, you think, throwing it on the bed, pulling out another. No, these old shoes won’t do, too dowdy. After an hour, you’re stripped to your socks and in tears, absolutely sure now that you are the perfect mess they said you were. And so your manuscript will be if you don’t fight every urge to better every sentence."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Writing News: Man Booker

Thirteen writers have made it on to the judges' list of finalists under serious consideration for the fourth Man Booker International Prize, the £60,000 award which recognises one writer for his or her achievement in fiction.

The authors come from eight countries, five are published in translation and there are four women on the list. One writer has previously won the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction and two have been shortlisted. Famously, another, John le Carré, asked that his books should not be submitted for the annual prize to give less established authors the opportunity to win.

The thirteen authors on the list are:

* Wang Anyi (China)
* Juan Goytisolo (Spain)
* James Kelman (UK)
* John le Carré (UK)
* Amin Maalouf (Lebanon)
* David Malouf (Australia)
* Dacia Maraini (Italy)
* Rohinton Mistry (India/Canada)
* Philip Pullman (UK)
* Marilynne Robinson (USA)
* Philip Roth (USA)
* Su Tong (China)
* Anne Tyler (USA) 

The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2011 consists of writer, academic and rare-book dealer Dr. Rick Gekoski (Chair), publisher, writer and critic Carmen Callil, and award-winning novelist Justin Cartwright.

More information here and here

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Calls for Submission

We wish to call for submissions for the sixth issue of the Sentinel Nigeria Magazine. We are accepting submissions in the genres of prose, poetry, drama and translations.

Send no more than six poems or a story under 5,000 words to together with a 100 word bio and a jpeg format profile photograph. We are also interested in receiving literature written in indigenous Nigerian languages {together with translations} as well as those written in French from francophone West Africa. African writers from elsewhere may also send in submissions for our Safariscope feature.

Submissions for the sixth issue will end at noon on April 14, 2011.

Send in the best copies of your best work to increase your chances of being accepted. Our emphasis is on quality writing, irrespective of reputation, paying no attention to quantity.

Further enquiries should be directed to

Gristlounge Calls for Submissions

GriotsLounge, the publishing arm of Yagazie Media, is on a hunt. We’re looking for young and talented writers to publish. Only young and talented!

In a bid to achieve our dream of publishing the best from the ordinary, we have decided to promote our West African unpublished authors. Our dream is to promote lovable writings, so that publishing houses will call for them. So, from today till life stops, we shall be on the hunt for the raw and young.

Will you be one?

More info here