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 fingerprintsubmissions@gmail.com 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 fingerprintsubmissions@gmail.com.

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: cora@coraartfoundation.com or amosa1055@yahoo.co.uk.

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."