Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Royal Commonwealth Society Competitions 2012

The Royal Commonwealth Society’s annual Young Commonwealth Competitions encourage young people to use writing, film and photography to respond creatively to global challenges.

2012 marks the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her 60th year as Head of the Commonwealth. To celebrate this very special occasion, for one year only, all entries into our Young Commonwealth Competitions will become part of the world’s biggest history project, the Commonwealth Jubilee Time Capsule. Take part in our competitions in 2012 and your entry will join 22,000 others – one for each day that Her Majesty has been Head of the Commonwealth – in the Capsule. Your memories - the untold stories of millions of ordinary and extraordinary lives - are the story of the modern Commonwealth.

Young Commonwealth Competitions
In 2012, all our competitions will be based on the Commonwealth theme, ‘Connecting Cultures’. All entries must relate to a single day in the last 60 years since Her Majesty ascended to the throne on 6th February 1952. All entries must be your own original work. Every year, over 50,000 young people take part in this prestigious awards scheme. Our Young Commonwealth Competitions come with some great prizes, and in 2012 you’ll be eligible for Jubilee Time Capsule prizes too!

DEADLINE for all competitions: 1ST MAY 2012

Run by the RCS since 1883, this is the world’s oldest and largest schools’ writing competition. To enter, you must be aged 18 or under on 1st May 2012. You must also be a national of, or living in, a Commonwealth country. On the first page of your entry, please write your name, age, topic number and the date you have chosen to write about.

How do I enter? To enter the essay competition, you must pick a day between 6th February 1952 and the present. Then, using one of the topics in the grey box as your inspiration, tell us about what happened on that day. You might like to think about why that day was important to you, your family, or your community. The event must not be fictional, but we encourage you to be creative in the way you share the story.
commonwealth essay competition

Pick a day From 6th February 1952 to the present.

Then, using one of the topics below, tell us about what happened!

1. The day I wore my best clothes.
2. A feast or a festival.
3. An interview with an adult about a significant day in their life.
4. A day's journey.
5. A birth OR a wedding OR a funeral.
6. My response to an event that made the news headlines.
7. A sporting event.
8. The day I met my hero/heroine.

How long should my essay be? If you are aged between 14 and 18 on 1st May 2012, please write between 1,200 and 1,750 words. If you are aged under 14 on 1st May 2012, please write between 300 and 700 words.

Thousands of young people from around the world enter every year, but the winners are often those picking up a camera or putting pen to paper for the first time. What we look for is a creative spark, a unique insight or a bold idea.

In 2012, all essays, photos and films will be entered into the Jubilee Time Capsule. For one year only, your chance of winning a prize is doubled!

By entering the Young Commonwealth Competitions, you could:

• See your Jubilee Time Capsule entry presented to Her Majesty the Queen in 2012.
• Win a certificate, cash or photographic equipment.
• Win resources for your school.
• Be flown to London.
• Be invited to meet famous authors, film directors and photographers; take part in expert workshops to learn new skills; and do work experience at international organisations.
• See your entry exhibited around the Commonwealth and featured in worldwide media.

How to submit your entries

Online: Please upload your entries to
By post: Each postal entry must be accompanied by an entry form

Directly to us: FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, 25 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5AP, UK

Americas/Caribbean: FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, The British Council, 19 St. Clair Avenue, St. Clair, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Africa: FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, Baobab College, PO Box 350099, Chilanga, Zambia. OR, FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, The British High Commission, P.O Box 296, Accra, Ghana

Asia: FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, The British High Commission, 185 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Pacific: FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, The British High, Commission, PO Box 1812, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

For inquiries:

For submissions: click here


Monday, February 27, 2012

iRead: Romance on the Bookshelf Part 4

We are now concluding our iRead: Romance on the Bookshelf series today (shed a tear!)..we hoped you enjoyed it. And to say goodbye we are leaving you with a short story and novel excerpt from Lara Daniels

Thorns with Roses
I once attended a wild party where I had an unusual encounter. It came in the form of a one night stand.
I was a twenty-two year old student, sent to the US to get my MBA so I could take over my father’s thriving business someday. My girlfriend whom I’d whimsically thought would become my future wife decided to break up with me on that same night, leaving me for some white boy. I was angry, so angry that I drank myself to a stupor and demanded right then that Wale, my closest friend and designated safe driver for the night take me back to his place, since it was closer to the party’s venue.
I woke up the next morning in Wale’s bed to find a naked woman beside me. From the sweaty smells and my clothes littering the floor, I knew we’d had sex, even though I had no recollection of the act.
Read the rest of this tale at Radical Chic 

Love at Dawn
By Lara Daniels

Love at Dawn is the romance-suspense tale of forgiveness and redemption set in Lara Daniels’ fictional country of Zamzudan in East Africa. It is the first of four sequels to Love in paradise. It narrates the love story of Tory Da-Silva ( a beauty born into a family of privilege)  and Rashad Macaulay ( a man born into poverty, yet rising literally from grass to riches).
Tory Da-Silva meets broody Rashad Macaulay for the first time and vows to make him hers. However, the price she’ll pay for this quest will carry consequences of shame and guilt. Nine years later, temperamental Tory  becomes a fiery beauty and multimillionaire Rashad cannot fight his deep desires for her. All seems set for Tory’s dream to come true. But there is a  dark secret she keeps from Rashad that may be the one thing that could tear them apart – all which makes for a good suspense within a romance novel.
This novel was described as an emotional roller coaster by Myne Whitman, author of a heart to mend. It has also received top positive reviews from US Review of books, from top African blogger – Tolu Popoola (aka Favored girl) and from editors of African Goddess online. Even the editor s at Penguin books south Africa described it as “Readable and well-engaging”.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Calls for Submission: 4th FEMRITE Regional Women Writers Residence

Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE) calls for submissions for her 4th Regional Women Writers Residence to be held in November 2012. This is an inspiring initiative that brings together upcoming African women writers. The main objectives of the residency are:

- To bring established writers to mentor upcoming African women writers
- To give upcoming Ugandan women writers the opportunity to interact with women writers from the continent
- To give African women writers conducive space and time pursue their writing projects
- To create opportunities for inter-cultural discourse among women writers
- To strengthen collaboration among women writers initiatives in Africa
- To generate short stories for publication in an anthology

At the end of the residence, we expect the writers to have:
1. had mentoring sessions with an established writer
2. improved at least one of their writing projects
3. enriched each other's manuscripts through discussion
4. submitted their improved short story for the residency anthology

Interested women are required to submit;
1. Part of a novel / short Story collection in WORD document (40 pages, typed in Times New Roman, font 12, 1.5 spacing).
2. A short story for publication in the residency anthology
3. A brief bio (not more than 10 lines)
This call is open to African women living on the continent. Writers already attached to writers groups in their countries are encouraged to apply.
Deadline for submissions is 30th April 2012

Please Note:
1. All applicants will receive notification by email once their manuscripts are received.
2. The Residency targets 15 writers
3. The Residency will last two weeks in November 2012
4. Successful applicants will be notified by 30th August 2012.
5. Successful published applicants will be kindly requested to donate copies of their works to the FEMRITE Resource Centre
6. Applicants should not have published more than one book.
7. FEMRITE will solicit support to meet costs of travel, accommodation, & meals.
For inquiries and submissions, please email

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Calls for Submission: The NLNG Prize for Literature (Prose) 2012

Last year's edition saw Mai Nasara smiling to the bank $100, 000 richer after his children's book The Missing Clock clinched the first prize. Who would it be this time around?

Entries are hereby invited for The Nigeria Prize for Literature. The yearly literary prize is endowed by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) to honour the author of the best book by a Nigerian within the last four years.
The prize will rotate amongst four literary genres – prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. This year, the competition is for Prose Fiction.

The competition is open only to published works by Nigerian writers irrespective of place of residence. It carries a prize of $100,000. Two other writers may also be accorded honourable mention.

Submission Procedure
Six copies of the entry together with evidence of Nigerian citizenship (photocopy of Nigerian passport or National Identity Card) may be submitted either by authors or publishers, in accordance with the genre in competition.

Books should be submitted to Nigeria LNG Limited’s External Relations Division, promoters of the prize, by the stipulated deadline. Failure to meet the stated conditions will lead to disqualification of the entry.
This being an annual prize, the date of publication on the works submitted must be within the previous three years. Complete contact information, including full postal address and/or email and evidence of Nigerian citizenship, should accompany each submission.

An author in any competition will enter only one published work. Manuscripts will not be considered. No book previously submitted for this competition may be resubmitted at a later date, even if major revisions have been made or a new edition published.

The prize will be awarded for no other reason than excellence.

Judges for 2012 competition
Prof. Abiola Irele – Chairperson
Prof. JOJ Nwachukwu-Agbada – Member
Prof. Sophia Ogwude – Member
Prof. Angela Miri – Member
Prof. Oyeniyi Okuneye – Member
Calendar for Prize Administration
Close of entries (deadline) – March 31, 2012. Late entries will not be entertained.

All entries should be sent to:
The Nigeria Prize for Literature
External Relations Division
Nigeria LNG Limited
Intels Aba Road Estate
KM 16 Aba Expressway
Port Harcourt, Rivers State

For entries outside Nigeria:
The Nigeria Prize for Literature
External Relations Division
Heron House,
10 Dean Farrar Street
More information here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

iRead: Romance on the Bookshelf Part 3

Our penultimate edition features two hot reads by Netty Ejike.

Stormy Affair by Netty Ejike
Is she going to be his undoing?
Their love life was wonderful and intense. Magical.
But while billionaire Miles Sanderson believed in pleasures with no strings attached, naïve Brooke Wilde believed in love, marriage, and children.
Though so different, they were inexplicably drawn to each other from the beginning.
But when Miles broke his cardinal rule by falling in love, he realized it was time to end the relationship. Only he had no idea just how much that would cost him…
Read an excerpt

An Impious Proposal by Netty Ejike An accident brought them together, a proposal forced them apart.
After their explosive meeting, Somadina, a religious aspirant, was surprised that a friendship developed between her and Ikem, the haughty multimillionaire whose car she’d bashed.
So when a problem cropped up in her family, she naturally sought help from him.
But she least expected the impious proposal he made to her in return, forcing her to make choices she wouldn’t have ordinarily dreamt of.
Heaven help her…
Read an excerpt

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Journalism Competition: Young People, Farming and Food

In the run-up to our international conference on Young People, Farming and Food in March, we are running a competition to find the best media reporting in Africa on young people and agriculture.

This competition aims to encourage young and early career journalists and media specialists (between ages 18-40) to investigate the challenges and opportunities associated with young people’s engagement in agriculture, to showcase success stories and best practices that can be replicated, and to raise awareness on the important role of young people in agriculture and rural development.

The competition is open to all media and communication professionals (either print, broadcast or electronic) who are nationals of African states and are from established media houses, private and public sector organisations (e.g. government ministries), and non-governmental organisations including farmer organisations. Either printed or audio entries are invited.


Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC), in collaboration with the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, is organising an international conference to debate research findings and policy options around the theme “Young People, Farming & Food: the Future of the Agrifood Sector in Africa.” The conference will take place 19-21 March 2012 in Accra, Ghana. See for further information.

This competition aims to encourage young and early career journalists and media specialists (between ages 18-40) to investigate the challenges and opportunities associated with young people’s engagement in agriculture, to showcase success stories and best practices that can be replicated, and to raise awareness on the important role of young people in agriculture and rural development.

The competition is open to all media and communication professionals (either print, broadcast or electronic) who are nationals of African states and are from established media houses, private and public sector organisations (e.g. government ministries), and non-governmental organisations including farmer organisations.

Entries should be original pieces and demonstrate realities on the ground. The piece should be based on case studies/information from the country or region in which the journalist/media specialist operates. Applicants must submit their entry in English only by email. Entries should be submitted to and copied to

Your journalistic piece must reach the organisers by no later than February 23, 2012 to be considered for inclusion in the competition.

In Africa, policy interest in the linking young people to agriculture focuses almost exclusively on the challenge of keeping young people in rural areas and engaged in farming. This approach ignores important drivers, trends and developments that are impacting on both young people’s aspirations and the structure of the agrifood sector. In the coming years the agrifood sector in Africa will undergo significant transformation that will result in both challenges and opportunities for young people, depending on who and where they are. Perhaps most importantly, the agrifood sector will become an increasingly important source of formal employment for young people, with a significant expansion of employment opportunities in food marketing, processing, retail, catering, research, input sales etc. These jobs will generally require higher levels of education and different skills, and many will be located in or near urban areas.

Your journalistic piece should correspond to one or more of the three main crosscutting themes of the Conference:

1. Education and training: Investment in human resource development is crucial for the growth of a modern, dynamic agrifood sector. Agriculture has had a place in rural primary and secondary school curricula for many years, and throughout Africa there are university departments covering all aspects of agriculture and food science. Are these education and training activities presently delivering the kind and quality of teaching and learning that will transform the agrifood sector? What is the evidence that they are motivating young people and preparing them for careers in the agrifood sector? Are there examples of particularly innovative approaches to curriculum development and delivery? What are the good/best practices or failures in practice or policy? What are the knowledge gaps and what research is needed to fill them?

2. Micro-enterprise development: Under- and unemployment of rural youth in sub-Saharan Africa is high and carries significant personal, social and economic costs. One common response on the part of policy makers and development organisations is to promote job creation through micro-enterprise development within the agrifood sector. What is the evidence that the training and micro-credit associated with these programmes results in sustainable employment? How
important is access to markets and other infrastructure for the success of these projects? Which young people are best placed to benefit from these programmes? What are the success stories or failures in practice or policy? What are the knowledge gaps and what research is needed to fill them?

3. The youth bulge - the salvation of African agriculture? The 'youth bulge' - that is, the high proportions of young people in the African population - can be seen as an opportunity as much as a threat. In particular, young people are sometimes seen as the salvation of the agricultural sector which, across the continent, is the primary source of employment, food and income. Do rural policies coincide with the aspirations of young people? What aspects of the agrifood industry broadly (from on-farm activity to off-farm businesses) are young people interested in? For those young people already involved in the agrifood sector - as entrepreneurs, as employees - what do they hope to gain from their involvement in the sector? How does the propensity for young people to migrate and/or move back and forth between urban and rural spaces affect the way agriculture features in their lives?


Each candidate will submit only one print (in word doc or docx format) or audio piece (in mp3 format) from any African country. Any accompanying photos for print articles should be sent as jpegs. The title and the name of the author should be clearly written on the cover page to the piece, or details included in email with audio piece. The deadline for receipt of submissions is 17 February, 2012. Note: if you have difficulty submitting your audio piece by email, you can use
YouSendit ( or a similar free internet service. All applications should submit a short biographical note including name and full contact details; email address, telephone number(s), postal address, town, country, and a scanned photocopy of the applicant’s identification card or passport (as proof of age). Entries received after 17 February will not be considered. Notification of approved selections will be announced on Monday 5th March,

A panel of judges from Future Agriculture Youth theme and Communication Coordinator,
WRENmedia, and the media will review entries and make their recommendations to the International Steering Committee for the Conference. The pieces should demonstrate that the author(s) understand the issues as well as the potential of young people in agricultural and rural development. The main selection criteria for the pieces are:

• Originality and quality of analysis;
• Creativity;
• Relevance and responsiveness to development challenges;
• Quality of language (engaging writing style, good spelling and grammar, etc.);
• Presence of bibliography and/or other relevant references;
• Respect of the prescribed format:
♦ Number of words/duration - Print: max 1,200 words. Audio pieces should not exceed 5 minutes.
♦ Print format: Font : Arial size 11 - Line spacing: 1.5
• NB: Additional points will be awarded to journalist/media specialists whose pieces are published or broadcasted in national, regional or international news outlets before the deadline for submission. The date of publication must be included on the submission as only original pieces that have been prepared after the announcement of this call will be considered.


The best print and best audio journalistic piece will be selected using established criteria. The top two finalists will be announced on March 5, 2012 by email or phone. These two finalists will be fully supported to attend the international conference on Young People, Farming & Food at the University of Ghana, Accra. They will also each be awarded with a certificate of recognition during the conference. In addition, they will be invited to report on sessions during the conference. Besides the winning entries, the top ten selected pieces will be published and promoted regionally, internationally and on the FAC website.

FAC reserves the right to disqualify any entry if it does not meet the contest criteria and present regulations;

♦ By entering, participants warrant that their print/audio materials are original and do not infringe on any third party's rights;
♦ Entry to the contest constitutes an agreement to allow FAC to make articles/audio pieces, name, occupation and state of residence of applicants, public.
♦ In addition it constitutes an agreement to allow FAC to use the material in its publications and in the framework of promotional activities. Applicants will retain ownership and all other rights to future use of their texts;
♦ FAC will not be able to return submitted articles / audio to their authors;
♦ If, for any reason, the competition is not completed as planned, FAC reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend it; ♦ The decisions made by the panel of judges are final and beyond dispute;
♦ All participants in this competition implicitly accept the rules presented in this document.

For inquiries:
For submissions: and copied to

Friday, February 17, 2012

Commonwealth Lecture 2012 with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Commonwealth Foundation is honoured to announce that the 15th Commonwealth Lecture will be delivered by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In the magnificent setting of the Guildhall in the heart of the City of London, Chimamanda will be speaking on the 2012 Commonwealth Theme: ‘Connecting Cultures’.
Born in Nigeria, Chimamanda is the author of two novels, Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her most recent book was The Thing Around Your Neck, a collection of stories, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in Africa. She is the recipient of a 2008 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She was named one of the twenty most important fiction writers today under 40 years old by The New Yorker.

‘Connecting Cultures’ celebrates the diverse mix of people across the Commonwealth united with shared values and vision. Together, these 54 nations represent over two billion people of different faiths and ethnicities, where cultural expression is an essential means of identity and exchange.

Date: Thursday 15 March 2012, 6.30pm

Venue: Guildhall, Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HH

Book your ticket here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Farafina/ABC Literary Cafe Call for New African Writing Enters Second Phase

The first phase of the New African Writing initiative is almost over, with fifteen of the best entries selected for review. We now announce the start of the second phase, and for writers who did not get a chance to submit the first time, this is another opportunity. Kachifo Limited and ABC Literary Cafe once again call on emerging African writers to send in their submissions.

The submission instructions are same as before. Send in your short stories of not more than 5,000 words to, and include your name, email address and phone number. Please note that nonfiction entries and stories over 5,000 words will not be considered. Also, writers are not allowed to send in more than one entry; where they do, we will accept the first and disregard any others. The deadline for this phase is midnight on the 19th of February. From the entries submitted in this second phase, another fifteen of the best will be selected and critiqued by our panel of esteemed writers. Writers who sent in submissions for the first phase are free to participate again, provided they send in a different entry.
New African Writing is aimed at promoting and showcasing new writing out of Africa, and as part of this initiative, Doreen Baingana will be hosting a session at The Life House on February 17, where she will talk about writing and give writing tips and lessons for emerging writers, read from her work and answer questions from the audience. Doreen won the 2006 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the AWP Award in Short Fiction for her book, Tropical Fish. She was also a two-time finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing.

Monday, February 13, 2012

iRead: Romance on the Bookshelf Part 2

This week we bring you a double dose of romance from Empi Baryeh...One for the month of February and the second is out in March.

Empi Baryeh’s debut novel titled Most Eligible Bachelor published by Evernight Publishing on February 3, 2012.

Most Eligible Bachelor
Magazine columnist Chantelle Sah doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day—not since her fiancé’s betrayal three years ago—and after botching her first assignment as a feature writer, she’s more than willing to put in a hard day’s work this Valentine’s Day; even if it means going on a date with gorgeous construction Tycoon, Lord McKenzie, and opening herself to an onslaught of all things love.
When Lord—his given name, not a title—sets his sights on Chantelle, it isn’t just work he has on his mind. But even he couldn’t have predicted the magnetic attraction between them when they meet, nor the evening ending with more than an interview. Now he has to convince Chantelle that their one-night stand wasn’t a mistake. Can he win her love without revealing a secret from their night of passion, which could prove fatal for both their hearts?
Read an excerpt

She also has a second book out on 17 March 2012 titled Chancing Faith published by Black Opal Books.
Chancing Faith
American ad exec, Thane Aleksander, doesn’t date co-workers either—until business takes him to Ghana, West Africa, and he meets Naaki. Now he’s at risk of breaking all the rules. Can he stop this headlong fall before it’s too late?
Naaki Tabika has a burning need to prove, to herself and others, that she’s more than wife and mother material. To do so, she’s prepared to give up everything for her job. Meeting Thane, however, makes her want to get personal. But falling for her boss could destroy her career. Will she be willing to risk it all for the one thing that can make her truly happy?
Two divergent cultures, two different races, two career-driven professionals, only one chance at true love—will they find the faith to take it, or will their hearts be sacrificed on the altar of financial success?
You can find out more about Empi’s books via her blog.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Book A Seat at The Emotion Book Party

The Emotion Book party is born out of the great need to marry intellectualism with entertainment, while at the happy end promote the reading culture in Nigeria. It is a brainchild of The Emotion book club, a literary organization strongly bent on building the leaders of tomorrow through books.We believe Nigeria is encountering problems socially, politically and economically because the Nigerian society is either
misinformed or rather not informed at all. The Emotion Book Party Takes Over is a great platform for the Nigerian public to be informed about books and its informative capability. That is why we are enjoining Nigerians local and abroad to join us in taking over streets and homes with the Good news of The Emotion Book Party.

The Emotion Book Party will be featuring the following speakers:
Muhtar Bakare [Farafina Books, Lagos] Publishing: A Nation Builder
Steve Shaba[Kraft Books] Publishing : A Nation Builder
Hyginus Ekwuazi [Author, I have Miles To walk Before I Sleep, Winner ANA/CADBURY PRIZE 2010] The Gatekeepers: Writing For The World
Ayodele Olofintuade [Author, Eno's Story; Best Three Shortlist NLNG PRIZE 2011] The Impact Of Children's Literature On Adults

Guest Reviewer: Babatunde Onikoyi [To Review I Do Not Come To You By Chance by Tricia Nwaubani, Winner Commonwealth Best Book 2010]

Entertainment: Comedy Sketch, Poetry Performance by Rhyme House, Solo Music Performances by our Guest Artistes, Refreshments, Special Gifts for the first twenty people to arrive event venue and so on and so

Date: February 17, 2012
Venue: Arts Theater, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
Time: 1pm.
Gate Fee: FREE.

As we have limited seats for the expected large audience, we are making seats open to the interested public before hand. Mail your Name and your contact information to We will confirm your seat within 48 hours of receipt.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

iDebate: Thandie Newton as Olanna in Half of A Yellow Sun

We were so excited to hear that Half of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was going to be made into a movie. The gist now is that Thandie Newton (who is African but not Nigerian) would be playing the lead role of Olanna. Some people have been saying that a Nollywood cast should be used rather than Hollywood big names. Is it more about local content or expertise or is it even a "business" decision? What do you think?

Screen Daily reports that producers Andrea Calderwood ("The Last King of Scotland," "Generation Kill") and Gail Egan ("Happy-Go-Lucky," "The Constant Gardener") have fully financed, thanks to help from both Nigerian private equity and the British Film Instute, their adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's bestselling novel "Half of a Yellow Sun." The novel, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007, is set during the Nigerian-Biafran War of 1967-1970, when the south of Nigeria attempted to secede and form their own country, the Republic of Biafra, and tracks a revolutionary university professor, his lover, her sister, a British ex-pat, and their houseboy, who are cought up in the conflict across the 1960s. Nigerian playwright Biyi Bandele, who's had a number of successes on the London stage, including his adaptation of seminal post-colonial novel "Things Fall Apart," is making his directorial debut with the project, and he's assembled quite an impressive cast, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dominic Cooper and Thandie Newton all locked into the film. The trade don't have a firm word on who each is playing, but our guess is that Ejiofor will play university professor Odenigbo, Newton his lover, Olanna, and Cooper will play Richard, a British ex-pat in Nigeria to study.

It's a pretty terrific cast, not least a rare lead role for Ejiofor, one of our favorite working actors, while the presence of Cooper hot off "The Devil's Double" and "Captain America: The First Avenger" will undoubtedly help the film internationally. Filming starts in March, before Ejiofor segues to Steve McQueen's "Twelve Years A Slave," so we're unlikely to see this before 2013, but it certainly seems to be a film to keep an eye on.

Source: Indiewire

Monday, February 6, 2012

iRead: Romance on the Bookshelf Part 1

In the spirit of love, here is a double helping of romance from Myne Whitman.


When Efe Sagay receives a transfer to the branch of a prestigious hotel chain in the Nigerian capital, she accepts it, happy to return home to family after years in the United States. Also, Nigeria is a big place, right? There should be nothing about her new city, Abuja, to remind her of the heartbreak of her relationship with ex-fiancé, Kevwe Mukoro.
However, Efe is facing Kevwe across an office seven months later, swamped by emotions she’d thought were dead. When Kevwe claims he’s never stopped loving her, and asks why she abandoned him, Efe stomps off, incensed! Wasn’t it the other way around?
But they are unable to stay away from each other, and buried desire flares. Ultimately, passion is no match for the bitter memories of broken promises. Efe and Kevwe have to resolve the traumatic events of the past before love can be rekindled.

View all the free excerpts, click HERE.


Gladys moves to live with an estranged aunt in Lagos and to continue her search for a job. Before long she lands the job of her dreams with the foremost oil company in the city and makes several new friends. She also gradually resolves the mystery of why her aunt previously cut all ties with their family. But the best part about her new life is meeting Edward Bestman.

Edward is good-looking, super rich but emotionally scarred. Gladys gets him to see that she loves him and that together they can surmount all their differences. However, when they return from a romantic trip abroad, they find that some unnamed people are about to take over his business empire. Edward's past has come back to haunt both of them.

To read free excrepts on my blog, click HERE

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Call for Submissions: Saraba Magazine - Sex and Sexuality

Saraba Magazine is accepting short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and excerpts that reflect the diversity of sex and sexuality. Note that the publishers and editors have a bias for experimental writing. The magazine’s 11th Issue will explore the subject of sex and sexuality – sex as ‘being’ and sex as ‘doing.’ How does sex manifest itself as a question of personhood, difference, affection, rights, protest, etc.
Interested writers who are unsure about their work are advised to send queries to the Managing Editor of Saraba Magazine. Submissions can be made through their Submissions Portal.

- Send your work in an attachment in any of our three major categories: Fiction, Poetry and Non-Fiction.
- Send no more than one work at a time, and wait for a response before you send another.
- Fictional works should have a maximum 5,000 words. Poets are allowed to send a maximum of 3 poems. Non-fiction submissions are expect to contain a broad range of new creative writing, including short memoirs, interviews, reviews, creative non-fiction, creative journalism, etc. Word count limit for this is 2,500 words.
- Submissions are also open to digital art including photographs, illustrations, paintings and so forth. Kindly send in high resolution jpeg files (not larger than 4 MB).
- Submissions should be accompanied by a bio of not more than 50 words.
To submit, use the Submission Manager . For more information, go to the SARABA MAGAZINE WEBSITE

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Presentation of Nigeria Prize for Literature (2011) featuring winner Mai Nasara, Wole Soyinka and others

The 2011 winner for the Nigeria Prize for Literature Adeleke Adeyemi (pen name, Mai Nasara) returns to the country on Saturday February 3 after a brief sojourn in the United States. The now popular author won the prestigious Nigeria LNG-endowed award for his children's novel 'The Missing Clock' in August.

Mai Nasara returns as guest of honour at the public presentation of the winner of the prize, organised by the Nigeria LNG. The event holds at the Eko Hotel & Suites in Lagos - and will be attended by leading lights of Nigerian literature, including the "father" of modern-day Nigerian poetry Gabriel Okara and Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka.

"Obviously I am delighted to be coming back home to engage with the public and the literary community," Nasara said. "And I thank the Nigeria LNG for this honour and for this platform. I am looking forward to getting home on Saturday and discussing the prize and the book on Monday. This is a humbling experience for me."

Starting from 126 submissions from Nigerian authors of children's literature, 'The Missing Clock' made the shortlist, eventually beating an intimidating six of some of the best children's authors in Africa. This shortlist included Ayodele Olofintuade and Chinyere Obi Obasi, and Nasara won the coveted $100, 000 cash prize.

The novel explores the reversal of fortunes for a Nigerian family and how they grew to overcome their circumstances. In an earlier interview, the author explained that he was inspired by the concept of a conservative traditional family. The author admonished families to work on their personal and family histories as the first step towards changing the world.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature is rated the 22nd most valuable in the world. It is endowed by the Nigeria LNG, which also awards the Nigeria Prize for Science annually.

The event will be shown on Monday on NTA and AIT and will also be streamed online via at 10am.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Yoruba Literature Competition


For Writers using Yoruba Language to write between the ages of 15 and 40. The competition is organized by the Society to rekindle the interest of Young Writers writing in Yoruba language in Nigeria. Also to motivate and encourage writing in indigenous languages among young Nigerian Writers. The competition promises to be an exciting display of Yoruba Culture, Traditions, Norms and Values.
Prizes to be won include
  • Fagunwa Prize for Prose Writing – 20,000
  • Prof. Akinwunmi Ishola Prize for Drama – 20,000
  • Tunbosun Oladapo Prize Poetry – 10,000
  • Dr. Adebayo Faleti Prize for Drama – 20,000
  • Elder Supo Kosemani Prize for Poetry – 10,000
Conditions of entry
1. The competition is opened to anyone aged 15-40
2. Works should be in Yoruba Language, unpublished and not currently submitted
or accepted  for future  publication
3. They must not previously have been awarded a prize in any competition nor
may be simultaneously entered for any competition other than this one.
4. Works must be your own original work.
5. Works must be on a separate sheet of A4 size, which must not bear your name,
class, age and school.
6. No entry form is required but on a separate sheet of A4 you should show your
name, address, title of the work submitted  and please tell us where you heard
about the competition.
7. Entry should be sent to the following e-mail: The
closing date is 1st of March, 2011, as results will be sent out in April 1st, 2012.
8. The Judge’s decision will be final; no correspondence can be entered into
10. Unfortunately, submitted works cannot be returned so remember to keep a copy.

Wole Adedoyin
National President

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Call for Submission: Farafina Wants New Nigerian Writing

New Nigerian Writing is hosted by the ABC Literary Cafe at The Life House, and Kachifo Limited, publishers of Farafina Books. This event will provide an opportunity for emerging Nigerian writers to showcase their work and be exposed to critique and feedback from established writers.
Emerging writers are requested to submit any piece of prose of no more than 5,000 words. Thirty pieces will be selected from the submissions, and the writers will be invited to read five minutes of their work during the event. Our panel of distinguished writers will be on hand to critique their work on both days of the event. The thirty selected pieces will be subject to further editing and review by both the panel and Kachifo Limited, and the top fifteen will be included in an e-book of short stories to be released later in 2012. The stories not selected for publication in the short story collection will be published on the Farafina blog. The closing date for submission is February 5, 2011.
The New Nigerian Writing readings will be held at The Life House, 33 Sinari Daranijo Street, off Younis Bashorun Street, off Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. The dates are February 10 and February 24; the time is 6pm.
Submissions should be sent by email to All submissions should include the name, phone number and email address of writers. Selected writers should be available to read their work at the events, or have a representative available to read on their behalf.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February...the Month of Love

This month is very special for us Bookaholics. First of all, it's the month of love - don't you just love all the sweet words, sweet chocolate, sweet everything! And what is even sweeter is that we'll be celebrating our 3rd birthday woot woot! We have some exciting things planned, so keep visiting and get your friends, colleagues and even enemies (it's the month of love, remember) to join in the fun!

 Here are excerpts two goodies from Nigerian writer Kiru Taye to get you in the mood ;)

In the season of love, who can escape unscathed.
A Valentine Challenge  is a contemporary romance novella set in Enugu, Nigeria. It’s the story of ex-soldier Micheal Ede and socialite Kasie Bosa. It will be released in ebook format January 30, 2012.
Read the blurb.
Read an excerpt.

 Has the hunter become the hunted?
His Strength is the next book in the Men of Valor historical romance mini-series and features the story of Ikem and Nneka. It is set in pre-colonial Igboland. It will be released in ebook format February 10, 2012.
Read the blurb.
Read an excerpt.

Visit Kiru Taye’s website for more details.