Thursday, September 3, 2015


2015 Awele Creative Trust Awards

Do you have a short story you want to publish? See if you're qualified for this award.

Submission Guidelines

  • Do not submit previously published work for the ACT award
  • Entries must be between 2,500 and 5,000 words. 
  • E-mail submissions to and
  • Only one story per author will be considered.
  • Submissions should include a cover note with the name, date of birth, e-mail address and telephone number of the author
  • Only works of fiction are allowed
  • There is a cash prize of N50,000 for the winning author and a six month online writing course with an ACT mentor
  • Works translated into English from any Nigerian languages are eligible. Should such a work win, N20,000 of the prize money will go to the translator. However, the writing course is offered n English only.
Entries will be accepted from September 1 – November 1, 2015
A longlist will be announced on January 20 ,2016
A shortlist of 5 will be announced on February 20 ,2016

Winner will be announced in April, 2016
Authors retain copyright of their work.


The Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2000-5000 words). Regional winners of the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize will receive £2,500 and the Overall Winner will receive £5,000. Translators will receive additional prize money.
The 2015 Short Story Prize will open for entry on 1 September 2015 and close on 1 November 2015. Entry is via the online application form at The judges, who reflect the five regions of the Commonwealth, will be announced on 1 October.

Submit your short story via the online application form between 1 September and 1 November 2015.

Entry is free
Download entry rules as a PDF, HERE

Opening date
1 Septmeber 2015
Closing date
Entries must be submitted via the online entry form by 1 November 2015 (12 noon GMT)

For more information, visit: The Commonwealth Prizes Webpage or Click to submit your ENTRY


Title: What Goes Around

Author: Ify Tony-Monye
Length: 459 pages
Genre: Fiction.
Publisher / Year: Fynom Books Ltd/2015
Reviewed by: Prof. Charles Okoli
Why I'll Read It: I love the story. And Ify writes about life and love in a very captivating way.

What Goes Around is a fictional novel centered on a story about two friends who marry out of sincere love but have to fight through the intrigues and manipulations driven by overwhelming self-serving interests of family members and friends to protect and preserve their union. It captures the unchecked excesses of an overbearing mother who, in a bid to maintain the friendship of a family that helped her in time of need, inadvertently, or so it seems, metes out to her daughter in-law the fate she suffered in the hands of her parents-in-law at the inception of her relationship with her husband prior to their marriage. 

In the process, she destroys her son’s marriage, loses her only son and the wife and bequeaths her fortunes to a monster she unwittingly created. What Goes Around tells the story of a family in contemporary southeastern Nigeria society and their relationships, with the intrigues and manipulations arising from the many usually attendant competing interests in relationships that often leave the players gasping for breath in a desperate effort to live what should be rather normal lives. It teaches the readers to respect people’s right to self determination about their choices in life because undue interference could have unpleasant consequences for all the parties.

In this intrigue and suspense-filled masterpiece, the budding story-teller, Ify Tony-Monye, captures the existential realities of a contemporary southeastern Nigeria society where meddlesomeness by family often determines the fate and ruinous outcomes of marital relationships, and indeed the overall fortunes of the family.  What Goes Around is a story about Chukwudifu Okwuosa, from Aniugwu community in eastern Nigeria, and Chizoba Ofoma, whose friendship and subsequent love affair ends in the ultimately desirable way- marriage. 

A friendship that starts from a rather rare ironic circumstance, a minor accident referred to by the author as “fender bender” grows into marriage and struggles to survive frantic and persistent efforts by Kosi, his prejudiced mother, to thwart it. Kosi’s efforts to convince him to marry the daughter of their family friend and his childhood friend fail in each instance and leads to weeks of face-off between mother and son; escape from death by the whiskers from his hands in a brawl; several confrontations; slap incidents involving Difu and Chizo- all in desperation to return favor to a family friend and erstwhile business rival of her late husband who comes to rescue her business from the financial doldrums the late husband, a shrewd businessman, plunged it. 

But Difu, driven by a consuming youthful blaze of passion and affection for the wife of his personal choice, stands his ground, setting off a cascade of events filled with intrigues and maneuvers. Despite the futility of her efforts, Kosi presses on and becomes more daring to the point of employing diabolical means to eliminate Chizo. In her maddening desperation, she forgets she suffered a similar fate in the hands of her parents-in-law moments before her marriage, even though her parents-in-law didn’t subject her to as much agony as she is making Chizo pass through. But nature has a way of passing across its message to mortals, especially those who want to play god to others.

 In a twist of fate, what goes around is starting to come around as Difu’s life ends tragically from chronic consumption of her poisonous potions! Chizo, pregnant with their first and only child, is spared, albeit temporarily, as she is later to be delivered of a monster, no thanks to months of consumption of Kosi’s poison. Unexpectedly, the story takes another turn here as Chizo, in frustration, takes her own life to join Difu. But she is not alone in the desire to end this seemingly unending tragic drama. Kosi joins her too, after seeing the monster she unwittingly created and leaves a suicide note bequeathing all her earthly possession to the child. 

What goes around has finally come around! As the once pleasant story of love and enduring will turns tragic, Dozie and Uche, the mutual friends of Difu and Chizo, show them the true meaning of friendship: they stayed on with them through the storm. As Dozie pales out into oblivion, Uche inadvertently becomes a single mother courtesy of a brief encounter with a Casanova! This work of creative art is a lesson on the need to respect the right of individuals to self determination over their choices in life and the true meaning of love and friendship. 

I recommend What Goes Around to anyone who wants to enjoy a good book.

What Goes Around is available at the following outlets:

Terra Kulture (Victoria Island, Lagos)
 Glendora Bookshop, Shoprite, Ikeja.
The Hub Media Stores', Shoprite, 
The Palms shopping Mall, Lekki. Lagos

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


I have a story up on A Long Story Short. It's titled Letter from the Rainmaker’s Daughter. It's one I'm particulary proud of.

Here's an excerpt:
"It’s true, I wasn’t happy to hear that you were searching for your father’s people and that you were writing his memoir. One can’t be happy about reopening old wounds and digging up buried memories, but perhaps, it was all fated to happen. So I have summoned up the courage to write this letter."

Read and comment.

Monday, August 3, 2015


Do you have a completed work of fiction and/or non-fiction but haven't yet found a home for it?

The publishers of Saraba Magazine are happy to announce the commencement of the Saraba Manuscript Project. Saraba Magazine has published the works of up to three hundred writers online, in their magazines, poetry chapbooks, and website. They are soliciting fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. Nigerian writers are invited to submit their work. 

This competition aims to produce a shortlist of ten writers. Five in fiction and five in the non-fiction category. All shortlisted manuscripts will initially be published as e-books and audio-books. The prize includes an award of N100,000 to the winning manuscripts in the fiction and the non-fiction categories. All shortlisted entrants will receive a publishing deal from Saraba, including N100,000 advance against royalties.

Amazing isn't it? So If you have just completed a manuscript you’ll like to enter for the prize, or know someone who has, please visit for additional information on guidelines. 

The judges include Rotimi Babatunde, Noo Saro-Wiwa, and Azafi Omoluabi-Ogosi.
If you have any questions, write Olaoluwa Akinoluwa at

So why don't you start writing?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Title: On Black Sisters’ Street
Author: Chika Unigwe
Length: 298 pages
Genre: Fiction.
Publisher / Year: Vintage U.K Random House/2010 
Source: From Nnedinma Jane Kalu
Rating: .5/5
Why I Read It: Chika Unigwe is a terrific writer. I read a non-fiction account of how she met with these prostitutes while conducting her research.

Date Read: 26/07/15

I know I should have read this book a long, time ago. To be honest, I've been looking forward to reading it. Thank God I finally got to it.

On Black Sisters’ street follows the lives of four young African women who, by choice or fate or both, find themselves working on the red light district in Brussels. The novel opens with the death of the ambitious Sisi, an only child, who had travelled from Nigeria to Belgium in search of greener pastures. Her colleagues—Efe, Ama and Joyce—are shaken by the news. They wonder whether they will be next. Their fears are palpable and the tension in the house is so thick, it can be cut with a knife. And so, one by one, they begin to open up to each other about their past lives leading up to the moment. How did each one come to work as a prostitute. Their stories are as different as their faces and their temperaments. Chika Unigwe does a great job of sketching each portrait, of narrating each girls’ story so we get to know them intimately and can empathize with each of them.

It is a disturbing and searching investigation of the many elements that make many African women fall prey to ruthless pimps like Senghor Dele who acquire fake passports and visas for young girls to travel to Europe. These girls are then forced to pay back a whopping 30,000 Euros in monthly installments. Escape at your own peril. Senghor Dele has eyes everywhere and the police are on his payroll. And there’s the ruthless chaperone called ‘Madam’.

On Black Sisters’ Street is  a solid work of fiction, and very relatable. Joyce’s heart-wrenching tale brought tears to my eyes. At fifteen, an ethnic conflict rids her of her family and her virginity. When peacekeeping soldier, Polycarp falls in love with her and takes her to Lagos from a refugee camp, I thought she had found freedom. But no, that was the beginning of her troubles. Polycarp cannot spend the rest of his life with her because he has a duty to make his family happy. Her tale is just as sad as the others’. Efe, whose mother died and suddenly found that she had to be mother, father (because her dad was often drunk and under the table) and even mistress to a hair extensions mogul. And Ama, whose stepfather often forced himself on her while her mother pretended not to notice. At some point Ama asks why? Why did Joyce’s boyfriend abandon her? Joyce says, “Because he did it because.” No one knows why human beings do hurtful, terrible things to people who have done them no harm.

The characters are strong and make choices within the limits of their circumstances and environments. Most of the suspense revolves around Sisi’s death and disappearance. The unfolding plot reveals her choice and its consequences and how each person’s choice was influenced by different circumstance. And Sisi was petrified by the thought that if she married her school teacher boyfriend, Peter, that she’d be as poor as her parents. Chika expresses it beautifully,
“When she thought about her life, the phrase that came to her mind was omnes errant…a series of mistakes.”

I shall never forget that paragraph or the details of the girls’ job descriptions. I was grateful for Chika Unigwe’s courage as she walked the red light districts of Brussels in her mini-skirt and high-heeled boots while she conducted her research for this solid book. Frankly, I found it difficult to put this book down.

On Black Sisters’ street will remain relevant until the end of time. And I applaud the NLNG judges for awarding this beautiful book it’s 2013 prize. I have always admired Chika’s strong, almost intoxicating and confident voice. The voice of a prolific writer. I love the way she uses onomatopoeia. I recommend this book to everyone, irrespective of their class, race and creed.