Tuesday, June 23, 2015

And the winner of the 2015 Writivism Short Story Prize is...

And The Overall Winner of the Writivism Prize is...

...Nigerian author Pemi Aguda. She was announced  the 2015 Writivism Short Story Prize at a ceremony in Kampala, Uganda, on 21 June, 2015. 

 

Congratulations Pemi Aguda. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your short story, Caterer, Caterer
To read the overall winning story of the 2015 Writivism Short Story Prize , CLICK HERE. Or go to: http://munyori.org/writivism-2015-shortlist/caterer-caterer-by-pemi-aguda/

Congratulations to my friend Nnedimma Jane Kalu who made the shortlist with her beautiful story, Social Studies. And congrats to the other writers on the 2015 Writivism shortlist  Adeola Opeyemi (Nigeria) who received an honourable mention for “Being a Man”, Dayo Adewunmi Ntwari (Rwanda, for “Devil’s Village”),and Saaleha Bhamjee (South Africa, for “Dream”).

The panel of judges this year was chaired by Chika Unigwe and comprised Mukoma wa Ngugi, Tendai Huchu, Ainehi Edoro and Rachel Zadok.
 

The shortlist was gotten from a total of 277 entries and a longlist of 14 stories.

More information on the Writivism website.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

So You Want To Publish A Novel...

Here's your chance.

Ankara Press is looking to commission a new wave of romance titles for publication in 2016. These romance will be published first as e-books, easily downloadable on mobile devices, and then as print books.

To find out what Ankara Press requires in a romance novel, see the call for submissions previously published on our blog or go to the Ankara press website, HERE. You will also get a sense of what they like by reading some of the existing ankara titles. You can find them on the Ankara Press website.

Novels should be between 35,000 - 45,000 words , divided between 12-15 chapters.

Want to apply? Send the A synopsis, the first three chapters and a cover letter to Submissions@ankarapress.com.

Download submission guidelines from ANKARA SUBMISSION GUIDELINES.

Deadline for submissions is 29th August, 2015. Early submissions are recommended.

Confused about how to write a beautiful romance novel? May you should read this guest post from accomplished Romance Writer, Christina Cole.HERE
The romances will be published initially as e-books, and easily downloadable to mobile devices. - See more at: http://www.ankarapress.com/blogs/news/30020547-calling-new-ankara-press-writers#sthash.Lhxf1Fro.dpuf
The romances will be published initially as e-books, and easily downloadable to mobile devices. - See more at: http://www.ankarapress.com/blogs/news/30020547-calling-new-ankara-press-writers#sthash.Lhxf1Fro.dpuf

Thursday, May 21, 2015

16th Caine Prize for African Writing Shortlist has been Announced


The judges have announced the name of all the five writers who have been shortlisted for the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing.

Congratulations to Segun Afolabi, Elnathan John, Masande Ntshanga, F.T Kola, and Namwali Serpell.

Each shortlisted writer receives £500 and the winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced at an award ceremony and dinner at the Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, on Monday 6 July.

All five stories are available for download on the Caine Prize Website.
congratulate the other shortlisted writers - Segun Afolabi, F.T. Kola, Masande Ntshanga and Namwali Serpell for also being selected. - See more at: http://www.cassavarepublic.biz/blogs/main/23599937-elnathan-john-shortlisted-for-the-2015-caine-prize#sthash.tEUStJsz.dpuf
congratulate the other shortlisted writers - Segun Afolabi, F.T. Kola, Masande Ntshanga and Namwali Serpell for also being selected. - See more at: http://www.cassavarepublic.biz/blogs/main/23599937-elnathan-john-shortlisted-for-the-2015-caine-prize#sthash.tEUStJsz.dpuf
congratulate the other shortlisted writers - Segun Afolabi, F.T. Kola, Masande Ntshanga and Namwali Serpell for also being selected. - See more at: http://www.cassavarepublic.biz/blogs/main/23599937-elnathan-john-shortlisted-for-the-2015-caine-prize#sthash.tEUStJsz.dpuf
congratulate the other shortlisted writers - Segun Afolabi, F.T. Kola, Masande Ntshanga and Namwali Serpell for also being selected. - See more at: http://www.cassavarepublic.biz/blogs/main/23599937-elnathan-john-shortlisted-for-the-2015-caine-prize#sthash.tEUStJsz.dpuf

An Interview: Ola Awonubi's Priceless Writing Advice!

ON the 15th of December, Ankara Press released six sizzling romance novels. My debut novel, Finding Love Again, was one of them. Ola Awonubi's Love's Persuasion is another beautiful romance in the Ankara Series.

I spoke to Ola Awonubi about her intriguing romance novel and other things.

Ola Awonubi was born in London to Nigerian parents and raised in Nigeria. On returning to England, she went on to spend three years taking intermediate and advanced writing courses at the Centerprise Literature Development project in Hackney before studying for an MA in Creative writing and Imaginative Practice at the University of East London. In 2008 and 2009 respectively, she won two prizes; one for the short story ‘The Pink House’ in the National Words of Colour competition, the other, ‘The Go-Slow Journey’ for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize in the fiction category.



CWN:     Tell us a bit about what inspired you to be a writer?
OA: I have always had a vivid imagination and used to make up stories in my head when I was a kid. I remember being about five years old when I used take my Ladybird and Enid Bryton books and write short stories around them with black characters. I have always loved writing and when I was in secondary school – English literature was my favourite subject and I would end up reading more of the African Writers Series or books from the ‘Pacesetters ‘series than my Biology or Physics books!

CWN:     What inspired you to write this book?
OA: A wide range of themes really. I would say I try to write about Universal themes really things that people anywhere in the world can identify with. Family, love, relationships are a particular interest. Loves Persuasion reminded me of when I was growing up as a teenager in Nigeria and watching how society framed and set the parameter of many women’s lives and I wanted to create a young lady who wanted more than what society dictated she should be content with.

CWN: Are you a full time writer or is writing just one of your hobbies?
OA: I work full time and I write in whatever is left of that time! Writing has gone beyond a hobby for me. I try to write whenever I can.


CWN: Where can your book be purchased?
OA: My book can be purchased on the link below - straight from the Ankara Press website!


CWN: Who are your favourite authors and what book are you reading at the moment
OA: Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Buchi Emecheta, Doris Lessing, Jane Austen and Francine Rivers.
I am currently reading – The boy next door by Irene Sabatini – it is a coming of age story in post-independence Zimbabwe.


CWN: What did you enjoy most about writing this novel?
OA: Seeing the characters develop and take shape -listen to them in my head and write the words I think they would say.

CWN: What are your current projects, any other book coming soon?
OA: I am currently working on a collection of short stories based on the African experience as well as another romantic novel based in Nigeria. I always look out for short story competitions I can submit my entries to such as Bridport, Mslexia, Short Story prize and the Commonwealth writers prize to mention a few.

Currently working on a world war 2 period romance and would love to write a screenplay one day. I like would like to write a period drama one day – Downtown Abbey and war movies like Atonement are favourites.

CWN:What is your take on the poor reading culture in Nigeria? In your opinion, what do you think can be done to change it?
OA:I remember growing up in Nigeria and books like Pacesetters, Mills and Boons, James Hadley Chase and Danielle Steele were widely read. Libraries were probably better stocked than they are now and if you could afford to buy a new book you got it second-hand or exchanged with friends.

I don’t think there is a poor reading culture – I think that with the emphasis on getting jobs which is quite understandable – reading for pleasure has been relegated and people spend their hard earned money on text books and educational material to better their chances in the over-saturated employment market.

 I don’t think we have lost our love of reading – it is just that people are being more practical.
This is why Ankara needs to be applauded for producing books that can be read on different mediums, cost less than books and open up reading for everyone - stopping it from becoming an elitist preserve.

CWN:  If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 
OA: Buchi Emecheta.

CWN: Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
OA: ·         Engage the senses six senses when you write. Make the reader smell, taste and see as they  read.
·         A short story is a snapshot so you do not have the luxury to flesh out your characters or settings   like a novel. Get to the point.
·         Don’t add too many characters and the few you have - make memorable.
·         Show and don't tell
·         Make your beginning make me sit up and want to keep on reading.
·         Make your ending make the story linger on in my head. Give it a punch. Think of one of the shortest stories ever told by Hemingway. Baby Shoes Never Worn. Wow. That tells such a story but it does have a beginning, a middle and an end.
·         Use the internet. It is your friend – a great resource and you have the opportunity to showcase yourself to the world.

CWN:  What genre of music and movies is your favourite? And do they inspire your writing.

OA Gospel and R & B. I like Yolanda Adams and Stevie Wonder.

Movies – legal TV dramas and movies, romantic films, old movies – I was watching the Count of Montecristo the other day. I watched The Best Man and Why did I get married by Tyler Perry.  I like movies about life and relationships and I guess that feeds into my writing.


Ola Awonubi's first novel was published by Ankara Press. Love's Persuasion can be found HERE.
Follow Ola Nubi on twitter via @createandwrite.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Love is a Layered Thing: An Interview

"...But experience as taught me that love is quite complicated. It’s a layered thing, hardly in our power to control. And yes, it is mostly about timing. The ‘when factor’ plays a huge role in the success of a romance."

I speak to Ayobami Adebayo about Finding Love Again and writing romance.

You can read the interview on her blog, HERE.

Enjoy reading.

 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Call for Submissions: The Crime Issue (18th Edition)

Saraba Magazine is accepting short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and excerpts which addresse, articulate and problematize crime, lawlessness, even jurisprudence..



 Guidelines:


Send your work in an attachment in any of the three major categories: Fiction, Poetry and Non-Fiction. 
 
Send no more than one work at a time, and wait for our response before you send another.
Fictional works should have a maximum 5,000 words. Writers 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
The new Submission Manager is helpful, cutting out all the email uncertainty.

Deadline: 28th June, 2015
Please read the submission guidelines for more details

The publishers of Saraba say, "Our publications reflect and represent the best of emerging writing mainly from Nigeria, but also from the rest of the African continent. Our goal is to give emerging writers the opportunity of having their works published. “Emerging writers” is defined loosely, to spark useful dialogue—but we are interested in writers whose work show tremendous promise but have hardly been published in a major literary magazine."

And I believe them. So send your work!

New Online Non-Fiction Writing Course

Ever dreamed of attending a prestigious school of creative writing? Here's your chance.

Starting on June, writers can participate in the latest Online Non-fiction course offered by the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa is now accepting applications for the new online course, the Nonfiction Writing Seminar 2015.


The course will run from late June to August. This course will center on the study and practice of writing creative nonfiction. It will be taught online by an International Writing Program Distance Learning Instructor with an impressive  publication and teaching record in literary nonfiction. This course will be given in English. Successful applicants will be required to read and write in English. Application materials must be written in English. The course is completely free, but there are only 20 positions, so send your best materials.

11:00 pm CDT (GMT-5:00) on May 29, 2015.

If you're interested in participating in this course, visit the Application Site HERE. Or Click on the Writing University site.

Good luck to you.