Monday, April 14, 2014

Finally, I Yielded to the Temptation...

...to join a world blog tour. The writing process world blog tour. Obinna Udenwe just got the baton from Trisha Nicholson and passed it on to me. Am I excited? Yes. Somewhat.

How is this supposed to work?

Oh well, writers are asked to answer four DAUNTING questions about their writing lives. Being a private person. I feel slightly nervous. But I'm sure that readers of this blog will want to know about my upcoming romance novel and probably, my other works in progress.

So stay tuned. My answers will be live on the blog, Monday, 21st April 2014. I shall also be passing the baton to three other renowned writers. I can hardly wait.

But for now, you can read about Obinna Udenwe's upcoming book, Satans and Shitans. Very controversial stuff. And you can read all about his writing process  HERE.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Will the New Federal Government Policy disintegrate the Book Publishing Industry?


Imagine it. The tax on imported books rising from 0% to 62.5%. Unbelieveable? Yes, but it’s true. Madam Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will go down in history as the first Minister of Finance to terminate the UNESCO agreement which states in Article 1:

Article I

1. The contracting States undertake not to apply customs duties or other charges on, or in connection with, the importation of:

(a) Books, publications and documents, listed in Annex A to this Agreement;

(b) Educational, scientific and cultural materials, listed in Annexes B, C, D and E to this Agreement; which are the products of another contracting State, subject to the conditions laid down in those annexes.”

-          UNESCO Website .

On 28 February, the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala announced a levy of 62.5% on all imported printed books.

How will this affect publishers, writers and readers?

I have been an avid buyer of second-hand literature. Not just because they are durable, but because they are shockingly affordable. For instance, I’ve bought Pulitzer winning novels for as low as a hundred naira (approximately $0.62). School children had been able to buy novellas and second-hand classics with their pocket money. I don’t see how this will be possible with the new tariffs imposed on imported printed books.

Sadly, Nigerian pupils and undergraduates will have a hard time finding beautifully printed books from other parts of the world. They will be forced to pay a lot of money for poorly printed works where the pages will peel off at each turn. Free printed books will most likely be sent to children in other parts of the world where there are no prohibitive costs. Nigerian school children will have limited access to a variety of books.

And the federal government claims to be committed to improving the reading culture of Nigerians? Isn’t this blowing hot and cold in the same breath?

Supporters of this bill might argue that the levy will protect local printers from an influx of foreign text. But don’t Nigerian publishers need to be protected? It is important to note that there’s a huge difference between a printer and a publisher. People often confuse the two. While a printer might be content with just a press, the publisher sorts through manuscripts, edits, proofread, typesets and even markets the end product—the books. Printing is just the half of it, and Jeremy Weate states,from a serious Nigerian publisher’s perspective, it’s just not possible to print books locally to a consistent level of quality and at a price that would make the books affordable to Nigerian readers.” (How To Kill The Nigerian Publishing Industry).


Moreover, this policy does not just affect Publishers, It affects other stakeholders as well. Where bookstores had a hard time selling relatively affordable books, they will simply close down for lack of patronage.

It is true that Nigerian publishers have award-winning titles on their lists, but only a few publish scientific, medical and technical journals. No one knows any Nigerian press that has the capacity to print large tomes such as dictionaries, journals, etc. Nigeria will have to continue importing most academic books and reference materials. This policy only makes books unaffordable. What will be the fates of students who need these books?

Libraries will also suffer, likely for want of funds to pay for imported printed books. There will probably be a shortage of modern books to service the ever increasing population of the Nigerian youth.

They say there are two sides to this story, but it is hard to see Madam  Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s side. While it’s fair that the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria be heard, experts of the Nigerian publishing industry should have been consulted. From the latter, we have heard that the epileptic power supply is a problem alongside other serious problems as the lack of affordable printers and other important factors in production and distribution chains.. Instead of a protectionist policy, the Minister of Finance should have given the Nigerian printers grants and subsidies. She should have sought ways to probably import efficient modern equipment for the local printers. Placing a tariff on imported books harms not just local publishers, but their foreign counterparts

And to think that this policy is coming at a time when UNESCO named Port Harcourt city, 2014 World Book Capital. How will this affect the book festival slated to hold later this year? Given that this policy blatantly contravenes the ‘Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientificand Cultural Material’ (signed in 1961), will UNESCO withdraw from the upcoming book festival slated to hold in Port Harcourt?

And is this the beginning of the dark ages of literature and creative writing in Nigeria? What do you think?

 

Monday, February 10, 2014

OPPORTUNITY FOR CREATIVE WRITERS.

A Nigerian media content development and production firm is in search
of young Nigerian writers to help create a ground-breaking new drama
series.

If you are creative and have experience writing drama in English or
Hausa, send a 1-page excerpt of your best writing, including dialogue,
to newnigerianwriting@gmail.com and cc: segunwrites@aol.com .

Deadline is 1700hrs on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at the latest.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted

Saturday, February 1, 2014

ÌYÀNDÁ :A COMIC REVOLUTION

ÌYÀNDÁ by Makinde Ayodeji
I
 

 
Have you read ÌYÀNDÁ? Goodness, why not? 
 
Anyway, it's not just a comic book; it's a unique work of art that reflects the beauty of culture and tradition. The title is gotten from the Yoruba language. ÌYÀNDÁ means- 'A Selected Being'.    
The work tells the story tells the story of an ancient African Village. It shows their unique way of life and traditions, but more importantly, it mirrors how people can be limited by the things they allow to define them
 
 ÌYÀNDÁ by Makinde Ayodeji was recently published on www.lulu.com and is now available across the globe in e-book format. To download a copy, click HERE.
 
Makinde Ayodeji is a lawyer, comic script writer and founder of Divine International, an organisations that promotes comics as a tool for societal transformation.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Iquo Diana Eke Discusses The Symphony of Becoming

Last year, a brilliant writer, Iquo Diana Eke made the longlist for the NLNG Nigerian Literary Prize for Poetry. As we all know, the prize was worth a whooping $100,000.

I met Iquo Diana Eke at the Fidelity Bank Creative Writing Workshop in 2011, and then, at the Ebedi Hills Writers Residency in 2013. Iquo is no regular woman. Every moment spent with her has proved beneficial. She's one writer you must get to know.

Uche Peter Umez published an insightful interview of her on the Africanwriter. Click HERE to read.

I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Residency for African Women Writers

Source: Photo pin
FEMRITE is calling for submissions for the 6th Residency for African Women Writers which will be co-hosted with the Swedish literary magazine Karavan, in October 2014.

The 10-Day Writing Residency aims to give women writers space to reflect on their writing, connect with one another, read each others’ manuscripts and give feedback, interact with established writers and build literary bridges across cultures of the continent. The residency is also aimed at strengthening collaboration among women writers’ initiatives in Africa.


Who is eligible?
Any African woman writer who lives on the Continent and needs such space and able to write & express themselves in English.

How to Submit;
·         Send part of a novel / short story collection that you would like to work on during the residency (4000 Words Approximately)
·         Send one complete short story (Minimum 3000 words) for the 6th Regional Residency Publication.
·         Brief bio (half page - name, country, writing related accomplishments/ interests)

Deadline for submissions is 15th March 2014

The residency will cover;
   * Return Air tickets
   * Accommodation and all meals for the period of the residency

Please Note:
·         Successful applicants will be notified by 30th May 2014.

For further inquiries and submissions, please emai
info@femriteug.org
Copy: femriteregionalresidency2014@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Call for Submissions [Saraba #16] The Solitude Issue

Just before 2013 ended, Saraba Magazine released a prequel to the History Issue. It contains a short story by award-winning writer Toni Kan, and an essay by the co-publisher Emmanuel Iduma. Check it out & download. The History Issue will be published later this month. 

In the meantime, Saraba Magazine is accepting short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and excerpts which address the idea of solitude.
 
For Saraba 16, the theme of Solitude is fitting for the creative minds, who escape within themselves to replicate a piece of the world. We are curious to know the reason for, and what it is like in those moments when they escape.


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: Thursday February 20, 2014
Please read our submission guidelines for more details