July 12, 2010

A Fistful of Tales by Ayodele Arigbabu | Book Review

Warp, Misery, Return of the Okinawa Prince, Lacerations, Set Theory, Special Secretary, It Happened in Benin, Lots of Muscle and Lots of Blood, My Super-hero Story, and The X12 Moon-Shade, are the ten titles in this lackluster collection of tales.

In the opening story Warp, passengers at an Obalende bus stop in Lagos, Nigeria board an old Datsun taxi steered by an eccentric and oddly dressed man and they take flight at the end of this hard-to-swallow tale. I found Misery, the second tale in the collection more likable than anything else in the collection but that is not saying it is fantastic. The protagonist (whose name "does not matter") is tired of filthy Lagos with all of its sorrow, despair and corruption and he is headed home to the warmth of his beloved wife after the day's wandering. There is genuineness to the anger and frustration about the state of Lagos that it is surely a release for the author to say the things he does.

In Return of the Okinawa Prince, an elderly man returns to a treasured school for the Martial Arts and is very disappointed by the state in which he finds it. In Lacerations a man boards a commercial bus that contains five pretend-passengers who attack him. Arigbabu's graphic narration of the attack and struggle that ensue caused me to cringe. The described action makes you wonder what sort of spacious vehicle the characters must have been in to do all of that. It is a poorly written self-defense fantasy.

The next tale Set Theory competes with the closing tale, The X12 Moon-Shade Lamp for the title of Most Obtuse. In Set Theory an old man returns from the mountains 150 years after he left to query the gods for an answer to his village's problems. The proffered solution from the gods "[I]s a complex mathematical equation you must all resolve in teams using algebra, calculus and chaos theory." The gods want the village to solve math problems? Granted the answer should not be cliche but telling a village to solve math problems is just through the roof for me. Special Secretary Ngozi Njoku is a "private eye extraordinaire and sworn defender of abused women" who has been hired by Mrs. Bakare to find out if her wealthy husband is having an affair. On the job she realizes that things are much more complicated than they seem. It Happened in Benin is a poem.

In the tale  Lots of Muscle and Lots of Blood, a man escapes the two women in his life, his wife and controlling mother, via a dream. He goes to Ghana for some alone time and revisits a side of himself he left behind a long time ago. The protagonist of My Super-hero Story is a secret agent working undercover to steal pertinent information from his boss, the shady Editor of a big newspaper house. The last tale, The X12 Moon-Shade, barely a page long, gives the history of the X12 lamp and advises humans to exercise caution because Martians monitor earthlings through the lamp.

A Fistful of Tales is energetic but grossly underwhelming. I feel that the accompanying illustrations belittled the book and the narrated action scenes did not come off the page successfully. Science fiction in the Nigerian context is not something we are familiar with and it will take a crafty Nigerian storyteller to make stories of that nature that are set in a Nigerian context appealing as opposed to far-fetched. A Fistful of Tales does not pack a punch.

[Image via Ireaddadabooks]

June 30, 2010

Pilgrimages: Thirteen African Writers, Thirteen Cities, Thirteen Books

The Pilgrimages Project
Pilgrimages is a ground-breaking, pan-African project organised by The Chinua Achebe Center Bard College, in partnership with Kachifo Limited in Nigeria, Kwani? Trust in Kenya, and Chimurenga in South Africa, in celebration of Africa's first world cup. The project involves 13 African writers visiting 12 cities across the continent and one in Brazil for two weeks during the World Cup. At the end of the project, each writer will produce a book of non-fiction travel literature based on their experiences, forming a series to be published next year.

The Writers
The writers and cities involved in the project are Funmi Iyanda (Durban), Alain Mabanckou (Lagos), Abdourahman A. Waberi 9Salvador, Bahia), Akenji Ndumu (Abidjan), Doreen Baingana (Hargeisa), Chris Abani (Johannesburg), Uzodinma Iweala (Timbuktu), Billy Kohora (Luanda), Kojo Laing (Cape Town), Binyavanga Wainaina (Touba), Yvonne Owuor (Kinshasha), Victor Lavelle (Kampala), Nicole Turner (Nairobi) and Nimco Mahmud Hassan (Khartoum).

Alain Mabanckou in Lagos
Alain Mabanckou from Congo-Brazzaville is considered one of the most talented writers in Francophone African literature today. His most notable works are Verre Casse (Broken Glass), Bleu-Blanc-Rouge (Blue-White-Red) and The African Psycho. His work, Memoirs of a Porcupine, won the Prix Renaudot, one of the highest distinctions in Francophone literature.

Alain visits Lagos from the 25th of June to 2nd of July 2010, during which time he will crisscross the city, from the 'highbrow' to the 'slum'. Each day of his stay will alternate stops at football viewing centres, local bukkas and beer parlours, upmarket bars and relevant cultural events, and will include interviews with local denizens, artists, writers and other social commentators. Alain will be guided around the city by architect, writer and publisher, Ayodele Arigbabu, who will also blog about their daily experiences on the Pilgrimage website.

The Website
A dynamic and state-of-the art multimedia website has been launched as part of the Pilgrimages project, at www.pilgrimages.org.za. During the 13 Pilgrimages the writers and their local guides will blog on the website. Correspondents, artists and photographers in each city will also post topical content on the site.

The Books
The Pilgrimages Project will culiminate in the launch of twelve books in four African cities in January 2012 during the African Nations' Cup. The collection promises to be the most significant, single addition to the continent's archive of literary knowledge since the African Writers' Series of the 1960s. The books will be published by Kachifo Limited in Nigeria, Kwani? Trust in Kenya, Chimurenga in South Africa and a francophone publisher to be announced. 

For more information on the Pilgrimages Project, please visit the website here.

For more information on Pilgrimages and Alain Mabanckou in Lagos, please email info@kachifo.com, rayosword@gmail.com or call (+234) (0)7084344856
This post in its full form was authored by the coordinators of the Pilgrimage Project

June 19, 2010

The BookJam @ Silverbird - Fifth Edition

"The BookJam @ Silverbird” event hosted by A. Igoni Barrett and the Silverbird Lifestyle store, has its fifth edition slated for the 26th of June between 3pm and 5pm. The event will feature book readings, musical performances, poetry recitals, book signings and a raffle draw. The guest writers scheduled for the event are:
Toni Kan Onwordi author of When Dreams Linger Too Long and Nights of the Creaking Bed. His writings have appeared in Salthill and Sentinel Poetry Quaterly. He is a joint winner of journalistthe 2009 ANA/NDDC Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize for Nights of the Creaking Bed. He is currently a managing partner at Radi8, an ideas company.

Kunle Ajibade is a journalist and writer. He is the author of Jailed for Life: A Reporter's Prison Notes, which is an account of his years in jail during General Sani Abacha's regime. he is presently the executive editor for the NEWS and P.M. News publications. Jailed for Life won the Victor Nwankwo Book of the Year award in 2005. His latest book What a Country! was released in 2008. He is married with children.

Abraham Oshoko is the author of June 12: The Struggle for Power in Nigeria. He is an illustrator and graphic designer. His cartoons have appeared in several publications including the Farafina and NEXT newspaper. June 12 is his first graphic novel, and he is currently working on its sequel.

Admission to the BookJam is free. Members of the audience who purchase books during the even stand a chance to win a special prize in a raffle draw that will be held. Raffle prize sponsor: DAVID WEJ (DW) Clothing and Accessories. Refreshments will be provided by: COKE and SPEEDMEALS Admission to the BookJam is free. Members of the audience who purchase books during the event stand a chance to win a special prize in the BookJam raffle draw. For more information send an email to

[Images and post content provided by Auggust Media]

May 26, 2010

11 Questions for Tolulope Popoola | Author Interview

In our dreams it’s much simpler getting our manuscripts published. In the real world however, it is less straightforward thus a growing crop of writers are turning to self-publishing to actualize their dreams of getting published. Tolulope Popoola, aka Favoured Girl , is the creator of the blog series “In My Dreams It Was Much Simpler” which she coauthors with seven other bloggers, all of them characters in the gradually evolving tale of six successful young women who juggle their careers, friendships and the ups and downs of life. That blog series is now a book and Tolulope discusses her journey and how it all began in this revealing interview with Incessant Scribble.

1. You quit Accounting and a paying job to become a full-time writer? A lot of people worry that writing alone cannot pay the bills. Parents nag and children discard their dreams and head into the sciences. Do you regret your decision? Has writing been financially rewarding for you?
I left my accounting job in 2008 because I realised that I would be miserable if I remained an accountant for the rest of my life. I started getting bored with my job, my long commute and the stress of the 9 to 5 routine in 2007, and I started thinking about what job I could do that will bring me fulfilment. Blogging had rekindled my love for writing and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I will always be happy when I am writing. From then on, it was only a matter of time before I left accounting. I don’t regret my decision at all; because I am now doing something I’m excited and passionate about. In terms of surviving as a fulltime writer, it hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to make some financial sacrifices and let go of a regular income. I’m very blessed to have the support of my husband and my family; otherwise it would have been a much bigger risk.

2. Why did you begin blogging?
I started blogging to express myself and document my thoughts. I used to keep diaries when I was younger, so my first blog became my online diary. I enjoy blogging because it allows me freedom of expression, a place to share my ideas and experiences, and a place to interact with people I might never meet in other circumstances.

3. Don’t you ever worry that the poetry, short stories and other intellectual properties you share with the public on your blog site will be plagiarized? What steps have you taken to forestall that?
No I don’t worry at all. The benefits of having people read my works online far outweigh any risks.

4. When and why did you decide to use different people to write for the different characters in the series instead of just spinning the tales yourself?
I decided to collaborate with other writers because the story has different characters and I wanted each of the characters to have a different voice. I thought it would be more interesting if each character had a very different point of view, but their stories still fitted together. Each writer brings something different to the table, so the end result is better than what I could have done on my own.

5. Your coauthors: Latifat, Icepick, Ayodele, WriteFreak, Flourishing Florida, Diamond Hawk and Jaycee have undoubtedly lent the story an originality and slant that one person’s writing could not have done. How do you all decide where the story is heading, ensure uniformity and smooth out tensions that arise from working with that number of people? How many different countries are you all operating from? Have all of you ever met?
We work together to create the storylines. Each writer comes up with ideas for their character and we have online meetings where we discuss them. Sometimes we disagree, for example, if a writer has an idea that clashes with what another person has planned for their character. But we always come to a compromise and it works well for us. Three of us are based in the States, two are in Nigeria, one is in Ireland and two are in the UK. We haven’t all met, but I had met two members of the team before the series began.

6. Do you have any plans in the future to get boys into this project?
We already have a boy involved in the project! Icepick, who writes for Wole, is a guy and he joined us last Season.

7. How did you get it from blog to book?
We compiled all the posts we had written, edited them and formatted them into a book that we published ourselves. That’s it really.

8. Could you give in detail the roles did Amazon, Lulu, Freado and Bookbuzzr play in the entire process?
Lulu is a website that offers publishing services to writers to get their book. They can also help with distribution of your book on Amazon and other online retail book stores. All the information is available from the Lulu website. Amazon, as most people know, is an online retail site. Bookbuzzr is software on Freado’s website that allows you to upload your manuscript on to their site and displays it in page form – just like a real book, so you can show excerpts to the public. It is a promotional tool that you can put on your blog, or share with readers.

9. What advice do you have for anyone who wants to take your route?
If you are passionate about writing stories and getting yourself heard, then I certainly wouldn’t discourage you. Most writers I know do it because they enjoy it – in other words, they feel compelled to write. Writing requires practice, so make sure you work on it everyday, and read a lot of good books to keep improving.

10. What’s your most ambitious dream?
I’ll have to keep that a secret. I can say though, that I hope to be a best-selling, award-winning author of many books.

11. What’s your favourite non-reading mode of relaxation?
Since you said non-reading, my answer would be watching movies, listening to music and hanging out with my loved ones.

Tolulope Popoola also blogs here, here and here

May 23, 2010

13 Questions for A. Igoni Barrett | Author Interview

Igoni Barrett is the author of the short story collection, From Caves of Rotten Teeth and was previously the managing editor of Farafina, one of Nigeria’s most vibrant publishing houses. He is partnering with the Silverbird Lifestyle store to produce the BookJam series that brings together writers and their book reading audiences. The fourth edition of this event was held on the 22nd of May, 2010, had Chimamanda Adichie, Sade Adeniran, Chuma Nwokolo, and Binyavanga Wainaina in attendance as the events guest writers. Here he is in an interview with Incessant Scribble. Enjoy!
1. The BookJam events are becoming more popular among book readers. How did this series begin?
The idea for the BookJam came to me during the “9 Writers, 4 Cities” book tour that I organized in 2009. The success of the tour readings, the fact that the audience responded enthusiastically to the presence on the podium of several writers from different genres and “generations”—if I may use that word—was the germ of the idea. There was also the realization that if I wanted to continue with such programmes I would as a matter of necessity have to find a sponsor who had something to gain other than the goodwill of readers. From thereon in my task was straightforward. To my mind there were only three groups I could approach with this idea: writers, publishers and booksellers. So I approached the publishers and said, ‘Look, you have produced these books and I have an idea that will help you promote them”. And to the bookseller I said, “You have this beautiful store and all these books to sell—my idea will bring in the writers to promote the books and the people to buy them up”. After I received some supportive noises from both parties, I sat down and drew up a format that I felt was best suited to achieve the goals I’d set. And christened it the BookJam.
2. Are there any plans to expand the event to other cities?
Yes there are. One of the reasons I chose Silverbird to work with was because they are in the process of developing a chain of bookstores across Africa. There are ongoing plans to have BookJams in every one of the Silverbird stores. I also believe that any good idea will travel, will evolve. So it’s my hope that one day, sooner than later, universities, secondary and primary schools, libraries, book clubs, village bookshops even, across Africa, will organise their own BookJams. I also hope they will take the format and turn it into something I couldn’t have foreseen. When that happens, if it does, we can begin to talk of success.
3. With the BookJam @ Silverbird you bring writers to their readers. I find it very impressive that admission is free despite all the time and effort that must go into planning, organizing and hosting these events. Clearly Silverbird and your guest writers have been very supportive and generous. Is this trend sustainable? We would all hate to see this vehicle die out.
Admission to the BookJam is free only because it doesn’t make any economic sense to charge our audience. About 70 to 100 people attend each event. What fee can we charge that number of people that isn’t too high for the average Nigerian and yet generates real money for our budgetary needs? 100 naira, 500? The 50 thousand naira we might hope to raise from a gate fee is not worth the risk of having a poorly attended event. The day we have 500 people attend the BookJam, we will consider the possibility of ticket sales.
I should also mention here that though Silverbird and the publishers and authors have indeed been very supportive, we should bear in mind that everybody gets something from this. The BookJam is not a CSR venture; it was devised as a profit-making initiative. The booksellers get publicity and sell books. Ditto the publishers. The audience gets entertained. Even I get something. I like to think of it as enlightened self-interest. As far as I know, that is the only way this sort of programme can ever be sustained—at least without NGO money.
Speaking of support: the BookJam wouldn’t be where it is today without the input of people like Anwuli Ojogwu, who moderates the programme and manages the publicity for each event through Auggust Media, and Sola Kuti of www.switchedonnaija.com, who’s the brilliant designer of the BookJam posters. And there’s QF Photos, which handles the photography for each event. Silverbird Lifestyle store is of course the Maecenas of this project: they provide the budget, the venue, the media firepower.
4. The “9 Writers 4 Cities: The Book Tour” was wonderful. Is that something we will see more of?
Not in the near future. Not except some major corporation or government body decides to sponsor it. To ensure the book tour was a success all the participating writers very kindly put in their time and money, but as the initiator I had to put in more money and time than most. I’m still recovering from that. That’s not to say I regret the experience—without the “9 Writers, 4 Cities” book tour, there wouldn’t be the BookJam today.
5. Recently your short story collection, From Caves of Rotten Teeth, was published. How did it feel to be on the other side of things: sending in your manuscript, waiting for feedback, and working with editors?
My book was published in 2005 and rereleased in 2008. My father, Lindsay Barrett, was the assessor, editor, and publisher. Since its publication I’ve set up an online magazine, I’ve worked as a magazine editor, as a book editor, as an organiser of literary events, as a workshop facilitator—I’ve dirtied my hands in the engine of publishing, so to speak. Whatever feelings I had at the time have been superseded by the realities of the publishing landscape in my beloved country.
6. No doubt you get the “How do I get published?” question a lot. What is your response now based on your personal and professional experiences? Should writers just mail in unsolicited manuscripts? What steps should unpublished writers take?
This advice won’t work for everyone, but it worked for me and many other writers I know. Prove yourself; send your work—short stories, novel excerpts, and poems— to literary magazines, online and print, renowned or obscure. When you get published it builds your confidence, and your résumé.
7. There are many Nigerian authors making their debut on the literary scene. Do you think a lot of these new titles will be read many years from now? Is the quality of work improving or do we still have a lot of work to do in the way we tell our stories?
A few of these books will become canonical, and many won’t. It’s the way of the world. The number of writers producing quality work as has undoubtedly increased, as has the number of writers producing forgettable material. There’s always more work to be done.
8. Self-publishing is a route a lot of people take for varied reasons in their bid to get their books out to an audience. What are your views on self-publishing?
It’s a problematic route. The majority of writers who choose that option are not quite ready to face the rigour of the intelligent reader, and even when a talented writer self-publishes, he or she is most times denied the processes that are required to produce a well-finished book.
9. Have we progressed to the point where writers can live off proceeds and royalty from their literary works?
We don’t need to “progress” to that point—it has always been there, even in the times of the griots and the renaissance poet-dramatists. But same as in any other worldly enterprise, the summit is only meant for a few. There are only a small number of writers who can live comfortably off the proceeds of their art. The rest of us can either look and envy, or strive and hope for a bit of luck.
10. What steps are being taken by the industry to combat piracy?
Wider distribution. Better promotion. Lower prices. It will be a long and dirty fight, and in this one the good guys, unfortunately, are not promised victory.
11. What do you think the Nigerian publishing industry and our indigenous writers need the most?
One area where I think the publishing industry needs support is in the provision of basic infrastructure. Better roads, better schools, constant power—the issues faced by every business in Nigeria. As a writer, I would be happy to have some local writers’ retreat where I could live and write for many months without worrying about where the next meal will come from. But that’s just me.
12. Most times readers complain about how hard it is to find Nigerian titles. A lot of the time these books are available only in the big book stores, which is not where the bulk of our audience is. Why don’t publishing houses have a larger network of stores they distribute to so that the common man on the street who can’t drive to the fancy stores in Lekki, Ikoyi and other affluent areas, will have access to these books?
The publisher’s primary task is to produce books. The bookseller’s job is to sell them. In the UK, Random House doesn’t sell books, WH Smith does. So the question shouldn’t be directed at Nigerian publishers, who’ve done their job. It should be directed at the bookshops in Ajegunle and Borokiri and Gusau, which have refused to seek out the books, to order and stock them. As a book buyer, I’ve asked. The answer I get most times is that there aren’t enough readers amongst “the common man on the street” to make it worthwhile for them to stock anything other than the fastest-selling educational and religious titles.
13. What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long hard day?

May 18, 2010

The BookJam @ Silverbird - Fourth Edition

"The BookJam @ Silverbird" is a monthly event that consists of book readings, discussions, musical performances, poetry recitals, book signings and a raffle draw. It is hosted by A. Igoni Barrett and the Silverbird Lifestyle store. The 4th edition of this event will hold 3 to 5 pm on Saturday 22 May 2010 at the Silverbird Lifestyle store, Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The guest writers scheduled for this month's event are:

SADE ADENIRAN, author of Imagine This.
She is a graduate of the University of Plymouth and also spent time as an exchange student at the University of Massachusetts. She has written various pieces for theatre and her work has been performed at the Lyric, the Bush and the Riverside Studios. She won the “Best First Book Prize” (Africa Region) in the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for her debut novel Imagine This. She lives and works in London, and is working on her second novel.

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE, author of Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and The Thing Around Your Neck.
She won the 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, BestBook) for her book Purple Hibiscus and the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, for Half of a Yellow Sun. Her latest book, The Thing Around Your Neck , was shortlisted for the 2009 John Llewellyn-Rhys Memorial Prize. She spends her time between Nigeria and the US.

CHUMA NWOKOLO, author of Diaries of a Dead African and publisher of African Writing
He has published a shortstory anthology, a collection of essays, a poetry collection, and four novels, the most recent being Diaries of a Dead African. He is an attorney based in the United Kingdom where he lives with his wife and children.

With a special guest appearance by BINYAVANGA WAINAINA
He is the founding editor of the literary magazine Kwani? and won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2002. He is presently a Director at The Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, Granta and National Geographic.

Admission to the BookJam is free. Members of the audience who purchase books during the event stand a chance to win a special prize in a raffle draw.
For more information send an email to auggustmedia@gmail.com. 
[Images and post content provided by Auggust Media]

April 22, 2010

The BookJam @ Silverbird - Third Edition

“The BookJam @ Silverbird” is a monthly event that consists of book readings, discussions, musical performances, poetry recitals, book signings and a raffle draw. It is hosted by A. Igoni Barrett and the Silverbird Lifestyle store.

The third edition of “The BookJam @ Silverbird” will hold between 3 to 5 pm on Saturday 24 April 2010 at the Silverbird Lifestyle store, Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The guest writers are:
Karen King-Aribisala, author of The Hangman’s Game;
Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, author of God of Poetry;
Wole Oguntokun, author of Gbanja Roulette.

Karen King-Aribisala was born in Guyana. Her first book, Our Wife and Other Stories, won the “Best First Book Prize” (Africa Region) in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize of 1990/91. Her most recent novel, The Hangman’s Game, was awarded the “Best Book Prize” (Africa Region) in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize of 2008. She is the current head of the English Department, University of Lagos.

Wole Oguntokun is the author of many stage plays including Gbanja Roulette and The Return of Sogidi. He has produced several local TV programmes and was a producer on Season 2 and 4 of the pan-African TV show, “Moments with Mo”. He is the artistic director of Theatre@Terra. He writes a weekly column in The Guardian called “The Girl Whisperer”.

Uzor Maxim Uzoatu is the author of several books, including God of Poetry and Doctor of Football. He was the 1989 Distinguished Visitor at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of Western Ontario, Canada, and is the chairman of the editorial board of News Star newspaper. His short story "Cemetary of Life" was nominated for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2008.
Admission to the BookJam is free. Members of the audience who purchase books during the event stand a chance to win a special prize in a raffle draw. For more information send an email to auggustmedia@gmail.com.

[Images and post content provided by Auggust Media]

April 21, 2010

Photos from the Second Edition of "The BookJam @ Silverbird"

The second edition of Book Jam @ Silverbird was held at the Silverbird Lifestyle store, Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos last month. Here are a few photos from the event.

Uwem Akpan and Igoni Barrett (top photo)
Unoma Giese (moderator of the event) (left photo)

Toni Kan (top)
Some guests in attendance (left)

Uwem Akpan's "Say You're One of Them" (top)
"Eko Dialogue" and "Remembering Ken
Saro Wiwa and Other Essays (right)

Jonathan Bruce (GM of Silverbird Lifestyle) and Babs Adefioye (top)
Joy Isi Bewaji (right)

Uwem Akpan autographing his book (left)
Uwem Akpan addresses the audience (top)

Abimbola Adelakun (left)
Father Uwem Akpan, author of "Say You're
One of Them" (top)

Adewale Maja- Pearce autographing a book (left)
Adewale Maja- Pearce (top)

Adewale Maja-Pearce and a guest (left)
Other guests in attendance (top)

Adewale Maja-Pearce and Odili Ujubuonu (right)

All photos published are courtesy of Auggust Media

March 21, 2010

The BookJam @ Silverbird - Second Edition

“The BookJam @ Silverbird” is a series of once-monthly literary events. Each event consists of book readings, discussions, literary performances, book signings and a raffle draw.

The Bookjam is hosted by A. Igoni Barrett and the Silverbird Lifestyle store. The second edition of “The BookJam @ Silverbird” will hold between 3 to 5 pm on Saturday 27 March 2010, at the Silverbird Lifestyle store, Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos. The guest writers are:

He is the author of several books, including Who’s Afraid of Wole Soyinka? and Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa & Other Essays. He was formerly editor of the Heinemann African Writers’ Series and Africa editor of Index on Censorship. He lives in Lagos, where he runs Yemaja, an editorial services agency.

She is the author of Eko Dialogue, a collection of short stories about Lagos. She has worked as a copywriter and screenwriter and has held various editorial positions in several magazines, including TW and Genevieve. She is writing her second book and also working on a biography of Rita Dominic, the Nollywood actress.

He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 2003 and had his first book, Say You’re One of Them, published in 2008. Say You're One of Them won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Africa Region) in 2009 and was an Oprah Book Club pick in the same year.

Admission to the BookJam is free. Members of the audience who purchase books during the event stand a chance to win a special prize in a raffle draw. For more information send an email to auggustmedia@gmail.com.

[Images and post content provided by Auggust Media]

March 11, 2010

Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop

Farafina Trust will be holding a creative writing workshop in Lagos, organized by award-winning writer and creative director of Farafina Trust, Chimamanda Adichie, from May 20 to May 29 2010. The workshop is sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc. Guest writers who will co-teach the workshop alongside Adichie are the Caine Prize Winning Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, Chika Unigwe winner of a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship for creative writing, South African writer Niq Mhlongo and celebrated Ghanaian writer Ama Ata Aidoo.

The workshop will take the form of a class. Participants will be assigned a wide range of reading exercises, as well as daily writing exercises. The aim of the workshop is to improve the craft of Nigerian writers and to encourage published and unpublished writers by bringing different perspectives to the art of storytelling. Participation is limited only to those who apply and are accepted.

To apply, send an e-mail to Udonandu2010@gmail.com

Your e-mail subject should read ‘Workshop Application.’

The body of the e-mail should contain the following:
1. Your Name
2. Your address
3. A few sentences about yourself
4. A writing sample of between 200 and 800 words. The sample must be either fiction or non-fiction.

All material must be pasted or written in the body of the e-mail. Please Do NOT include any attachments in your e-mail. Applications with attachments will be automatically disqualified. Deadline for submissions is April 22 2010. Only those accepted to the workshop will be notified by May 6 2010. Accommodation in Lagos will be provided for all accepted applicants who are able to attend for the ten-day duration of the workshop. A literary evening of readings, open to the public, will be held at the end of the workshop.

Okey Adichie
Programme Officer
Farafina Trust

This post in its full form was provided by Auggust Media

February 12, 2010

The BookJam @ Silverbird - First Edition

Starting in February 2010, the writer A. Igoni Barrett [author of From Caves of Rotten Teeth and convener of the “9 Writers, 4 Cities” book tour] will, in collaboration with Silverbird Lifestyle store, host a series of literary events tagged The BookJam @ Silverbird. Each event, which will hold on one weekend of every month, will consist of book readings and a discussion by three guest writers. There will also be performances by invited artistes.

The objective of the BookJam is to provide literary entertainment for the public by creating opportunities for book lovers to meet and discuss with writers and other artists. The event is also intended as a show of support for the achievements of the local literary community.

The first edition of “The BookJam @ Silverbird” will hold between 3 to 5 pm on Saturday 27 February 2010, at Silverbird Lifestyle store, Silverbird Galleria, Ahmadu Bello Way, VI, Lagos. The guest writers who have been invited for the event are:

Kaine Agary, author of Yellow Yellow and winner of the 2008 NLNG-sponsored Nigeria Prize for Literature;

Eghosa Imasuen, author of To Saint Patrick;

Jude Dibia, author of Walking with Shadows and Unbridled and winner of the 2007 NDDC/ANA-sponsored Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize for Prose.

The hip-hop singer MI is also expected to attend the event as a special guest.
Each of the guest writers will be interviewed on the Silverbird TV morning show “Today on STV”, and immediately afterwards on Rhythm 93.7 FM, on the following dates:

• Jude Dibia—19 February;

• Kaine Agary—23rd February;

• Eghosa Imasuen—26th of February.

Admission to the “The BookJam @ Silverbird” is free. Members of the audience who purchase books during the event stand a chance to win prizes presented by Globacom. Refreshments will be provided by The Coca Cola Company. For further information please call 07061141232 or email auggustmedia@gmail.com.

This post in its full form was provided by Auggust Media.