Americanah: One of the 10 Best Books of 2013

The year’s best books, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.

FICTION

Farafina Books

The New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2013

By turns tender and trenchant, Adichie’s third novel takes on the comedy and tragedy of American race relations from the perspective of a young Nigerian immigrant. From the office politics of a hair-braiding salon to the burden of memory, there’s nothing too humble or daunting for this fearless writer, who is so attuned to the various worlds and shifting selves we inhabit — in life and online, in love, as agents and victims of history and the heroes of our own stories.” ~ The New York Times.

Read the rest here.

The UK Guardian also named Americanah as one of the Best Fiction of 2013

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

So what should we get Chimamanda for Christmas?

I’d love to be given, as a present, a signed copy of Politics: Observations and Arguments, 1966-2004 (Penguin) by Hendrik Hertzberg, whose work I admire very much.” ~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

URGENT Call For Submissions: Africa39

African authors born after Jan 1st 1974 to be honoured in the Africa39 Project, an anthology to be edited by Ella Alfrey and introduced by Wole Soyinka.

In a year in which Port Harcourt has been accorded the honour of being the first sub-Saharan city to be named UNESCO World Book Capital, a year of Nigeria’s Centenary, The Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts Ltd and the Rainbow Book Club have partnered to present the best of African writers under the age of 40.

Excerpts of the press release are below.

What is Africa39 Project?
The Africa39 Project has been set up as a key part of the programs and celebrations of Port Harcourt UNESCO World Book Capital 2014.  In April 2014, Africa39 will announce 39 of the most promising African writers of fiction under the age of 40.

The Africa39 Project is a partnership between the Hay Festival of Literature & the Arts Ltd., UK; and the Rainbow Book Club (Port Harcourt, Nigeria).

The Africa39 Project will contact and liaise with African literary prizes, writers groups, literary magazines, and literary festivals.

We have been made to understand that the organisers are apologetic that this announcement is coming at such short notice. This is a huge opportunity for a new generation of writers, and we urge you, our readers, to encourage as many as possible to submit an application for consideration. Details below.

Rules for Applicants.

  • Writers may apply on their own behalf
  • Agents and publishers can apply on behalf of writers in their stable.
  • Writers must be under 40 years of age  (born on or after January 1st, 1974).
  • Writers must have published at least one work of fiction.
  • We are keen to promote writers who show promise.
  • The judges’ decision is final and they will not enter into any correspondence with entrants regarding their decisions.
  • This prize is open only to African writers.
  • By African writer we mean that you are a resident of; or were born in one of the countries listed below.  By African writers, we also mean that any writer who has one or more parents from any of these countries:  Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria,  Réunion, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Saint Helena, São Tomé and Príncipe Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
  • Writers from the Diaspora(s) of any one or more of the countries listed above are encouraged to apply.
  • The author must provide the following essential information on the cover page:
  • full name, date of birth, country of origin.
  • contact details: e-mail, telephone number (including country-code), twitter handle.
  • a 200 word biography.
  • a short bibliography of your published literary work.

The author must also attach:

  • a scanned copy of the biographical page from one of the following: your passport,your official national identification card,or your driver’s licence.
  • a square author photograph in .png format  minimum of 180×180 pixels.

                The deadline for ALL submissions is midnight (East African Time/GMT+3) Dec 10th, 2013.

                ALL applicant submissions should be made VIA EMAIL ONLY TO: africa39project@gmail.com

All questions should be directed ONLY to this email address: africa39project@gmail.com  or on Twitter @africa39list

Please ensure your submissions keep strictly to the guidelines and application criteria we have provided in this document.

Application Criteria

  • Applicants must submit one creative piece, that they feel is their strongest work of fiction. This may be a short story, or an excerpt of a longer work of fiction. We are open to creative non-fiction submissions, or an excerpt of a non-fiction novel.
  • The submitted piece must be no longer than 5000 words.
  • The submitted piece must be typed, double-spaced, and delivered ONLY in Times New Roman, 12pt.
  • The submitted creative piece must only be sent as TWO document attachments, each with a cover page containing the details specified in the rules.
  • One of the TWO document attachments must be a Microsoft Word (.doc) file, and another must be a Adobe Portable Document format (.pdf) file.
  • These two documents should have page numbers.
  • Please ensure your submissions keep strictly to the guidelines we have given.
  • With each creative submission, make sure to include, after the cover page, a 500 word synopsis if the submission is an excerpt of a larger work.
  • We strongly encourage submissions of work in African languages. If there is no professionally produced literary translation of creative submission in an African language, we will arrange to have one done.
  • Translations into English of creative submissions originally written in French/German/Spanish/Portuguese or other language are welcome.
  • Where necessary, we will arrange for professional literary translations of creative submissions into English.

ALL Submissions, as well as queries, should be e-mailed to: africa39project@gmail.com

Submissions will be read by a panel headed by Binyavanga Wainaina which will submit  a long-list of 120 authors to the final judges by 15th December 2013.

The distinguished judging panel will include the following eminent literary figures: Elechi Amadi, Tess Onwueme, and Margaret Busby.

The judges will select the final 39 winners from this long-list of 120, and announce them in April 2014 at the London Bookfair and in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Rainbow Book Club and Hay Festival will contact the 39 authors selected for the Africa39 Project to inform them that they have been selected, and to commission from each, a short story or extract that will be published in the anthology. The prestigious publishing house Bloomsbury is committed to publishing the anthology in English by October 2014 if the commissioned works by the authors are ready by end of March 2014.

Nobel Prize winner Professor Wole Soyinka will write the introduction to the anthology.

Renowned editor, Ellah Allfrey (OBE), will edit the anthology.

The judges’ decision is final and under no circumstances will they enter into any correspondence with entrants regarding their decisions.

The copyright of each submission remains with its owner.

AKE ART AND BOOK FESTIVAL IS UNDERWAY

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The Ake Art and Book Festival kicked off on Tuesday 19th November and no one is more excited than us! We really, really would like to meet you at the Festival. Five of our Authors, Igoni Barrett, Abraham Oshoko, Binyavanga Wainaina, Olusegun Adeniyi and Eghosa Imasuen along with other literary voices, Teju Cole, Yewande Omotoso, Molara Wood, Victor Ehikamenor and others will be buzzing about at the various discussion panels and events.

If that’s not enough, the will be art exhibitions and plays; including the stage adaptation of the Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives based on the book by author and Festival organiser, Lola Shoneyin.

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Cast of #BabaSegi’s at rehearsal

The Festival ends on Sunday 24th November after a truly amazing weekend line up. Checheck out the full programme here.

For directions to the Festival click here.

Want to know more about the Festival?  Read on…

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Question: What is the Ake Arts and Book Festival all about?

Answer: The Ake Arts and Book Festival is a six-day programme of cultural, artistic and literary events. These will include readings, master classes, workshops, performances and talks delivered by both Nigerian and international authors, thinkers, poets, filmmakers, actors, artists and academics.Events will also include a comprehensive book fair, schools visits, a stage play, film showings, a musical concert, and library openings to pupils, publishers and book-buyers will be invited. Members of the public will be invited to participate in these events to promote social inclusion.

Question: Do I need an invitation to attend the festival?

Answer: No, you do not need an invitation to attend the festival. However, you need to register and registration costs N1000/ $6.50. Registration gives you access to the festival venue and to some of the free events. You will also be entitled to the festival welcome package. The registration fee is a one-off payment. We have both free events and events that can be booked and paid for online/in person prior to the event or in person at the venue. Because of the generosity of sponsors, most events are free.

Question: How do I register for the master classes?

Answer: You apply on the website, and you are required to have foundational knowledge of the classes you wish to apply for. You will be notified if you have been accepted by October. Please note that the selections will be made by the facilitators on a first come, first serve basis. We encourage you to apply early.

Question: How can I participate in the online competitions?

Answer: The online competitions is open to everyone. All you have to do is create an account on the website and you can start sending in your answers. You will be notified by email if you are one of our lucky winners.

Question: Will the books of participating authors be available at the festival?

Answer: Yes, books written by visiting authors will be available at the festival and you will be able to get your books autographed. From October if you are interested in a particular author, you will be able to buy the books online, or pick them up at our Lagos office or the Ibadan or Abuja depot.

Question: Is it only the books that I buy at the book fair that the authors will autograph?

Answer: No. You can come with copies you bought previously or the books that you ordered before the festival.

Question: I am an author and I would like to participate in the festival and showcase my work, how can I do this?

Answer: Please send an email to office@akefestival.org. We invite our guests to participate ten months before the actual festival.It is unlikely that you will be invited to the 2013 festival but there’s always next year. Each year, we will have a different theme. It is important that your work is in line with our criteria, and that your work is given the go-ahead by our guest selection committee.

 

The Etisalat Prize for Literature hosts a Creative Writing Workshop at the Bogobiri Festival

bogobiri etisalat workshop

We are very exited to announce The Etisalat Prize for Literature Week at the Bogobiri Festival this November. On the bill events is a four day  residential workshop on creative writing to be facilitated by Igoni Barrett, Eghosa Imasuen, and Binyavanga Wainaina of Farafina. The Workshop, which will focus on fictional prose writing, will hold from the 7th to the 10th of November 2013.

Bogobiri invites interested members of the public to send in applications. There are ten places up for grabs. All you have to do is email your application to bogobiriwriter@kachifo.com. Applications should include a short cover note, short biographical details, and a prose writing sample (it may be fiction or non-fiction) of between 200-800 words. All should be in the body of the email; sadly, applications with attachments will be deleted unread. Participation in the workshop is free and the organisers will provide accommodation and feeding for the duration.

In advance of the workshop writers who have made the final list will be asked to send in an original work of short fiction.  Participants will also be sent several stories and excerpts from longer works as reading material to be discussed at the workshop. During the workshop each participant’s work will be critiqued by the facilitators and developed using workshop exercises, readings from well-known authors and reading out loud. Throughout the duration, participants will be encouraged to share their writing and offer and receive feedback with fellow writers and facilitators.  There will also be daily assignments to hone creative writing skills.

Applications will close on the 29th of October and successful applicants will be notified by Saturday, the 2nd of November, 2013.

Update (4pm 06 Nov 2013): Binyavanga Wainaina will not be coming to the workshop due to other important engagements.

Binyavanga and Igoni’s Reading at Quintessence, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, this Past Saturday: Photos from the Event

Binyavanga reading

Igoni Barrett, Amatesiro Dore, Binyavanga Wainaina

Toni Kan and Kaina Agary

Toni Kan and Kaine Agary

Ayodele Morocco-Clarke and Toni Kan mugging it for the camera

Ayodele Morocco-Clarke and Toni Kan mugging it for the camera

Lola Shoneyin was there.

Lola Shoneyin was there.

(R-L) Adebola Rayo and Aye-ola Mabiauku read along with Igoni

(R-L) Adebola Rayo and Aye-ola Mabiauku read along with Igoni

Saraba founder and author, Dr. Damilola Ajayi

Saraba founder and author, Dr. Damilola AjayiAmatesiro led Igoni and Binyavanga in conversation after they readAmatesiro led Igoni and Binyavanga in conversation after they read

Poet Aye-Ola performs her work and get the audience in the mood

Poet Aye-Ola performs her work and get the audience in the mood

Wana Udobang, writer, poet and OAP with Inspiration FM performs her poems, Love is/Not for Sale

Middle: Ms. Eretoru Oruwari, Igoni's mother, was in the audience

Middle: Ms. Eretoru Oruwari, Igoni’s mother, was in the audience

Wana Udobang, writer, poet and OAP with Inspiration FM performs her poems, Love is/Not for Sale

Igoni Barrett reads from his collection of short stories, Love is Power or Something Like ThatIgoni Barrett reads from his collection of short stories, Love is Power or Something Like That

Audience lines up for autographs

Audience lines up for autographs

Igoni Barrett and Binyavanga Wainaina Read in Lagos in October

Quintessence will, on Saturday the 19th of October, host the first readings of the Nigerian editions of critically acclaimed books by two authors.

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Igoni Barrett’s Love is Power or Something Like That has been described as “Something alive, like that,” by none other than Nadine Gordimer. In this collection of short stories, Igoni, with humour and tenderness, introduces us to an utterly modern Nigeria, where desire is a means to an end, and love is a power as real as money.

Binyavanga Wainaina, storyteller, essayist, and force of nature won the Caine Prize in 2002 for his short story cum essay Discovering Home. This brilliant story would be fleshed out into the incredible memoir of life lived, and home found, One Day I Will Write About This Place.

Farafina presents these books at the event of the year: Igoni and Binyavanga under one roof. You do not want to miss it. We will see you at 2pm on Saturday the 19th of October 2013.

Venue: Quintessence, Plot 13, Block 44 Parkview Estate Entrance, off Gerrard Road, Ikoyi. (See photo for map)

Prizes will be one by the early birds.

 

2013 Farafina Trust Literary Evening

You’re All Invited!

Seun Kuti @ a past Farafina Trust Literary Evening
Seun Kuti @ the 2011 Farafina Trust Literary Evening

To mark the end of the 2013 Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop, Farafina Trust will be holding a literary evening, which is open to the public.

As always, the literary evening presents an opportunity for writers, literary enthusiasts and lovers of the arts to mingle and interact.

Date: Friday, 16th August 2013
Time: 5 p.m.
Venue: Oriental Hotel, 3 Lekki Expressway, Victoria Island, Lagos

Everyone is invited, so please bring a girlfriend, a boyfriend, a potential friend, an enemy (it might change their lives!).

Farafina titles will be available on sale.

See you there!

Introducing…The Final #ShugaArtist Judge, Native Maqari

Native Maqari

Native Maqari at work

Born in 1980, Native is gradually becoming one of the most talented draughtsmen of his generation. In the recent years his reputation has surpassed the graffiti movement to contaminate the wold of illustration and comics. A simple look at his work suffices to grasp the rhythmic and musical potential of his lines. Whether on a comic page or a large-scale mural the two approaches nourish each other in a dialogue with a visual vocabulary that gets dramatically richer over time.

Born in Nigeria, Native immigrated to Brooklyn NY as a child and has lived in places like Tel Aviv Israel and Cairo Egypt. He has been a part of avant-garde crews like YMI New York and 1984 Paris and has been a regular feature in the Paris comic and Street Art world for the past few years.

His past publications include:

The Sessions 2007 (publisher DRAGO Italy)

Arabesque 2009 (publisher Gelstaten Germany)

Jean Senac 2012 with Maximilien Le Roy and Zephyr

Very excitingly, his upcoming works include:

Captain Rugged with Biyi Bandele (director of Shuga) and Keziah Jones  Nov 2013 (publisher, Damiani, Italy)

Angela! With Angela Davis and Maximilien le Roy

Chinua Achebe‘s Girls at War with Biyi Bandele

That’s it folks! Native is the last of our five member judging panel and we absolutely LOVE his work.

Check out our other judges Adeniran Adeniji, Abraham Oshoko, Julie Allen and Tim Horwood, whom we’ve been profiling all week.

#ShugaArtist Search Extended

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In response to appeals from artists in different parts of the country who only heard about #ShugaArtist a few days ago, the organisers of the #ShugaArtist search have decided to extend the entry submission deadline to MIDNIGHT ON FRIDAY 16TH AUGUST, 2013.

Artists who have already submitted their entries are permitted to resubmit if they so desire.

Note, no further extensions will be given so please, be nice and spread the word.

The #ShugaArtist search seeks to find an artist to create a sizzling comic book based on the Shuga TV series. Based on storylines and characters from the award winning drama about youth, sex, health and relationships drama, this exciting opportunity will give an unrivalled platform for showcasing the best illustration and graphic design talent in Nigeria.

This is an official announcement from the programme organisers MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Kachifo Limited.

#ShugaArtist Judge, Tim Horwood, on Nigerian Artists and the Open Call

‪#‎ShugaArtist‬ search judge, Tim Horwood, on why any Nigerian comic artist worth their salt should be responding to this open call for the Shuga comic book.

COULD YOU DESIGN THE SIZZLING NEW SHUGA COMIC BOOK? from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.