My Best Nigerian Book Contest, in partnership with Farafina Books, Cassava Republic and Dada Books, is pleased to announce an online writing contest titled “My Best Nigerian Book”  for all lovers of Nigerian books. Naija Stories through this medium, wants to encourage and inspire everyone to read more Nigerian books.

Read the classics – Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe), The Bride Price (Buchi Emecheta), Jagua Nana (Cyprian Ekwensi). Read history – Ovonramwen Nogbaisi (Ola Rotimi), memoirs and biographies – Ake (Wole Soyinka), On a Darkling Plain (Ken Saro Wiwa). Read fiction – Purple Hibiscus (Chimamanda Adichie), Unbridled (Jude Dibia), In Dependence (Sarah Manyika). Read contemporary and popular books – Zahrah the Windseeker (Nnedi Okoroafor), To Saint Patrick (Eghosa Imaseun), A Heart to Mend (Myne Whitman), I do not come to you by Chance (Adaobi Nwaubani). Whatever your choice, read often. 

Dates for Contest: July 5th – August 1st, 2010.

The contest opens July 5th and submissions end on July 16th.
First round Judging – July 16th – July 19th
Second round Judging and Voting – July 19th to July 29th 2010
The winner will be announced by August 1st.

Prizes : 

There will be one (1) overall winner in this contest. The prize is $50 cash OR Two (2) Nigerian books* of their choice shipped to them wherever they are. 

(*Costs including postage must not exceed $50). 

For contestants resident in Nigeria there will be 30 consolation prizes;

Fifteen (10) contestants will pick up gift packs of Nigerian books from Farafina Books in Lagos.

Ten (10) contestants will get a gift pack each of books from Cassava Republic Press in Abuja.

Five (5) contestants will get three books each from Dada Books in Lagos

Five (5) contestants will each get one copy each of A Heart to Mend by Myne Whitman in Abuja

Contest Guidelines: 

1. Register at and log in.

2. Make your submission as a post on the website with a title that defines your entry.
3. In the body of the post, provide the following;

a, the name of a Nigerian book that has touched you deeply,

b, the author’s name

c, a description of how the book has touched you. Perhaps this book has inspired you to change, to grow, to visit new places, to view life differently, or to just feel a lot of enjoyment for having read it. It can be any book, and we mean any book, even children’s books or non fiction – as long as it is by a Nigerian.

d, your real name and where you live (location).

4. Your entry should be a maximum of 250 words. 
5. Put the entry in the category of “My Best Nigerian Book” and press the button, “Submit for Review”. 
Contest Procedure: 

To make it a fair and all inclusive contest, Naija Stories will have 3 stages for determining the winner;

Stage 1. – The Naija Stories team will select the most suitable of the entries.
Stage 2. – 3 Judges, one each from Farafina Books, Cassava Republic and Dada Books will score the selected entries. This will be added to votes polled via the ratings system on At this stage, those who passed the first round can invite friends to rate their submissions. The top entries with the best ratings in combination with the judges scores will proceed to the last round.
Stage 3. – 1 Final Independent Judge will select the winner.

Judging Criteria: 

– The first round judges will be checking for clean use of the English language so polish your grammar and keep typos to a minimum please! This is a contest for readers but most of us are writers too so treat it like a writing exercise. You do not know who is reading.

– Second round judges will be looking for creativity, so go on and give it your all. Be genuine! Be unique! Be original! Use this as an opportunity to acknowledge the book and the author for whom you feel a lot of affinity or gratitude. 

– The final judge will be looking for genuine writing and heart-felt expressions of how the book has affected you and your life.

We at Farafina see this as a unique opportunity to celebrate Nigerian fiction, hence our participation. So start reading and start writing!

1st Annual Creative Careers Fair

We are very excited about participating in the 1st Annual Creative Careers Fair scheduled for July 15 & 16 at the new Lagos City Hall.  The fair is the brainchild of Enterprise Creative a new not-for-profit organization spearheaded by Nkiru Asiku of Storm Productions. This event is the first major Careers Fair in Nigeria showcasing opportunities in the creative industries, including TV, Film, Advertising, PR, Radio, Publishing, Performing Arts, Fashion, Visual Arts, Music and Design.

Be on the look out for Farafina Books as our COO will be presenting on What Publishers Look For When Evaluating a Manuscript.  We will also be exhibiting our books, offering all guests who stop by up to 50% off some of our most coveted titles!  There will also of course be book giveaways and other free stuff so do stop by!

“This two-day event is an unmissable opportunity for anyone with an interest in working in the creative industries,” said Nkiru Asika, Founder and CEO of Enterprise Creative. “At the Creative Careers Fair, job seekers and employers in the creative industries can gather together to network and explore full-time and freelance opportunities. Expected participants will include creative professionals, career changers, new graduates and university students.”

Ms. Asika, who is also a director of leading Entertainment Company Storm 360, said participants will get to meet people from a range of creative industries and discover the different opportunities available in creative fields through a broad menu of interactive seminars led by industry professionals.

Other speakers expected at the Creative Careers Fair include: Alima Atta(Sesema PR), Wole Oguntokun (Theatre @ Terra), Nonye Ugwujide (Group Head, Communications, Oceanic), Obi Asika (Storm 360), Femi Odugbemi (AVF), Joke Silva, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf (Cassava Republic), Adaobi Nwaubani (Commonwealth Prize Winner), Audu Makori(Chocolate City), Abasiama Idaresit (WildFusion/Facebook Nigeria), Dayo Elegbe (NaijaSounds), Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi (Beat 99.9), Uche Nnaji (Ouch! Couture) and more.

Tickets are available at Chicken Republic outlets around Lagos.


Lagos: 2060 Open House (Book Party)

The Lagos: 2060 Open House (Book) Party on Saturday the 3rd of July @ Center for Excellence in Film and Media Studies, 44A Palm Avenue, MKO Abiola Gardens, Alausa Ikeja will be massive!

Participants at the Lagos: 2060 workshop (which has run for the past three months) organised by DADA books in collaboration with the Center for Excellence in Film and Media Studies) will be presenting their short stories set in Lagos in the year 2060 to an audience of writers, book enthusiasts and sci-fi buffs in a fun atmosphere.

Participating writers include:
Ashiru Afolabi
Rita Omovbude
Terh Agbedeh
Rayo Falade
Temitayo Olofinlua
Ayodele Arigbabu
Omobolanle Adeniyi
Fredrick Nwonwu and
Okey Egboluche

Award winning sci-fi writer, Nnedi Okorafor will be headlining the event…

Great books from Farafina and DADA books will be available for sale…

Look out for Nnedi Okorafor’s Zahrah The Windseeker (which won the 2008 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature) at an amazing give-away price…

Got your copy of Ruby Igwe’s The Land of Kalamandahoo? Yes? Get another copy for a friend at the book party!

more gist to follow…


Entry is free and open to the public

Penguin Prize for African Writing Announces Shortlist

In April 2009, our friends at Penguin Books announced a new literary award for African writers.  The award to be called The Penguin Prize for African Writing was to award the winning writer R50,000 and a publishing contract with Penguin Books South Africa with the possibility of distribution through the extensive Penguin Group  network worldwide.  Entries were to be submitted in two categories:  fiction and non-fiction.

We had written a little while ago about the lack of science-fiction and/or fantasy fiction amongst the acceptable genres of this award, especially given that African stories and folklores lend themselves very easily to such genres.  However, we are still pretty happy to see this renaissance of African writing across the continent and indeed across the world.

Without further ado, the team at Penguin Books SA have announced the shortlisted writers for this prize.  They are:

Fiction Category

Ellen Aaku (Zambia)
Moraa Gitaa (Kenya)
Chika Ezeanya (Nigeria)
Shubnum Khan (South Africa)
Isabella Morris (South Africa)
Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ  (Kenya)

Non-Fiction Category

Pius Adesanmi (Nigeria)
Andrew Barlow (South Africa)
Ruth Carneson (South Africa)
Ahmed Mortiar (South Africa)
Tanure Ojaide (Nigeria)
Anli Serfontein (South Africa)
Tebogo Tlharipe (South Africa)

We wish all the shortlisted Nigerian writers all the best luck, especially to Farafina author, Tanure Ojaide (of published Farafina title The Activist). Break a leg!

Pius Adesanmi


Tanure Ojaide


Chika Ezeanya

Pilgrimages’ Lagos Journey Comes To An End

The Pilgrimages journey for Alain Mabanckou ends in Lagos today. In the short time he’s been here he’s had the opportunity to experience Lagos at its best at various locations. It’s been quite the pleasure to host Alain and we can’t wait to read his journal of his Lagos travels when the Pilgrimages book is published in 2012. For now do find out the experiences of other writers on the Pilgrimages Blog and please leave a comment!


Pilgrimages Route

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 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, or call (+234) (0)7084344856

Image by Afri-Love