Literature Texts for Students

The cover of one our best-selling titles, Purple Hibiscus, headlines an opinion piece entitled “Examination set texts and our literature” in NEXT newspaper today.
Reading the piece, we were at first a little alarmed that our book was included in the author’s lament about the poor choices of literature texts by NECO and WAEC.
However (phew!), the author finds our book to be an exception, stating that “Adichie’s ‘Purple Hibiscus’ can be said to be a good recommendation”.
We agree (and not just because we are the publishers), as Purple Hibiscus is written in accessible language yet touches on many challenging issues in Nigeria today: religious fanaticism, intolerance of difference, political violence and so on.

The article in NEXT can be found here

The author makes a lot of good points. We need to put pressure on the government to improve the quality of the school curriculum, across all subjects.
As Nigerian publishers, we also think students and schools must demand better quality books, in terms of content and production, from the local industry.
Our edition of Purple Hibiscus is of world-class production quality and sells to students for only N400!

CORA hosts conference on ‘Bring Back The Book’ initiative

As a follow-up to the ‘Bring Back The Book’ initiative of the administration of President Jonathan, the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA, has resolved to stage a one-day conference of stakeholders in the Book industry and the creative and educational communities to fashion out an implementable document that could guide the President and his team in the quest to encourage reading culture and as well place importance on the Book as a source of knowledge acquisition and manpower development, according to Deji Toye, CORA’s Project Director and coordinator of the Conference.

The conference holds on January 17, 2010 in Lagos and is expected to attract a fairly large congregation of stakeholders in the relevant indus tries, including from governmental agencies, said CORA’s programme team.

The theme of the one-day conference is ‘When the President Wants to Bring Back the Book: So What’s To Be Done Now?’ And it is billed for the Banquet Hall, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos; 9am – 6pm.

The ‘Bring Back the Book’ campaign had been launched on December 20 with the President joining the Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka in a reading session for over 400 students drawn from as many as 100 schools around Lagos at the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. The programme also witnessed the formal presentation of the book, President Goodluck Jonathan: My Friends and I, Conversations on Policy and Governance via Facebook, during which about five top Nigerian hip-hop musicians performed to a crowd of about 5000 people at the new Expo Hall of Eko Hotel.

According to CORA , the January 17 conference is a desired follow-up to ensure that the dream behind the project is kept alive even as the country gradually slips into the mood of electioneering “when we tend to forget every other critical aspect of our national life”.

The conference, states CORA, aims to ‘gain the insight of stakeholders in the book industry on the current practical challenges of conceptualisation, production, distribution and consumption of books in Nigeria and its impact on the reading culture’; and obtain suggestions on what steps may be taken to address the said challenges with a view to reversing the waning reading culture, such steps including –

• any cultural/economic policies
• legal/regulatory frameworks
• market/supply-side innovations; and
•civil society initiatives.

Deliberations and suggestions at the conference will be presented to the ‘Bring Back the Book’ coordinators in the Presidency. It should also provide a reference point for a pan-industry advocacy for the revival of the reading culture and the revitalisation of the book industry.

Participants are to be to be drawn from the entire value chain of the book industry including the following: Publishers, booksellers and book dealers, authors, printers, libraries/librarians, book and literary event organisers/promoters (book clubs, literary festivals etc), educationists, renowned corporate promoters of book and literary initiatives, book and education-focused MDAs and Nigerian Academy of Letters”, stated CORA.


Write a short story that can be read in three minutes!

Well, here’s a challenge to you all! A writing contest requires writers to write fiction that can be read in three minutes! Not only that, at a point in the story, one character must tell a joke and one character must cry!(Chimamanda’s idea!) You can read the entire post below.

It’s back! Three-Minute Fiction has returned! We’re bringing you a new judge and a new challenge to start off this new year.

Our contest has a simple premise. We’re looking for original, short fiction that can be read in less than three minutes — that’s no more than 600 words.

Our judge for Round 6 is novelist and short-story writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She’s the author of the critically acclaimed books, Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun.

Our Round 6 Challenge
Each round, our judge throws out a challenge for our writers, and Adichie has a good one: At some point in your story, one character must tell a joke. And, one character must cry.

To be clear, the character who tells the joke can also be the character who cries, and the crying does not have to be in reference to the joke. Just at some point within your 600-word story, those two actions have to happen, Adichie says.

“In fact, I’d say if the crying came from the joke, that joke might not be very funny,” Adichie says. “But hey, if the writer can make it work!”

Adichie is hoping the stories she reads will be entertaining, but she’s really looking for a story that grapples with human emotion.

“I am interested in character and in emotion,” she says. “I think that’s really for me, what fiction is about, and I think the ability to cry and the ability to laugh, for me, is in some ways what defines humanity.”

“It would be lovely if there was an inventive use of language,” she adds. Nailing character, emotion and inventive language in no more than 600 words would be fantastic, she says, but that’s a pretty tough thing to do.

But getting down to just what matters is what short stories can do best. Writing very brief fiction “forces you to go down to the essentials,” Adichie says. “Sometimes you find that stories have a lot of padding.”

Some Rules

Round 6 Rules

Your story must have one of the characters tell a joke and have one of the characters cry.

Your story must be 600 words or fewer. One entry per person. Your deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Jan 23.

We’re accepting submissions until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 23. We must be able to read your stories aloud in three minutes or less, so again, the maximum is 600 words.

Only one entry per person. Send in your story by clicking on the “Send Us Your Original Short Story” link on the Three-Minute Fiction page.

Finally, Adichie says to just have fun writing your story. “Sometimes the best fiction comes out from a very light touch.”

Writers’ Residency

Welcome, all to 2011! How was the holiday? Hope you had a blast! Well, it’s a new year and we all have varying expectations. Our hope is that you surpass your expectations this year. Well, this year starts on a promising note as the Ebedi International Residency is calling on interested writers to participate in its’ residency programme. It sure sounds like fun! Enjoy!

The Ebedi International Residency is calling on interested writers to submit their applications to participate in its’ writers’ residency programme. The residency, taking place at the Ebedi International Writers’ Residency, Iseyin, Oyo State commences on January 17, 2011.

The programme established earlier this year and administered by a board including writers; Maryam Ali Ali, Uche Peter Umez and Alkasim Abubakar, requires selected writers to stay at the residence for a minimum of  four weeks and a maximum of six.

Applicants are required to include a CV, samples of works and a one-page description of the work to be undertaken at the residency in their application. Two letters of recommendation are also requested to be sent along with applications.

The residency is open to Nigerian and foreign writers. Writers living outside Nigeria should, however, note that they will be responsible for their flight, if selected. Kindly note that the offer is also open to writers writing in indigenous languages like Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and other African languages.

Works produced during the programme will be considered for publication. Writers will retain the rights to their work.

Selected writers will be expected to contribute to Iseyin’s educational development by organising a literary activity; a writing workshop or literary competition among secondary school students in the town during the duration of the program.

All applications must reach the secretary, Alkasim Abdulkadir, by midnight of January 7, 2011. They should be sent via e-mail to They can also be sent to Akintayo Abodunrin at