Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2015


The 2015 Wasafiri New Writing Prize is now open. The prize rewards outstanding work from unpublished writers in these three categories: poetry, fiction and life writing. This year’s judges are Toby Litt, Yasmin Alibhai Brown and Roger Robinson. The prize for each category is £300 and publication in Wasafiri. Entries will be accepted until 5pm, 24 July 2015.

For more information, please visit Wasafiri.

Financial Times/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Awards 2015


Financial Times/OppenheimerFunds present the Emerging Voices Awards 2015. The award, in its inaugural year, aims to recognise extraordinary talent in the arts, including fiction, film and art.

“There is a remarkable structural shift in the world, propelled by economic progress in the developing markets and the advanced reach of the Internet. More connectivity and greater variety of voices in the business, science and arts communities are leading to a new renaissance. The Financial Times and OppenheimerFunds are delighted to provide a platform to recognise the people contributing to these markets.”

The fiction award is open to nationals or residents of emerging nations in Africa and the Middle East. Only books first published between 1 January 2014 and 30 September 2015, and having a minimum of 20,000 words, are eligible. Entries are open until 30 April 2015, and winners in each category will be announced at a special gala on 5 October 2015. Winners in each category will receive the sum of $40,000.

For more information on entry criteria, entry categories and the awards schedule, please visit the awards website.

Call for Entries for the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature


Etisalat Nigeria, today announced the call for entries for the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature, the second edition of the much celebrated innovative literature prize launched in 2013. The Etisalat Prize for Literature which is the first Pan African Literary Award to celebrate African fiction writers seeks to recognise, celebrate and reward debut fiction writers of African descent whose works are published in the last 24 months.

According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer at Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher, “the Etisalat Prize for Literature serves as a platform for the discovery of new creative writing talent out of the African continent and is the first prize with the novel concept of also promoting the growing publishing industry in Africa. The winner receives a cash prize of £15,000 in addition to a fellowship at the prestigious University of East Anglia. The winner and shortlisted writers receive a sponsored two-city tour promoting their books.”

The acting CEO highlighted that following the success of the maiden edition last year, the literary community is eagerly awaiting this second edition. NoViolet Bulawayo won the maiden edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature with her highly celebrated debut novel “We Need New Names”. The Etisalat Prize accepts submitted works which must be a writer’s first work of fiction over 30,000 words, which has been published in the last 24 months. The Etisalat Prize will also launch the online based flash fiction prize later in the year to engage the rising stars of fiction.

A Press Conference will be held in Lagos, in June, to announce the panel of judges for this year’s competition. Rules and guidelines for entry are available on www.etisalatprize.com

Entries close 8th of August 2014.

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.

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.

Photo Diary, 2013 Farafina Trust Literary Evening

So another Farafina Workshop has come and gone but not without characteristic glamour. On Friday 16th August the workshop participants, mentors, sponsors, well wishers and the everyone else who loves a literary fest gathered at Oriental Hotel, VI to mark the end of the 2013 Farafina Workshop.

Courtesy of our favourite photographer (ever!), Tolu Talabi, enjoy these glam shots from The Farafina Trust Literary Evening.

It was impossible not to be enchanted by literature at a venue like this.

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Binyavanga Wainana and Pearl Osibu

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The Beautiful Ms. Adichie

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The Adichies

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The Binj

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Eghosa Imasuen, 2013 Farafina Trust Workshop Facilitator

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The lovely Mrs. Imasuen

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A cross-section of the audience with Chimamanda Adichie

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Chimamanda Adichie and Ivara Esege

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Workshop participants, (l-r) Tolu Agunbiade, Maryam Isa, and guest (Tola Agunbiade)

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2013 Workshop participants (l-r), Damilola Yakubu, Adaora Nwankwo and Sifa Asani-Gowon

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2013 Workshop participants (l-r), Uchenna Ude, Okpanachi Michael

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2013 Workshop participants (l-r), Timendu Aghahowa, Gbolahan Adeola, Adulrashid Muhammad

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2013 workshop facilitators, Eghosa Imasuen, Aslak Sira Myhre and Binyavanga Wainana

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The Imasuens

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Chimamanda Adichie speaking about the 2013 Workshop and its participants

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Yona Oyegun-Masade, Kachifo’s Managing Editor

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Amatesiro Dore, writer and roving editor for Kachifo

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Efe Paul Azino, 2013 Farafina Workshop participant and prolific poet

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Artist, K’Cee (of Limpopo fame) and young fan

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Ahem, sorry did we say fan? We meant young talent

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.