Before You Send Out Your Manuscript

Dear Writer,

Writing is an act of self-exploration and submitting your work to a publisher can be the scariest act of your life. As publishers, we are aware of this and sympathetic. In the event that we select your work for publication, we would do our very best to make the process pleasant for the writer.

However, to increase the chances of your manuscript being picked up by a publisher, we advise that you adhere to the rules of grammar, punctuation and submission.

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Before You Send Out Your Manuscript

Some mornings, we log into the submissions account and there are hundreds of emails waiting to be read, most of them with manuscript excerpts. Unfortunately, our request for more hours in a day hasn’t been granted (yet), so we can’t afford to waste any of the 24 we get. If you are a writer submitting your work to a publishing house, here’s how you can make our lives (and the lives of other editors and editorial assistants) easier.

Do Not Show Off

Contrary to what your friends and family members might have told you, you’re not the best writer since Shakespeare or Soyinka. But even if you are extremely talented, we won’t read your manuscript unless your email contains a synopsis of your novel and an excerpt of reasonable length (we suggest three chapters). We do not want to read a list of every award you’ve won since Primary School. We know every book we’ve published; don’t list them in your email or tell us that your work is better than those of seasoned authors. Allow us to judge that.

The moment we see emails like the one below, we know we won’t download or read the submission.

“If kachifo would like peharps, a demonstration, i would e-mail them my worst poem and they will be bewildered by beauty and admiration my stock of quality can give. I do not beg because i know writers like me would catapault the industry. My goal: to exceed Ngozi Adichi, ECHEBE, WOLE SOYINKA and to messure above SHAKESPARE and MILTON. Please e-mail me! (Sic)”

Do Not Send Your First Draft

Do as much work as you can in cleaning up your manuscript before sending it in. Does your story flow? If we can’t make sense of it, we won’t read past the first paragraph or chapter. Spell check! It doesn’t say much about your commitment to the written word if your manuscript is riddled with grammatical errors.

Send a Synopsis

Besides doing all the work you can on your manuscript, do even more on your synopsis – it often determines if your manuscript will be read or not. We rarely spend more than a minute on each email. In that minute, we read the synopsis and decide if we should download the manuscript excerpt or not. Do not send your manuscript without a synopsis, and do not send your synopsis without a manuscript. Both are important! And please, do not send a link to your blog, telling us to read your works there. We can, but we will not.

Obey Instructions

Often, submission guidelines request that you send in a synopsis, and attach an excerpt from your work to the email. Your synopsis can be sent in the body of the email (we prefer this), but do not send your sample chapters in the body of the email. We don’t have the time or inclination to copy text from the body of an email into a Word document for offline reading. If we can’t download the excerpt for offline reading, we’ll forget about it. Save your excerpt as a Microsoft Word document and send it as an attachment to the mail. However, do not assume this is all a publisher will ask for. Every publisher is different. Find out the guidelines of the publisher you want to send your manuscript to and follow the guide to the letter! If you will not dedicate time to reading and following the guidelines, the editor will not dedicate time to reading your work.

Copy Editor vs. Fairy God Editor

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We are copy editors, not fairy god editors. There are no fairy god editors waiting in the wings, dedicated to turning ALL writers’ rags into fine cloth. We won’t edit your story and send it back to you “even if it won’t be published.” Also, it’s very unlikely that we’ll to send you an email when we are done reading your excerpt just to tell you what we didn’t like about it… jeez. There are simply too many submissions and like we said, there aren’t enough hours in the day.

So if you don’t get a response within 8 weeks, it means Kachifo will not be publishing your work under our Farafina imprint but we wish you all the best.

Here are our submissions guidelines:

To have your work considered for publication by Kachifo Limited, please send an email to submissions@kachifo.com, including a strong excerpt of about three chapters or 10,000 words saved in Microsoft Word, a one-page synopsis of the work, and a short author bio. (Note that a synopsis is not the same as a blurb or a teaser. A synopsis should contain ‘spoilers’, and should give a summary of the entire story, including and especially how it ends.)

The sample of the manuscript should be properly formatted (double-spaced, left-justified only, 12pt Serif font). Our preferred font is Courier New.

Introduce yourself and your work in the query letter in the body of the email. The subject of your email should be the title of your manuscript followed by the word “Submission”. Your submission will be acknowledged and assessed by our editors. We will respond within eight weeks if we are provisionally interested in publishing your work.

At this time, Kachifo Limited is not accepting unsolicited poetry or non-fiction submissions. The submissions window will be re-opened on the 31st of December, 2017.

Please note that we only accept submissions via email to submissions@kachifo.com. We do not accept hard copy submissions.

Unsolicited submissions sent to other Kachifo email addresses may be overlooked. Hard copy submissions will not be acknowledged or returned.

Please see the FAQs or email submissions@kachifo.com for further information on how to publish with us.

If you would like to know more about Prestige, our publishing services imprint, visit www.prestige.ng

All the best!

Call for Entries for the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature

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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

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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.

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.

More #ShugaArtist Judges

And the unveiling continues. Meet two more of our fabulous #ShugaArtist judges.

 

Julie Allen

Julie Allen

Julie Allen

Julie Allen is Creative Director for Social Responsibility at MTV Networks International (MTVNI). In this role she is responsible for the strategic and creative development of pro-social media campaigns across all platforms for MTVNI – this includes long and short form on-air programming, events and digital content.

In addition to campaign-creation, Julie also spends time working on the Staying Alive Foundation – MTV’s global HIV prevention charity and one of the driving forces behind the Shuga series. She has created valuable fundraising initiatives for the charity – most notably MTV RE:DEFINE – an art auction, exhibition and gala held in Dallas, Texas, in partnership with The Goss-Michael Foundation. Julie was responsible for conceiving the original concept, developing it with curators and GMF, establishing the team and seeing it through from ideation to execution. Since 2011, two auctions have raised over $1.7m and seen work on show from over 50 artists including Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn, Tracey Emin and Shepard Fairey.

Some of Julie’s other notable highlights include being the Co-creator and Executive Producer of award winning MTV documentary Me, Myself and HIV as well as being the Co-creator of MTV Voices, MTV’s global pro-social platform for the millennial generation.

Tim Horwood

Tim Horwood

Tim Horwood

Biography

Tim Horwood is an award-winning Creative Director at Viacom International Media Networks where he currently heads up the Production and Creative departments of MTV, MTV Base, Comedy Central, VH1 and Nickelodeon in Africa. Tim’s portfolio recently expanded to include the role of Channel Director for MTV Base, MTV’s flagship, 24 hour Pan African Music and Lifestyle feed.

Tim started his TV career in front of the camera as an actor / TV presenter at the age of 10, and swiftly found his feet behind the camera as a director and producer. He has gone on to produce and oversee a vast number of Television shows and campaigns across Africa.

Leading by example, Tim heads up a team of young and passionate production, programming, marketing, talent & music personnel.

In 2012 Tim was a guest speaker at the prestigious PromaxBDA conferences in Africa, Australia and France and was invited to speak at the PromaxBDA conference in India and Singapore in 2013. He has been a South African Music Awards Judge for the last 8 years and was a part of the judging panel  for the International Emmy Awards 2013.

Tim officially resides in Johannesburg but spends his time working and travelling between South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

 

We’ve got together a veritable powerhouse of judges. There’s no doubt that we’ll be selecting the very best of the best as #ShugaArtist.

The countdown begins…