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!

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Farafina Authors at Ake Festival 2016

In case you somehow missed it, the 2016 edition of Ake Festival will be taking place next week in Abeokuta, from Tuesday 15 November to Saturday 19 November 2016. Don’t miss a chance to meet our amazing lineup of authors at this year’s festival.

 

Jowhor Ile (And After Many Days) and Chinelo Okparanta (Under the Udala Trees)  – whose novels are fresh off the Farafina presses – will be at the festival. Tendai Huchu, whose novel, The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician, was published in 2015 by Kachifo Limited, will also be at the festival. Grab your very own copies of these books and get them signed!

Visit the Ake Festival website to view the programme of events, register and so on.

 

New Farafina Titles: ‘And After Many Days’ and ‘Under the Udala Trees’

Farafina is excited to announce the release of two spectacular new fiction titles, both debut novels: And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile and Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta.

In And After Many Days, one family’s life is disrupted by the sudden disappearance of seventeen-year-old Paul Utu, beloved brother and son. As they grapple with the sudden loss of their darling boy, they embark on a painful and moving journey of immense power which changes their lives forever and shatters the fragile ecosystem of their once ordered family. Ajie, the youngest sibling, is burdened with the guilt of having seen Paul last and convinced that his vanished brother was betrayed long ago. But his search for the truth uncovers hidden family secrets and reawakens old, long forgotten ghosts as rumours of police brutality, oil shortages and frenzied student protests serve as a backdrop to his pursuit.

 

Okparanta’s Under the Udala Trees tells the story of Ijeoma, who comes of age as her nation does; born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. When their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself. But there is a cost to living inside a lie.

Copies of And After Many Days and Under the Udala Trees are available in leading bookstores across the country. You can also buy copies from our Konga store, or call us on 0807 736 4217 to order.

Books and Food at #GrillandRead

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Calling all book (and food) lovers! There’s something in store for you this Saturday, August 27. Come join us at #BookandGrill for a delicious and insightful time. There will be:

– Games
– Spoken word performances
– Grilled food to eat
– Free drinks
– A book auction for charity
– Farafina titles available for sale

Date: Saturday, 27 August 2016
Time: 3 PM – 7 PM
Venue: The Rooftop, CC Hub, 294 Herbert Macaulay Road Yaba, Lagos
Tickets: N1,500 (individuals), N6,000 (group of five)

See you there!

Celebrate World Jollof Rice Day with Kitchen Butterfly

Monday, August 22, is World Jollof Rice Day! Come join Ozoz Sokoh (aka Kitchen Butterfly) at this mouthwatering event to celebrate all that is great about Nigeria’s favourite party food.

 

Kitchen Butterfly and Maggi

The event will feature:

– An exhibition of jollof rice photographs
– A session on the history of jollof rice
– A book meet: an exploration of ‘Jollof Rice in Literature’ (Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Without a Silver Spoon by Eddie Iroh). This session will feature Wana Udobang, Ozoz ‘Kitchen Butterfly’ Sokoh and Amanda Chukwudozie, and will be moderated by Eghosa Imasuen.
– Farafina titles for sale, at 10% off
Free jollof rice to eat

Date: Sunday, August 21, 2016
Time: 4 PM
Venue: A Whitespace Lagos, 58 Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, Lagos

Entry is absolutely free, so come along and bring a friend!

Obari Gomba Hosts an Evening of Poetry

Obari and Friends

Farafina author, Obari Gomba, will be hosting an evening of poetry and mentoring – tagged ‘Obari Gomba and Friends’ – for aspiring poets and poetry lovers in the city of Port Harcourt. The event will feature poetry readings by the author, as well as light refreshments and discussions on creative writing (particularly poetry), getting published and literary prizes.

Date: Sunday, 10 January 2016
Time: 4.30 PM
Venue: Witty E-Cafe, 25 Nnewi Street, Mile I, Port Harcourt

Obari Gomba (PhD) teaches Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Port Harcourt. His poetry collection, Length of Eyes, was listed by the jury of the Nigeria Prize for Literature as one of the best eleven poetry books in 2013. His poetry collection, Thunder Protocol, was published by Farafina Kamsi in 2015.

Abraham Oshoko’s June 12 1993: Annulment so hot even Nigerian Authorities won’t let it go!

3On the 12th of June 2013, Kachifo Limited was scheduled to commence circulation of its latest publication, June 12, 1993 Annulment, by Abraham Oshoko, sequel to June 12, The Struggle for Power in Nigeria.

The cargo containing the books arrived in Nigeria on Sunday, the 9th of June, 2013, and our staff went to the airport and with our clearing agents, commenced the necessary steps and clearance required before the books would be released. This was not to be, as after the Standard Organization of Nigeria had carried out their screening procedures, and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, had ensured that the cargo contained no contraband and cleared the books.

Then, just when we thought we could finally deliver the books to the waiting public, they were promptly seized by none other than the Nigerian State Security Service. Kachifo Limited staff were informed that clearance was being withheld to enable the State Security Service check the content of the book and ensure that the publication was not a “violence, anti-government book”. Annoying as this was, we have to say we did feel a little honoured that one of our publications was joining the honoured State Security Service roll. Really, doesn’t it have to be an important book to get blocked by SSS?

Nigerian State Security Service

Nigerian State Security Service

As part of the clarification process by the State Security Service, the book would have to pass through a panel, set up by them, to go through its contents and ensure that it did not contain anything that would potentially spark unrest upon circulation. They also stated that this was an important measure for them due to the fragile political state of the country because, according to them, “June 12 was the root of Nigeria’s current political problems” (we withhold all comment on this but would really like to know what you think).

The State Security Service then took 6 copies of the publication for review free – which were not returned even after the books had finally been cleared for release on Saturday, the 15th of July 2013. Staff of Kachifo Limited were on hand to receive them, after which the books were brought to our premises in Yaba, and circulation commenced.

The sudden anxiety displayed by the State Security Service was surprising to us at Kachifo Limited because the first part of the multi-part series which was published in 2006 and has been in circulation since then has not caused unrest of any sort.

The June 12 elections are, and will always be, a significant event in our country because the elections were a true display of fairness and democracy. It is important that such a vital part of our history be kept alive, for generations here and to come, to know and understand our past – warts and all. What  a gaping hole it would leave if we tried to celebrate and recognise some events and people, but act as though other events and the people involved in them never existed. Never forget #june121993.

Post script: Please tell us what you think our our post and of the June 12 event in general in the comments section below or via Facebook or on Twitter using the hastag #june121993 and we’ll reweet/like your post. Our Twitter handle is @farafinabooks or finds us on Facebook as Farafina Kachifo.