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. If 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.

Black African American Ethnicity Frustrated Woman Working In Str

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 twenty-four 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 Okri or Arimah. 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 five minutes on each email. In that time, 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, your Facebook or Instagram accounts, 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. 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.

Editor vs. Fairy God Editor

fairy

We are editors, not fairy godeditors. No fairy god editors are 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. There are simply too many submissions and like we said, there aren’t enough hours in the day.

So while we try to send a response, if you don’t one within eight 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 short story collections submissions.

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.

Image 1 source

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.

Abraham Oshoko, #ShugaArtist judge and author of June 12 graphic novel series on the #ShugaArtist search

Abraham Oshoko, #ShugaArtist judge

Abraham Oshoko, #ShugaArtist judge

Earlier we profiled Adeniran Adeniji, a #ShugaArtist judge. Learn more about Abraham Oshoko one of the other judges and see what he has to say about Nigerian artistic talent and the origins of his own passion for comic art.

Abraham Oshoko is a writer, illustrator and graphic designer. His cartoons have featured in NEXT newspaper, amongst others. Passionate about African art, he believes there is untapped creative inspiration in ancient and contemporary African history. He hopes to share as much of this as possible in his graphic novels.

 

Excerpt: Abraham Oshoko's June 12 1993:Annulment

Excerpt: Abraham Oshoko’s June 12 1993:Annulment

June 12: The Struggle for Power in Nigeria his first full-length graphic novel, about political upheaval in Nigeria during the mid-1990s, was published in 2007 under Kachifo Limited’s Farafina imprint. In 2013 a second instalment, June 12 1993: Annulment followed also by Farafina.

Abraham currently runs the Prolifix School of Cartoon and Graphic Arts, where he hopes to prove that everyone can learn to draw. He lives in Lagos with his wife and children.

Farafina Books hooked up with Abraham to get his take on #ShugaArtist and Nigerian talent.

FB: What was your first encounter with comic books?

AO: My first encounter with comic books was when I was in Primary 5 and I came across the then ‘Battle Picture Library’ and ‘War Picture Library’’ then later ‘Commando Comics’. These were comic books based on the Second World War. I later came across Fantasy comics like Conan and other superheroes comics much later.

FB: What was your inspiration for becoming a comic artist?

AO: I think the  ability to ‘create something’ is really fascinating and it’s a real encouragement. But it all really started from an illustration of cowboys and Indians on the wrapping on a pack of bubble gum when I was much younger.

FB: Do you have any images that inspired your passion?

AO: Yes… I’m fascinated with illustrations of armoured tanks, soldiers and classic architectural pieces. I particularly appreciate artwork that shows all the small details.

FB: When you started out, comic art wasn’t so popular in Nigeria, how would you describe the comic art industry in Nigeria today?

AO: That’s not completely correct. We had Papa Ajasco and Super Story and they were very popular comic stories in those days. Presently, I’ll say it’s quite young. Though I think with time it will gain ground. Think about it, with the release of Thor, Iron Man, Spider man, Avengers, Captain America and so on, the best selling movies in Hollywood are actually comic book stories.

FB: So, do we have the local talent to transform #ShugaNaija into a comic book?

AO: Obviously, we do. There are a lot of talented and aspiring artists out there. All they need is encouragement and perhaps a more conducive working environment.

FB: What level of quality do you expect to see from a potential #ShugaArtist? Do you have any images that depict the level of talent we can expect to see?

AO: Oh, I expect the same quality and attention paid to details as we see in American and Japanese comics.

FB: Why should Nigerian comic artists be entering the #ShugaArtist selection process?

AO: It would give them the exposure needed in order to compete with other artists internationally.

Word!

#ShugaArtist Judge, Adeniran Adeniji of UHURU comics on the Artist Open Call

Adeniran Adeniji Jr.

#ShugaArtist Judge, Adeniran Adeniji Jr.

Adeniran Adeniji Jr. is the chief executive of PMG Multimedia, a subsidiary of Phalanx Media Group, a Lagos-based Media company and creators of Uhuru: Legend of the Windriders.

He was born in Lagos, Nigeria and started reading comics at a very early age. Greatly inspired by titles such as Spiderman, X-men and Superman, he started creating and drawing his own characters in elementary school and had over a hundred original characters by the time he was twelve. Adeniran still avidly reads comics and insists that they are not just for kids as many in Nigeria believe. There are comics for people of all ages and they are a vital part of any society’s popular and literary culture because they entertain as well as educate.

Uhuru: Legend of the Windriders, an African adventure set in the future, was first published in August of 2012 under CB Press. A four-part digital animated series of Uhuru is being developed for release in 2015 by PMG Multimedia.

Adeniran enjoys working with young people and has been involved in a number of youth workshops and events including “Heroes Are Us”, a comic creation workshop for teenagers, and the Lagos Junior Carnival, organised by the Lagos State Government.

Today, he shuttles between Lagos, where he works, and his home in Charlotte, NC, USA where his wife and three children are based.

Farafina Books, asked Adeniran a few questions about his own history in the comic book world and what he thinks of #ShugaArtist, here’s what he said.

FB: What was your first encounter with comic books?

AA: Don’t remember my first encounter to be honest. My mum got me hooked on comics. Thanks mum!

FB: What was your inspiration for becoming a comic artist?

AA: I fell in love with Marvel comics. I loved drawing already but started drawing comic books in elementary school. My cousin, Folayemi Awojobi, was the best artist in school at the time and I wanted to be better than him. So he was my inspiration.

My focus has moved from being an illustrator to developing solid production, marketing and distribution platforms for our very talented creatives to get their work out to their target markets.

FB: Do you have any images that inspired your passion?

AA: Yes, there are many. Primarily images in Avengers, Spiderman and Superman comics. There are many other genres that have fueled my passion, too many to enumerate here.

FB: When you started out, comic art wasn’t so popular in Nigeria, how would you describe the comic art industry in Nigeria today?

AA: The terrain is much better than when I started out. Artists today have access to a wide range of software and then there’s the internet. Consequently, their work has a more professional look and they benefit from the extensity the internet affords them. They have greater access to learning tools, markets and the creative community (indigenous and global). There is still a lot of ground to cover but I’m happy with the progress made so far.

FB: So, do we have the local talent to transform #ShugaNaija into a comic book?

AA: Absolutely! The talent is on par with anywhere is the world. They just need support and exposure. An ecosystem needs to exist that enables many of our creatives to earn a living doing what they love. It will come. It’s inevitable.

FB: What level of quality do you expect to see? Do you have any images that depict the level of talent we can expect to see from a potential #ShugaArtist?

AA: I expect to see a high level of quality. Yes, I do have images that depict the level of talent we expect to see.

BoomSquad (pencilled, inked and colored by Stanley "Stanch" Obende)

BoomSquad (pencilled, inked and colored by Stanley “Stanch” Obende)

Exodus (pencilled and inked by Nnamdi Nwoha; colored by Harriet Ekwueme)

Exodus (pencilled and inked by Nnamdi Nwoha; colored by Harriet Ekwueme)

Superwind (pencilled, inked and colored by Jide Daniel Olusanya)

Superwind (pencilled, inked and colored by Jide Daniel Olusanya)

FB: Why should Nigerian comic artists be entering the #ShugaArtist selection process?

AA: They should enter the Shuga Artist selection process because of the affiliation with top brands like MTV Base and Kachifo and for the exposure it will give them personally and professionally.

Key relationships are integral to a sustainable career…..whatever you do.

So, all you comic artists out there, you heard it from a #ShugaArtist judge!

#ShugaArtist Judge, Tim Horwood, on Nigerian Artists and the Open Call

‪#‎ShugaArtist‬ search judge, Tim Horwood, on why any Nigerian comic artist worth their salt should be responding to this open call for the Shuga comic book.

COULD YOU DESIGN THE SIZZLING NEW SHUGA COMIC BOOK? from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.

LAGOS – SHINE YOUR EYE. Lights, Camera, AFRICA!!! Film Festival is back this month

The Life House, Lagos in partnership with The African Film Festival, Inc (AFF) are proud to host the 2nd Lights, Camera, Africa!!! Film Festival in September 2012.

Our inaugural festival in 2011 brought to Nigeria some of the most exciting and original pieces of African cinema from within the continent and the Diaspora that explored independence through an African lens.

This year, Lights, Camera, Africa!!! Film Festival 2012 will hold over the Independence Day holidays from Friday, 28 September to Monday, 1 October with the theme, Shine your Eye’.

Check out the website and other links for more news on the festival and its highlights:
Stadium Hotel makes its World début at Lights Camera AFRICA!!! 2012 at 4pm on 1/10/2012
at Freedom Park
FEMI ODUGBEMI will moderate what we know will be a lively dynamic conversation with MAHEN BONETTI in the festival’sIn Conversation Series on Sunday 30th September 2012 at the British Council at 1.25pm
Acclaimed short film, Big Man, by award-winning director, JULIUS ONAH, shall continue its strong run on the global film festival circuit.

It shows at the Lights, Camera, AFRICA!!! 2012 Film Festival. on 30th September 2012 at 7pm.
Nigeria’s foremost cinematographer, TUNDE KELANI, will teach a Cinematography Masterclass as part of LCA!!! 2012’s arts education initiative. The workshop is FREE and holds on Sunday 30th September 2012 at the British Council at 3.45pm.