Posted in AFRICAN WRITERS, LITERARY MISSIONARY, WORKSHOP

APPLY FOR LITERARY WORKSHOPS AT THE BENUE BOOK AND ARTS FESTIVAL

As part of our Benue Book and Arts Festival in Makurdi on June 20 to 22, 2019:

THREE WORKSHOPS – And you can apply for any or ALL of them!
1. If you are interested in any of the writing workshops (Fiction with Abubakar Adam Ibrahim; Spoken Word with Efe Paul Azino; Poetry with Chuma Nwokolo), kindly send us an email saying why you would want to attend the workshop and then a sample of your work (a piece of fiction not more than 2,000 words for the fiction workshop; a poem that is not longer than 40 lines for poetry; and an audio recording or video for the spoken word workshop) to benuefestival@gmail.com. Kindly ensure you have the subject written as ‘Interest for [Genre] Workshop.’ Don’t forget to include your name, your address and phone number. Those selected for the workshops will have to pay N2,000 for the workshop.

Continue reading “APPLY FOR LITERARY WORKSHOPS AT THE BENUE BOOK AND ARTS FESTIVAL”

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Posted in LITERARY MISSIONARY, SOCIAL CRITIC

PIUS, NAIJA SCHOOLS AND THE LAGOS COLLAPSE

Only yesterday, it feels like that, Nigeria went into mourning over the death of Pius Adesanmi, our much beloved Professor of many letters and social critic. Our eyes are still wet with the tears.

Continue reading “PIUS, NAIJA SCHOOLS AND THE LAGOS COLLAPSE”

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, LITERARY MISSIONARY

RESCUING OUR BODIES – LUCIA SELLARS

A brief account of the poetry workshop:
The Poet as Witness,
guided by poet Kwame Dawes.

 

A rainy Saturday winter morn-ning in Oxford. I started walking at 7.45am from Iffley up to the north area of Woodstock in order to reach the Radcliffe Humanities building of Oxford University. I was excited. First, because I was going to go into the architectural entrails of the building that held the philosophy department of the university. This was exciting, because four years before I had intended to volunteer (research for free) in the department in order to soak up in the knowledge I was so hungry to learn and discuss with others. The intention was a failure. Second, because an unknown poet for me, had offered a ‘free’ workshop with the enticing title of The Poet as Witness.

Continue reading “RESCUING OUR BODIES – LUCIA SELLARS”

Posted in AWARDS, LITERARY MISSIONARY

ON BEING ON THE LIST OF 100 INFLUENTIAL NIGERIAN WRITERS UNDER 40 (2018)

Last year came to an end with me getting a mail from the Nigerian Writers Award group that I had been listed on their 100 Influential Nigerian Writers Under 40. Not a bad way to end the year, right?

My second year on the list and I smiled at the group of names there too: friends like the phenomenal Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, my brothers, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, T. J. Benson and Romeo Oriogun, the poetic maestros Basiru Bash Amuneni, Dike Chukwumerije, Efe Paul Azino and Graciano Enwerem, the graceful Amara Nicole Okolo, Dami Ajayi, Kenechi Uzor, Eketi Edima Ette, Elnathan John, Emmanuel Iduma, Olulu Holloway, Jumoke Verissimo… to mention a few of my people on the list.

Continue reading “ON BEING ON THE LIST OF 100 INFLUENTIAL NIGERIAN WRITERS UNDER 40 (2018)”

Posted in ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, LITERARY MISSIONARY, POETRY

KWAME DAWES’S WITNESS TO POETRY

It isn’t always one wakes up in Oxford or to a day when you would attend Kwame Dawes’s poetry workshop. But that was the case on this fine Saturday, 1st December, 2018. The clouds were gloomy but that was the least of my concerns. I had spent the night in the town after coming in from Brighton the previous day. Kwame had had a reading, followed by a showcase of the African Poetry Book Fund books. It was fun but that is story for another day.

Continue reading “KWAME DAWES’S WITNESS TO POETRY”

Posted in LITERARY MISSIONARY, REVIEWS

RISE, LIVE TO YOUR WRITE!

Life is one big contradiction in every field but it is more so when you are a writer—or so I think. You think you are there, you think you have the right words. You are in the moment and you bask as Mother Muse slowly pours herself unto your pages through the medium of creativity.

Depending on the time, you push yourself to the end or just rush it to a stop. Finally, you smile at seeming perfection. Ah! For the conscious writer, something pricks you to note that the work might have flaws here and there. So, you might decide to get editors or throw the work away. If you get the right editors, your headache begins. Have you ever noticed how those folks always seem to find faults here or there? Some of the faults are so obvious you have to hit yourself in the head! Ouch! How could you have missed that? This is the beauty of patience and seeking counsel. (Yes, if you miss the editorial seat, you might miss a lot of good stuff that might have made your work better.)

Anyway, you do your rewrite and maybe feel the work is okay… Or you keep editing till you tire out. I have been known on occasion to keep editing right up to the door of the final proofer and printer doors! Anyway, finally, you push the work out, hoping that someone will like it somehow and it will be the ticket to giving you something good. Some of us, and I am a front man in this group, edit and refine our work tying as many screws as possible.

In most cases, you get your work or book published and the feeling, for most, is indescribable. It is like a baby given to a parent. The looks of wonder at the new you is something the adjectives of the universe will not dare present. You hold that book close… Yes, I know there are a few who would look at their own book with bad eyes especially if it didn’t come out the way they like. Talk of all those parents who discover that their children are disfigured or not of the sex they want! But no, we are not talking of those sorts of parents. We are talking of the proud ones and yes, I didn’t derail. We are still talking about books.

It is easy to find authors who pick their published books and see things they wish could have been done or written differently. Many times have authors been caught reading what they hoped they might have put. Some would take a pen and correct a few lines shortly before reading at a festival or something. Sometimes you begin to see things that might best have been removed or something that might have been added for effect. It gets to the case of seeing your grown child not being the perfect baby you had once viewed. The hope is that with the next book, you will take extra precaution and have your heart more expressed.

Usually, the ideal thing that most writers come to discover is that a work is best left to fallow for three months or maybe a year… just enough time for you to have become a stranger so that you will edit your work through fresh eyes since looking at the same thing over slowly makes it seem perfect. But time is not on the side of anyone and how long can one really take? The changes and all might never be enough and we usually have to just halt. Much like what poet and scholar, Hyginus Ekwuazi says echoing older writers of yore, no true work of art has ever been truly completed. You simply have to get the maturity to let it go, and pray that point was a time worth your imperfection.

So much to writing, so much to reading. Oh well. In the end, who knows what I might want to edit from this piece… I will be mature and let it fly. Wherever your writing and reading takes you this weekend, and in the coming week, make it worth the time. Cheers!

 

(Reblogged from forever ago… Still me 🙂 )

Posted in AWARDS, BOOKS, LITERARY MISSIONARY

ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN AUTHORS (ANA) 2017 LITERARY PRIZES WINNERS

The ANA 2017 Literary Prize Winners were announced by one of the judges, Dr. Owojecho Omoha of the University of Abuja at the ANA Convention awards dinner on Saturday 28th October, 2017 held at Royal Choice Inn, Makurdi, Benue State. Only three categories (Drama, Poetry and Prose) were awarded out of the six contestable ANA Literary Prizes. The judges did not find any work worthy enough to merit the ANA/Maria Ajima Prize for Literary Prizes, ANA/Abubakar Gimba Prize for Fiction (Short Stories Collection), and ANA Children’s Literature Prize (for ages 7-13 years). However, an ‘Honourary Mentions’ list (for commendable works not strong enough to merit the award but worth mentioning) were announced alongside the shortlist release in September 2017.

ANA 2017 LITERARY PRIZES WINNERS
ANA Prize for Drama
Winner: Magnetism by R. C. Ofodile
1st Runner Up: The Masked Crown by Tunji Ajibade
2nd Runner Up: General Ologbosere by Dickson Ekhaguere

ANA Prize for Poetry
Winner: For Every Homeland by Obari Gomba
1st Runner Up: Of Waters and the Wild by Ebi Yeibo
2nd Runner Up: A Child of Smell by Seyi Adigun

ANA Prize for Prose Fiction
Joint Winners: Across the Gulf by Dul Johnson
What It Takes by Lola Akande
1st Runner Up: Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
2nd Runner Up: Goodbye Tomorrow by Ike Utuagha

The Honourary Mentions and their categories as announced in the list released in September are:
ANA /ABUBAKAR GIMBA PRIZE FOR SHORT STORIES
A Tiny Place Called Happiness by Bura-Bari Nwilo
Gates of Dawn by MSC Okolo
Tales From Our Past by Lucky James.

ANA CHILDREN’S LITERATURE PRIZE
The Adventure of Three Wild Boys by Wale Adewale
Sodality: A Tale of Friendship by Chioma A Diru
Dancing Tree by Stanley Okeke Oji

ANA/MARIA AJIMA PRIZE FOR LITERARY CRITICISM
• ‘Radical Theatre and Criticism of anti-People’s Culture: A Study of Esiaba Irobi’s Hangmen also Die’ by Nwagbo Pat -Obi
• ‘Vicarious Idiosyncrasies: The Mother-Daughter Ligament in Ernest Emenyonu’s Listen, My Momma Pays Your Taxes’ by Fynest Elvis

 

ANA 2017 LITERARY PRIZES JUDGES
1. Prof. Nelson Fashina – University of Ibadan
2. Salihu Mohammed Bappa- Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
3. Dr. Ismaila Bala Garba – Bayero University, Kano
4. Dr Owojecho Omoha- University of Abuja
5. Dame Joan Oji – Educational & Literary Consultant, Abuja

 

For a detailed review of the 2017 Literary Prizes Shortlist, check here.

 

Dul with Su'eddie
Dul Johnson (2017 ANA Prize for Prose winner) with his publisher, Su’eddie Vershima Agema (2014 ANA Prize for Poetry Winner)
Posted in COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, LITERARY MISSIONARY, PRESS STATEMENT

WOLE SOYINKA POSTPONES BENUE VISIT

Nigeria’s Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has postponed his visit to Benue for a reading and to see flood victims. The visit to Benue was scheduled for 12th and 13th of September, 2017. The laureate has been forced to reschedule his visit to a future date to circumstances beyond his control.

The Association of Nigerian Authors (Benue State Chapter) announced this, rising from a meeting of its Local Organising Committee for the National Annual Convention in Makurdi, yesterday, 11th September 2017.

The Chapter regrets the postponement and has promised to keep members of the public abreast of any related information in this regard.

Relatedly, members of the National Executive, led by Mallam Denja Abdullahi have arrived Makurdi for a pre-convention visit as well as other state activities.

 

Posted in DEVELOPMENT, EVENTS, LITERARY MISSIONARY

WOLE SOYINKA TO VISIT BENUE FOR READING AND TO SEE FLOOD DISPLACED PERSONS AHEAD OF ANA CONVENTION

Nigeria’s Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka is to visit Benue ahead of the 2017 Annual International Convention of the Association of Nigerian Authors ANA, holding in Makurdi come October 26. The famous writer is coming for a special reading and to also visit the flood displaced persons, alongside other writers in the state and the country general.

Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the planning of the Convention, Professor Idris Amali announced this when he led other members to pay a courtesy call on Governor Samuel Ortom at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi.

He said, while in Benue,Professor Soyinka is expected to kick start a major pre-convention activity with his special reading to a body of intellectuals, creative writers, students and lovers of Literature.

According to Professor Amali, the visit of the Nobel Laureate is unique because it would not only add to the credibility of the Convention alone but also provide an opportunity for People of the State to meet and interact with him one on one.

The Don maintained that the World acclaimed Literary Giant’s visit to Benue this Month would mark his second coming to the State since Nineteen Eighty Eight.

The LOC Chairman equally told Governor Ortom that a five member delegation from the National Body of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Abuja led by the National President, Mallam Denja Abdullahi would arrive the State same day with Prof. Soyinka for a convention assessment visit.

Responding, Governor Samuel Ortom promised to support the State Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors with the necessary logistics and conducive atmosphere for the reception of Professor Soyinka and the delegation from ANA National Headquarters, Abuja.

Governor Ortom noted that he looks forward to hosting Nigerian Authors who have made names across Nigeria and commended members of ANA Benue Chapter for helping to contribute to the development of the knowledge economy of the State with a view to showcasing its People and cultural endowments to the whole World.

The Governor urged the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Dennis Tyavyar to anchor the two visits and the main ANA Convention from the side of the State Government to ensure that it does not renege on its promise.

Meanwhile,the Benue State Executive Members of ANA led by the Chairman, Mr.Charles Iornumbe at a meeting drew up an itinerary for the visits one of which is the Nobel Laureate’s interface with IDPs at the Makurdi Ultra-Modern International Market. The laureate’s visit alongside other distinguished writers from across the country adds to the list of celebrities around the world who have taken note of the plight of the flood in Makurdi and are supporting their might in various ways.

Benue ANA visits Governor Ortom Sept 2017
Benue ANA Convention LOC visits Governor Ortom with star writers including Idris Amali, Jerry Agada, Paul Ugah, Raymond Anumve, Wilfred Uji, Aondosoo Labe, Vanger Fater, Igba Ogbole, Tartule Tijah, Dorothy Abellegah, Doobee Targba, Abochenu, Otse Otokpa, and Su’eddie Vershima Agema

 

  • Written by Chivir Nyam
Posted in CALLS FOR SUBMISSION, LITERARY MISSIONARY

2017 ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN AUTHORS’ LITERARY PRIZES: CALL FOR ENTRIES

It is here again; the popular ANA Literary Prizes. For a time to claim serious bragging rights, join a league of awesome hall of famers (that I am a part of, whoop whoop!), here are the details that you should either pass along or use. Note that the time to act starts NOW! Okay, here we go:

The Association of Nigerian Authors [ANA] hereby announces a range of prizes for its 2017 literary competitions. The prizes are:
1. ANA Prize for Poetry (published & unpublished) – N 100,000
2. ANA Prize for Prose Fiction (published & unpublished) – N 100,000
3. ANA Prize for Drama (published & unpublished) – N 100,000
4. ANA Prize for Children’s Literature- 7-13 years age range (Published works only and open to all categories of authors  )- N100,0000
5.  ANA/ Abubakar Gimba Prize for Fiction (Short Stories Collection-Published) – N200, 000.
6. ANA/Maria Ajima Prize for Literary Criticism (Focus on criticism of emergent Nigerian Literature) – N100, 000

Nigerian writers, at home and abroad, desirous of entering their works for the Annual Literary Prizes, may now do so. Works entered should have been published between March 2016 and March 2017.

REQUIREMENTS
1. An entry fee of N3, 000 (per entry) is required for all the prizes except the Teen Authors Prize. The fee is to be paid by the author or the publisher in favour of the:
ACCOUNT NAME: Association of Nigerian Authors(ANA)
BANK: Zenith  Bank of Nigeria Plc
ACCOUNT NO:  1014606745

Please, note:
[a] The entry fee is for the purpose of prize administration only.
[b] A photocopy of the appropriate Deposit Slip[s] MUST accompany Requirement #2 below.
2. Six copies (6) of the book or manuscript to be entered, specifying the Prize being entered for, alongside a covering letter and the photocopy of the Deposit Slip used in Requirement 1 above, should be sent by post to:

The General Secretary,
Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA),
Entrance B, Suite 63
National Theatre Complex,
Iganmu, Lagos.

The covering letter should contain accurate contact details of the writer or/and publisher of the work, including email and surface mail addresses and telephone numbers.

Please, note also that:
[a] The Association will NOT take responsibility for entries sent by post nor will it claim registered parcels in cases where it has to pay for such entries or parcels.
[b] Multiple entries, where applicable, are allowed but a work must not have been entered for the same prize prior to the present entry and it must have been published between 2016 and 2017.

GENERAL INSTRUCTION
The works that are to be submitted in all categories should be original and not recast(s) of already existing works. All submissions are subjected to copyright laws of Nigeria as authors should note that they retain full responsibility for any sort of infringement. Works entered into for ANA prizes are expected to be of the highest language and literary quality.

(b) Maria Ajima Prize for Literary Criticism (published works only)
Length: Not more than 15 pages of A4 paper size following format of academic essays.
1. Type double spaced using MS Word. Use Times New Roman Type face 12 point font size.
2. The essay, if published in a journal, newspaper, books or as electronic text on-line, must be within the valid dates indicated on this call for submissions.
3. Referencing style is either the latest MLA or APA style.
4. Five hard copies as loose sheets or as a bound monograph are to be submitted to ANA, plus a soft copy sent by email to foninyang@yahoo.com and anaexco2015@gmail.com
6. The essay should not be a generalized survey but should rather be focused on specific texts (in any of the genres) of selected authors at a time.
7. The essay should state where the texts or performance analysed can be accessed or located and where it (essay) has been published.
8. All entries in this category should be accompanied by a letter affirming the originality of the essay and authorial authenticity.
9. In addition, all other rules covering ANA competitions are applicable.
Copyright: The copyright to every winning entry is to be held by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Maria Ajima Trust, and the author of the work. The winning entry will be published in subsequent ANA Reviews.

DEADLINE
Deadline for the receipt of ALL entries   is   Friday, May 19th, 2017(there will be no extension of this deadline).  A  shortlist will be announced in September, 2017. Winners of the prizes will be announced by the judges at the Awards Dinner during the 36th Anniversary International Annual Convention of the Association of Nigerian Authors in October, 2017.

Ofonime Inyang, PhD
General Secretary

 

(Source: Here)

 

BEST OF LUCK!