Friday, February 27, 2009

The Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2009

This is a new scoop. You can't imagine how I came about this one, but, boy it's real for the great and aspiring great writers out there.

Wasafiri. That surely sounds familiar, doesn't it? Well, it's a great literary magazine based in London. It's celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The theme: 25!

The Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2009 is open to writers all over the world. The creative submissions come in three categories - poetry, non fiction and fiction. You can submit in any one genre. There is an entry fee of five pounds per entry. Visually impaired entrants and/or those who cannot type due to disability may submit through audio CD. The closing date is 30th June 2009.

So, here's the rundown of it all:
Categories: Poetry, Short Story and Non fiction.
The judges: Susheila Nasta, Mimi Khalvati, Margaret Busby and Blake Morrison.
Closing Date: 30th June 2009.
Open to: All writers regardless of ... all the regardlesses.

You can as well go to their website if you want to fetch water from the source.

Did I remember to say good luck?
And by the way, the prize money is: 300 Pound Sterling. That can buy you a few things.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Call for materials on African sexualities

This is a call for materials for a contemporary Reader on African sexualities, which is being developed and edited by Prof. Sylvia Tamale-outgoing Dean of Law at Makerere University and Coordinator of the Law, Gender and Sexuality Research Project at the Faculty of Law.

This seminal work will be a compilation of diverse populist and academic pieces that either engage with or inform sexualities enacted all over the African continent. We are interested in collecting a range of materials including (but not limited to) essays, fiction, poetry, web blogs, art, crafts, photographs, film, documentaries, diaries, music, theoretical discussions, empirical papers, academic publications etc, that address and inform African sexualities.

The editor will obtain copyright permission where necessary. Although the main language of the Reader will be English, relevant materials published in French, Portugese, Spanish, Arabic and any African tongue will be translated for inclusion. This Reader aims to be as inclusive of all of Africa as possible. The deadline for submission is October 30, 2009. All received pieces will be acknowledged.

Please send material to:
Stella Nyanzi,
Research Assistant,
Law, Gender and Sexuality Research Project,
Faculty of Law,
Makerere University,
P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.
Cel: +256-775-301-767
Tel: +256-414-543-946
Fax: +256-414-543-110

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shortlists for Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009

The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009
Regional shortlists announced

The shortlists for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book and Best First Book have been announced today in London.
Best Book Award: Africa
Damon Galgut/The Imposter /Penguin Books/South Africa
Tim Keegan/My Life with the Duvals/Umuzi/South Africa
Mandla Langa/The Lost Colours of /the Chameleon Picador Africa/South Africa
Sindiwe Magona/Beauty’s Gift /Kwela Books/South Africa
Zoƫ Wicomb/The One That Got Away/Umuzi/South Africa
Best First Book Award: Africa
Uwem Akpan/Say You‘re One of Them/Abacus/Nigeria
Jane Bennett/Porcupine/Kwela Books/South Africa
Jassy Mackenzie/Random Violence/Umuzi/South Africa
Chris Marnewick/Shepherds and Butchers/Umuzi/South Africa
Sue Rabie/Boston Snowplough Human & Rousseau/South Africa
Megan Voysey-Braig/Till We Can Keep an Animal/Jacana Media/South Africa
The judging panel for the Africa region was chaired by Elinor Sisulu (South Africa). She was joined by judges Kole Omotoso (Nigeria) and Billy Karanja Kahora (Kenya).
Elinor Sisulu commented: ‘Once again Africa’s publishing powerhouses, South Africa and Nigeria dominated the entries. Of over fifty entries received, only two were from Kenya and two from Ghana. There was an unusually high number of short story collections among the entries.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Caves of Rotten Teeth by A. Igoni Barrett

I am sincerely proud of the renaissance of Nigerian literature. This one just got in and I'm sticking my beautiful head for it. It's gonna be good, friends.

From Caves of Rotten Teeth by A. Igoni Barrett is a collection of short stories that was first published in Nigeria in November 2005. The Orange Prize-shortlisted author Laura Hird described the book as 'a brilliant debut collection' and in an interview with the literary magazine Pulp.Net named 'The Phoenix', a short story in the collection, as one of the best stories she had ever read. 'The Phoenix' won the 2005 BBC World Service short story competition.

The fourteen stories in this edition of From Caves of Rotten Teeth (five of which did not appear in the first edition) deal with circumstances that reflect the day-to-day existence of modern African life. Although the stories may at times seem surreal the reader will recognize the truthfulness and realism with which they delve into the lives of their characters. The author has an uncanny eye for detail and a deadly accurate, though sometimes satirical, ear. With these stories he has achieved a vision that is both light-hearted and profound.

Praise for the second edition of From Caves of Rotten Teeth

'In this collection, Barrett entrances the reader with his lush language and imagery that brings the essence of struggle alive…the effect on the reader's imagination will last for a very long time' —Uzodinma Iweala, author of Beasts of No Nation

'A. Igoni Barrett's prose captures, with enviable depth, the emotions and circumstances of his characters…from addiction to everyday survival, these stories are delivered with sincerity' —Kaine Agary, author of Yellow-Yellow

'These stories share the same beauty of language, the same keen sense of observation…reading the collection is a journey into a world that is sometimes humorous, but very often a reminder of all that is wrong in our world' —Chika Unigwe, author of The Phoenix

Orders can be made by calling the number +234-702-533-5538 or sending an email to

The book is also available from the following places:

Kachifo Limited:


Onyoma Research Publications: +234-807-763-8752