Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fidelity Bank Creative Writing Workshop 2011

The workshop is a component of Fidelity’s corporate Social Responsibility, through which the bank continues to push for a better society. Participants are expected to read and discuss a wide range of fiction as well as complete short writing exercises. Entries open on Monday 18 April 2011 to Wednesday 11 May 2011. Participation in the workshop is limited to those who apply and are accepted. A public symposium featuring readings and panel discussions will be held on the last day of the workshop.
To apply, send an e-mail to: Your e-mail should bear the title – “Workshop Application”.

The body of the e-mail should contain the following:
1. Your name
2. Your address
3. A few sentences about yourself (not more than 50 words)
4. A writing sample of between 200 – 1000 words

Please note that the workshop is purely meant for fiction writers. Any entry that does not fall into this category will be automatically rejected. Acceptance will be based on quality of the entry. The entry must be pasted or written in the body of the e-mail. Do NOT send any attachments. Applications with attachments will be automatically disqualified. If accepted, you will be notified by June 10, 2011.

What She Thinks- Apply and spread the word.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop

If you write, you should apply for this. I was part of the inaugural class in 2007 and as they say, my life has not remained the same :). 
The fifth edition of the creative writing workshop organized by Farafina Trust, will hold between June 23 and July 2 2011 in Lagos.  The workshop will take the form of a class. Participants will be assigned a wide range of reading exercises, as well as daily writing exercises. The aim of the workshop is to improve the craft of Nigerian writers and to encourage published and unpublished writers by bringing different perspectives to the art of storytelling.Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Binyavanga Wainaina will be teaching.The workshop is sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc.

How to Apply
All material must be pasted or written in the body of the e-mail. Please Do NOT include any attachments in your e-mail. Applications with attachments will be automatically disqualified. Deadline for submissions is April 27 2011. Only those accepted to the workshop will be notified by June 15 2011. Accommodation in Lagos will be provided for all accepted applicants who are able to attend for the ten-day duration of the workshop. A literary evening of readings, open to the public, will be held at the end of the workshop on July 2, 2011.
To apply, send an e-mail to
Your e-mail subject should read ‘Workshop Application.’
The body of the e-mail should contain the following:
1. Your Name
2. Your address
3. A few sentences about yourself
4. A writing sample of between 200 and 800 words. The sample must be either fiction or non-fiction

Best of luck people.

Elections at last!

At last, I have voted. This morning, I wasn't so eager to show up at the polling booth, I took my time and arrived there around eleven a.m. Last week's postponement was still weighing me down, plus here in Ile-Ife , federal constituency (house of representatives) elections were postponed yesterday. Perhaps you can understand why I wasn't bent on arriving at the booth too early.
However, most of the other voters at the polling booth were not like me. There were many people on the queue before I arrived. The process was orderly and at four p.m, the votes were counted. So many people were determined to see for themselves that the votes were counted and recorded, men, women, young and old stood by to defend the power of their thumbs. There was a sense of hope in the air, instilled by the fact that up to that point the process was working. I remember the 2007 elections, there was absolutely no polling booth! We had to go from place to place, looking for a place to cast our votes. Now to stand on the same spot where four years ago we almost searched for polling booths under the foliage and partake in a process that actually worked? It felt like a miracle.
The turnout was impressive, at least two pregnant women stood in line and one (heavily pregnant) waited till the votes were counted and recorded. A couple brought their little son and explained the process to him as they stood in line. There was a strong sense of something close to patriotism. For me it was an emotional moment in which I hoped, prayed, wished and pleaded that one day, very soon we will get to that point where this process will be one that works all the way. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this is the year? If this is the election that takes us there?One must however admit that the violence marring the elections might be an indication that we are not as close to that point in our history as we should be.It is such a tragedy that while up till now those who carried out the previous bomb attacks that we have witnessed in this country have not been apprehended, the trend continues and this time has claimed the lives of over thirteen people including youth corpers. What are the implications for future polls? How willing will registered voters in Suleja and Maiduguri be to come out and vote next week?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


You may call it Lasgidi, Eko ile or Lagos. You may hate the traffic and love the energy. It may be your dream destination or worst nightmare. I don't think one can be ambivalent about Lagos. The city demands a response every time I visit it. It is too vibrant for me to be uncertain about how I feel towards it.
Nobel Laurete Wole Soyinka shares his thoughts about the city in Newsweek. He is at once nostalgic and hopeful. You can read the piece here
I got the picture from his Nobel prize page.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I had a disappointing weekend. You see, I was looking forward to the elections that were supposed to hold on April 2nd. I arrived at the polling centres around 10 am after receiving a lecture from my mother about my sluggish attitude to my civic responsibility, she wanted  to get there at eight  and had to wait to give me a ride. I got accredited and was ready to vote. As it turned out, the electoral officers in my centre arrived shortly before ten  therefore the accreditation exercise was extended until 12 .30
Well 12.30 came and we were ready to vote, then the officer informed us that the elections had been postponed! I could not believe this, would not believe this. Nobody else at the centre was willing to, people whipped out their mobile phones and placed calls to relatives far and near. They all said the same things, no one had given them such information at their polling centre. The crowd surrounded the inec official and insisted that he was not going anywhere with the polling materials. This continued until we started to switch on radios and T.Vs on our phones to discover that indeed Prof Jega was telling Nigerians that the elections had been postponed. I almost wept.
I was in shock, how could this happen after almost a year of planning and preparation? I could not and still cannot believe Prof Jega, right now, for me there is still no water that he can use to bathe that will wash him clean in my eyes. How can he tell us that there were no planes to airlift the result sheets because they had ALL been diverted to Japan? I find it difficult to believe this. Accuse me of paranoia but Prof Jega has done little to allay this paranoia. Why will he not give us the names of the vendors for instance? Why will he not tell us exactly where these materials are coming from? Why did he not tell us first thing in the morning that the elections would not hold? If this plane of his was supposed to arrive at 5.30 am and didn't show, didn't Prof Jega realise then that it would be impossible to go ahead?Why didn't he postpone the polls then before the ballot papers and other materials were released? How can we be sure that these materials will not be compromised? These are worrisome questions that Prof Jega has failed so far to sufficiently address.
Prof Jega has so wisely informed us that man proposes and God disposes, since he did not cause the earthquake/ tsunami in Japan, God did. One must ask him about the other issues that cropped up on Saturday, was it God's fault for instance that there was no transportation for Inec officials in various parts of the country such as the FCT? Haba, isn't it time for us to stop this God this God that thing?
There is one thing that Prof Jega can do to restore my trust (and I beleive that of many Nigerians) in this process. He can give us the credible elections he has been singing about come April 9. Then, perhaps we can forget this alarming turn of events.
I keep wondering about this situation, is this part of a grand plan to discredit this elections? Is Jega part of this grand conspiracy? Is he being sabotaged himself? Are there similar twists ahead in this tale that is unfolding? What is REALLY going on?
Answers anyone?