Saturday, May 28, 2011

Volunteer to protect the corpers

The elections are over now. The rage many of us felt when youth corp members were killed during the elections is cooling down. If we are not careful, gradually we may begin to forget the killings. We can't afford to forget, we must do what we can to make sure this doesn't happen again.
What can you do? You can help to protect the corpers by getting a thousand people to sign a petition which demands that NYSC be restructured.
Learn more about this great initiative that the future Nigeria is taking here.


What She Thinks: I take God beg you, contribute to this effort.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fiction Friday: How Not To Be Unfaithful by Sarah Evans

Today, I am linking you to the story of a woman who is torn between her commitments and her desires. It is a story that drew me in, right from the first sentence. It was a runner up for the Glass Woman Prize in 2009. I hope you enjoy it.


Read it here.


What She Thinks: I love this story.

The Short Story Competition.(Free to Enter)

The Short Story competition is designed to showcase the best short stories from around the world.
Rules
·         Word limit: 1,000-5,000 (maximum).
·         Email your story as a Word document or pdf.
·         Font size: 12 point, Times New Roman or Arial, preferably.No fancy fonts.
·         No poetry, novel chapters, sci-fi, fantasy or stories for children.
·         Put your name, email address and telephone number at the footer of each page.
·         Page numbers are important. Make sure each page is numbered consecutively.
·         Submissions by email only.
·         One story at a time. No simultaneous submissions.
·         All submissions must be original and unpublished.
·         Please submit your story here:submit.theshortstory@gmail.com

Prizes

First prize: £300

Second prize: £150

Third prize: £50


Deadline for submissions is 15th September 2011.
Learn more here
What She Thinks: Best of Luck

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Tenth Glass Woman Prize(Free to enter)

The Tenth Glass Woman Prize will be awarded for a work of short fiction or creative non-fiction (prose) written by a woman.  Length: between 50 and 5,000 words.  The top prize for the tenth Glass Woman Prize award is US $500 and possible (but not obligatory) online publication; there will also be one runner up prize of $100 and one runner up prize of $50, together with possible (but not obligatory) online publication. 


Subject is open, but must be of significance to women.  The criterion is passion, excellence, and authenticity in the writing voice.  Previously published work and simultaneous submissions are OK.  Authors retain all copyright is retained by the author. 

There is no reading fee.  

Submission deadline:   September 21, 2011 (receipt date; anything received after that date will be considered for a future prize).  Notification date:  on or before December 21, 2011.  
Only one submission per person per submission period, by email, with "Glass Woman Prize Submission" in the subject line and the text pasted in the body of the email (no attachments!*) to:
IMPORTANT:  

-    "Glass Woman Prize Submission" in subject line
-    Text in body of email
-    Please put your email address in the body of the email as well

Learn more here.

What She Thinks: Best of luck!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aminatta Forna Wins 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize



The winners of this year's Commonwealth Writers' Prize have been announced and Aminatta Forna has won the Best Book Prize for The Memory of Love.


The judges praised The Memory of Love for its risk taking, elegance and breadth. A poignant story about friendship, betrayal, obsession and second chances – the novel is an immensely powerful portrayal of human resilience. The judges concluded that The Memory of Love delicately delves into the courageous lives of those haunted by the indelible effects of Sierra Leone’s past and yet amid that loss gives us a sense of hope and optimism for their future. Forna has produced a bold, deeply moving and accomplished novel which confirms her place among the most talented writers in literature today.


Craig Cliff won the best first book prize for A Man Melting.


The Memory of Love is also currently on the orange prize shortlist.


Read the announcement here.


Buy the novel here.


What She Thinks: Big ups and congrats to Aminatta Forna.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fiction Friday: The End of Skill by Mamle Kabu

The first time I read Mamle Kabu's 'The End of Skill', it simply took my breath away. I think it is a deep and touching story about family, heritage and compromise. The characters have stayed with me since I read it. In 2009, it was short listed for the Caine Prize. It was published in Dreams, Miracles and Jazz”New Adventures in African Writing.


Read the story here.


What She Thinks: Do you know where I can lay my hands on more stories by Mamle Kabu?

Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2011

Renowned worldwide for featuring some of the best and brightest new talent, Wasafiri launched an annual New Writing Prize as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations in 2009. Now in its third year the competition is open to anyone worldwide who has not published a complete book.
  
They are looking for creative submissions (3000 words max) in one of three categoriesPoetry, Fiction or Life Writing.
£300 will be awarded to the winner of each category and their winning entries will be featured in Wasafiri.
Simply fill in the form and send it to them with your entry and a fee of UK Sterling £6.00 if entering one category, £10.00 for two and £15.00 for three categories (see terms and conditions). Payment may be made by paypal through the Wasafiri website.
The closing date is 5pm GMT on 29 July 2011

Learn more here

What She Thinks: Apply and spread the word.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chimamanda Adichie and Uzodinma Iweala awarded Radcliffe Institute Fellowships



The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University has announced the selection of its 2011/ 2012 fellows. The 51 men and women were chosen from 800 applicants based on prior accomplishments and the project they seek to undertake during their fellowship, as well as the potential of their projects to have long-term impact. Fellows for the 2011–2012 year include Nigeria's Chimamanda Adichie (author Half of a Yellow Sun) and Uzodinma Iweala ( author Beast of No Nation). 


You can read the announcement here and view the list of fellows here.


What She Thinks: Great News!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fiction Friday: The Sound of One Hand Clapping by Becky Apteker

Yes I know it is not Friday and I am sorry. I had this ready and then, my modem went on strike. It is now back to work and will hopefully stay that way until I use up the hours on it.
However, every day is a good day to enjoy fiction!
Today's story is by a South African writer. I love this story, I think it does so much, says so much with the few words that it uses. Read the story here.
What She Thinks: A story doesn't have to be long to make sense.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Write for my unborn child-The Golden Boabab Prize


I think we need more African fiction for children. I am hoping that by the time I start having kids :) I will find many books like that on the shelf. Who knows, it just might be your story! The Golden Baobab Prize is inviting entries of stories that are set in Africa or have a very evident African content.They should fall into either Category A (stories for readers aged 8-11 years) or Category B (stories for readers aged 12-15 years).

This year, the prize will award $1,000 to the best story in the junior category as well as the senior category and $800 to the most promising young writer (18 years and below). The Prize is open to African citizens of all ages. Entry should be a work of fiction between 1,000 to 5,000 words. Stories should be in written in English and should not have been previously published elsewhere, in part or in full.


Deadline for submission is June 20, 2011.

How do you submit? Word Count? More info? Go here

Deborah Ahenkorah talks about this prize and its significance here.

What She Thinks: Submit an entry and/or spread the word.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A call for African Sci-fi



Innsmouth Free Press is calling for what they call Lovecraftian 
science fiction stories. They are interested in stories set in Africa.You could also submit poetry that fits into their specifications. .If you are not familiar with H.P Lovecraft's fiction, you can read (listen to) his short story 'The Alchemist' here. Read their call for submissions below.

Future Lovecraft will open to submissions for short stories and 
poetry from May 1 to June 30,2011. 
The anthology will be available in print and as an e-book, and is 
edited by the eldritch duo of Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. 
Stiles.


What We Want


Lovecraftian science fiction stories. ‘Lovecraftian’ can include Mythos elements, but we have a broader view of what Lovecraftian 

means. Interpret and distill it. Stories may be set in the near future or 
distant future. They may be cyberpunk, biopunk, space opera, 
dystopic, post-apocalyptic, or any other flavour of science fiction.
Think beyond the borders of the usual settings (The United States 
seems to be the only place where spaceships land). Future Hong 
Kong. Post-apocalyptic Africa. The drowned coastlines of Australia 
in a warmer world. A city beneath the waves near Easter Island. 
India five thousand years from now.
The distant spaceport of New Port-au-Prince. The Martian and 
Lunar colonies. Give us protagonists with diverse and interesting 
backgrounds. Give us women who can battle Nyarlathotep’s deadly 
soldiers with wit and bravado, not sacrificial space-maidens
For poetry, send up to three poems pasted in the body of the e-mail, 
with a cover letter. Poems paid at $10 CAD per poem. A physical 
contributor’s copy and e-book copy are provided.

Length-Short fiction (1,000 words) to novelette (10,000 words)



Payment
One cent per word up to a maximum of $70 CAD; one physical 

copy of the anthology and one e-book copy.Payment made via 
PayPal or Canadian check upon publication.
We are purchasing first English anthology print and electronic 
rights.


Submitting
E-mail us at innsmouthfp AT gmail.com. Subject line: Future 

Lovecraft, [Title of your Story, Author's Name]. The subject line is 
important; otherwise, the story might go into the wrong pile.

Do not send simultaneous submissions. Do not send more than one 
short story submission, because we will not consider more than one 
at a time and will make you resubmit any simultaneous submissions 
after we answer on the previous one. If we reject one story, you can 
send another one.
 Include a cover letter with the story word count, salient writing 
credits and any reprint information (if applicable).
Attach story as an RTF (preferred) or Word document. Use standard 
manuscript format. Italics as italics, bold as bold. No fancy fonts
Stories can be sent in English, French, or Spanish.
Final story selection will take place in July 2011.

Learn more here 

(Image courtesy acobox.com)

What She Thinks: Submit and/or spread the word.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fiction Friday: Free Rice by Molara Wood

This blog is only a few months old and in the next few weeks I will be introducing interesting stuff. So watch this space!


The first thing I'm introducing is 'Fiction Friday'. So what does 'Fiction Friday' mean? Well, it means that every Friday I will  be posting links to amazing short fiction that I have found on the internet. It will primarily be fiction that I have read, loved and that I think you will also enjoy. After you read the story, you can come back here so we can talk about it...


This week's story and the first in the series is Molara Wood's 'Free Rice.' I read this story about a year ago and I haven't been able to forget it.This was the first story by Molara Wood that I read, after I read it, I went wild on google looking for more of her stories. Molara Wood used to edit/write artsville in the Sunday Guardian and was my only reason for insisting that we bought the Guardian on Sundays at that time. She has since gone on to write for 234next where I believe she is the Arts and Culture editor. So enjoy this week's offering.


Read 'Free Rice' here.


What She Thinks: What are you waiting for? Go read the story!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Protect the Corpers

Fellow Nigerians (and everybody else), what follows is a message from The Future Project.

We all know that at the moment, almost everyone is upset at the spate of avoidable deaths of youth corps members across the country. It did not start today – from natural disasters to rape and murder, ethno-religious crisis to post-elections violence, these young men and women serving their country find themselves easy targets to be killed and maimed – and not just in the north.

Yes, we are angry now but 1) How much longer will that anger last before we all go back to our merry lives and forget all about this? 2) How will anger actually lead to any solutions unless we do something?

The government has promised compensation for the families of those like Ukeoma AikFavour and Obinna Okpokiri who lost their lives, but this is not enough. Their deaths should not be in vain – it should lead a fundamental change in the way that the youth corps scheme is implemented.

The Future Project (which runs The Future Awards), in partnership with the National Youth Council, AIESEC, SleevesUp Nigeria, EnoughIsEnough Nigeria and Friends of Aik and Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, has decided to take up this cause.

We are aware that many initiatives have been undertaken in the past – but we believe it is time to move from anger and protest and to make this a broad-based national campaign. It is also a fine opportunity for us to put our hard won democracy to work – to move from protest and activism to advocacy and productive democratic lobby.

So, over the next nine-months, we are implementing a solution-oriented approach that involves 1) Engaging government on a policy level to restructure and reform the NYSC in order to protect corps members in the interim and then to completely overhaul the scheme in the long term so that it is actually useful to the nation. 2) Supporting this Policy Engagement with a wide-ranging public and media campaign to ensure pressure is sustained on the government.

The Protect The Corpers campaign will involve both online and offline strategies to engage the authorities, the media and young people.

The strategy is simple –

1) We are gathering 100, 000 signatures for a petition that is going to the Presidency with a 7-point demand (see demand below) to restructure the scheme and protect the corps members.

2) Request an urgent meeting with the Minister of Youth and the Director-General of the NYSC to implement immediate action points.

3) Begin an aggressive lobby at the legislature, especially the Senate and House Committees on Youth, towards include the deletion of the programme from the section of the Constitution and placing it as an Act of Parliament with a revamped structure, as recommended by the Senate Spokesperson, Ike Ekweremadu.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1) Read the demands below and sign the petition on http://www.facebook.com/l/8dd83s-5ahnpToqmK1PoVdlUY3A/www.thefuturenigeria.com/protectthecorpers – and get at least 20 of your friends, family and associates to sign the petition.

2) If you have any direct influence with any legislator who can help with introducing and facilitating this bill, please get in contact with us at info@thefuturenigeria.com.

3) Use the #ProtectTheCorpers Hashtag on your Twitter and Facebook Accounts Daily, Use the Avatar/Display Picture on Your Facebook/Twitter/BBM Accounts and Send this Message To All Your Contacts.

4) Support this initiative with resources or donation to sustain the publicity and lobbying drive over the next 9 months (our working time-frame.)

5) Join the ProtectTheCorpers group on Facebook as well as the ProtectTheCorpers group on Yahoo.

6) Send us an e-mail on info@thefuturenigeria.com or call us on with any suggestions or how you can or want to help.

7) Visit http://www.facebook.com/l/8dd83s-5ahnpToqmK1PoVdlUY3A/www.thefuturenigeria.com/protectthecorpers for more information.

7-POINT DEMAND TO #PROTECTTHECORPERS

1. Hotspots - Identify violence-prone “hot-spots” states and/or districts and ensure that corps member posting to these areas is voluntary. This voluntary posting must also come with an institutionalised incentive.

2. Emergency Fund – Institute an NYSC Contingency Fundthat is easily accessible in pre-crisis situations. This Fund should be easily accessible at crisis periods.

3. Decentralisation – The command structure of the NYSC should be devolved in terms of accommodation, welfare, wages and security to avoid red tape during times of crisis. State governments should be primarily responsible for welfare as well as security – including evacuation – at moments of crisis.

4. Compensation - Corps Members posted out of their states of residence should be beneficiaries of a comprehensive life insurance policy as a compensation structure in time of unavoidable loss.

5. Data Management – Digitise the database of corps member with location, contact information and total number per state. This is to ensure easy pre and post-crisis accessibility and tracking.

6. Representation – Institutionalise an alternate platform for corps members to interact with administration on welfare and security. This structure will interface directly with the corps commandants and state level and the Director-General at federal level.

7. Full-scale Reform – Constitute a National Youth Service Corps Reform Committee that will recommend full scale structural and policy reforms for the scheme and make binding recommendations to the Federal Government to be implemented into a National Youth Service Act.

WHY CORPERS?

1. Because they are in their locations compulsorily – they have no choice, they have to complete the programme to start off their lives. In essence, they are sitting ducks for violence.

2. Because they are undergoing a special service for the country, and so deserve the country’s special attention.

3. Because they are young – and the future of the nation.

Let’s ensure that we put our government under pressure immediately after the elections. This is a good place to start making our democracy work! Those ‘corpers’ cannot die in vain.

Yours-for-change
The Future Project, Nigeria.
http://www.facebook.com/l/8dd83s-5ahnpToqmK1PoVdlUY3A/www.thefuturenigeria.com/protectthecorpers
What She Thinks- If like me, you are outraged by the recent killings of youth corp members, you  must get involved with this. If like me you have served Nigeria under this scheme, you should get involved with this. If you have siblings, children or cousins who may one day become youth corp members, this is the time to do something about their security. If you are a Nigerian and you care about the lives of fellow Nigerians, please sign this petition. Lets do this before 'to serve Nigeria with all my strength' becomes 'to serve Nigeria is not by force.'