Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Author Speaks with Bura Bari Nwilo

A.A: How long did it take to write this book?

N.B.B: I started Diary of a Stupid Boyfriend in 2012. It was just a way of finding sanity in a relationship I was struggling with. I knew I was not doing the things I should have done. They were in my head and I knew that if I did them, things would work. But then how many persons do the good things that their spirit leads them to do? 
When we were in the final phase of the relationship, I started writing. Many of the recorded events happened but are spiced up to suit my audience. The pieces could have been more than the nine I collected into the book but then they would hurt. I decided to play around the subjects, took away the unwanted elements and that was it! I have readers who have core literary tastes. I have others who love the free side of Nwilo. So when you read the book, you’ll see a lot of me, basically the experimental writer.

 A.A: I see that you have pieces with this title on blogs. Why did you decide to put it together in book form?
 N.B.B: I wanted my writing to pay my bills. I spend a lot of time online. I update my status and I don’t get paid. I felt the things I had written for blogs could be collated. I tried including other articles but they were mostly political and I don’t have the strength for politics now. The diary worked better. I read through the pieces and felt that since they had been viewed and loved by a lot of people, some of those people could want it in book form. That was it.

A.A: What has the process of going from web to print been like?
N.B.B: The poet, Maxi Uzoatu says anything that’s not printed but is solely on the internet isn’t written. Although the statement is greatly flawed, I do think going from web to print indicates another level of commitment to the craft. The online platform provides you with an audience that may read your book when it is in paperback and that is good. I asked my friends on social media to share the book cover and it worked. It showed that the online community has invested in me as a young writer. Maybe if I had released the book in 2012 it could have been poorly received. But I think it will be well received when it comes out in October.
A.A: Are you done with the stupid boyfriend? Will you continue to write more stupid boyfriend pieces?
N.B.B: Yes. I think I am done with the Stupid Boyfriend title. I may move unto something else. It may be my short stories or poetry. It may be my other collection of non-fiction essays. I like to write about myself and my experiences. My life is a bit better now. I am in another relationship. I am trying not to make the mistakes I made in the previous one. Although it gave me a book, I miss it. 

A.A: Who are your major literary influences?
N.B.B: My influences vary. I started writing non-fiction after reading Teju Cole’s Everyday is for the Thief. I love Dambudzo, he has done quite a lot to my mind. Ken Saro-Wiwa also influenced me a great deal. When I am online, people like Pa Ikhide help me. His writings and the humour are very enviable. The list is endless.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Awele Creative Trust Award

This award is open to writers between the ages of 19 and 26 who are resident in Nigeria. 
Writers can submit one previously unpublished short story for consideration. 
There is a cash prize of N50,000 for the winning author and a six month online writing course with an ACT mentor.
Submissions should be made by e-mail only to awards@awelecreativetrust.com and awelecreativetrust@gmail.com.
Entries will be accepted from September 1 – November 1, 2014.  A shortlist of 5 will be announced on January 5, 2015 and a winner will be announced on January 20, 2015.
You can learn more here.
Best of Luck!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Caine Prize Short Story Surgery at the Port Harcourt Book Festival

The Caine Prize Story Surgery will be a day-long session including an exploration of the short story form and feedback and advice to selected candidates.
Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, deputy chair of the Caine Prize for African Writing is joined by twice shortlisted for the Caine Prize (2008 & 2012), writer Stanley Onjezani Kenani and 2013 shortlisted writer, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim at the Port Harcourt Book Festival 2014 for this unique opportunity. 
To submit your work for consideration, submit an unpublished story of 1,500 - 2,000 words toinfo@portharcourtbookfestival.com  by 19 September2014.
Caine Prize rules of eligibility apply. Eligible participants are those born in or are citizens of an African country, or have one parent who is African by birth or nationality.

Learn more here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Register for the Ake Arts and Book Festival

The second edition of the Ake Arts and Book Festival will begin on 18th of November 2014. This year's guests include Abubakar Adam IbrahimBernardine Evaristo, Binyavanga Wainaina, Dami Ajayi, Molara Wood, Okwiri Oduor,  and of course W.S himself. The guest list is a long one and the line up is worth much more that the N1,000 registration fee. If you are in Nigeria  in November, I'm so sure this will be worth your while.
You can register now on the website right here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cordite Books Crime Fiction Contest Winner Announced

Cordite Books has announced the winner of its 2014 Crime Fiction Contest. The winner is Blessing Musariri from Zimbabwe. She won with the manuscript; “Useful Knowledge for a World Class Detective”. Blessing Musariri will receive $1000 plus a Cordite Books publishing deal.
Blessing Musariri has published four children’s titles, two of which have won national awards in Zimbabwe. She has also written short stories and poems published in various international anthologies and online magazines.  She holds a Masters degree in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Westminster.
The second place winner is Demola Adeniran with “Descent of the Hills” and third place is David Oritogun with “The World is Your Oyster.” They will receive $250 and $200 respectively. The competition was announced in 2013 and received over 70 manuscripts from all over the continent.
Helon Habila, award winning author and editor of Cordite Books, describes the winning story as “Intelligent and well written. A hardcore detective story in the tradition of No 1 Ladies Detective Agency – but totally original in its own way. The protagonist is a 25 year old, plucky, ambitious, girl with an interesting back story.”
Read more about the announcement here.