Farafina Trust will be holding a creative writing workshop in Lagos, organized by award-winning writer and creative director of Farafina Trust, Chimamanda Adichie, from August 14 to August 24 2012. The workshop is sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc. Guest writers, including the Caine Prize-winning Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, and Jeffery Allen, will co-teach the workshop alongside Adichie.

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 The aim of the workshop is to improve the craft of Nigerian writers and to encourage published and unpublished writers by bringing different perspectives to the art of storytelling. Participation is limited only to those who apply and are accepted.

Submission details:
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. The deadline for submissions is June 25 2012. Only those accepted to the workshop will be notified by July 31 2012. 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 August 24, 2012.

To apply, send an e-mail to Udonandu2012@gmail.com. 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 can be either fiction or non-fiction.

Feeling creative? Interested in the world around you? Enjoy history, journalism, writing, filmmaking or photography?

The Royal Commonwealth Society’s annual Young Commonwealth Competitions encourage young people to use writing, film and photography to respond creatively to global challenges.

2012 marks the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her 60th year as Head of the Commonwealth. To celebrate this very special occasion, for one year only, all entries into our Young Commonwealth Competitions will become part of the world’s biggest history project, the Commonwealth Jubilee Time Capsule. Take part in our competitions in 2012 and your entry will join 22,000 others – one for each day that Her Majesty has been Head of the Commonwealth – in the Capsule. Your memories – the untold stories of millions of ordinary and extraordinary lives – are the story of the modern Commonwealth.

Young Commonwealth Competitions

In 2012, all our competitions will be based on the Commonwealth theme, ‘Connecting Cultures’. All entries must relate to a single day in the last 60 years since Her Majesty ascended to the throne on 6th February 1952. All entries must be your own original work. Every year, over 50,000 young people take part in this prestigious awards scheme. Our Young Commonwealth Competitions come with some great prizes, and in 2012 you’ll be eligible for Jubilee Time Capsule prizes too!

DEADLINE for all competitions: 1ST MAY 2012

Run by the RCS since 1883, this is the world’s oldest and largest schools’ writing competition. To enter, you must be aged 18 or under on 1st May 2012. You must also be a national of, or living in, a Commonwealth country. On the first page of your entry, please write your name, age, topic number and the date you have chosen to write about.

How do I enter?

To enter the essay competition, you must pick a day between 6th February 1952 and the present. Then, using one of the topics in the grey box as your inspiration, tell us about what happened on that day. You might like to think about why that day was important to you, your family, or your community. The event must not be fictional, but we encourage you to be creative in the way you share the story.

commonwealth essay competition

Pick a day From 6th February 1952 to the present, then, using one of the topics below, tell us about what happened!

1. The day I wore my best clothes.

2. A feast or a festival.

3. An interview with an adult about a significant day in their life.

4. A day’s journey.

5. A birth OR a wedding OR a funeral.

6. My response to an event that made the news headlines.

7. A sporting event.

8. The day I met my hero/heroine.

How long should my essay be?

If you are aged between 14 and 18 on 1st May 2012, please write between 1,200 and 1,750 words. If you are aged under 14 on 1st May 2012, please write between 300 and 700 words.

Pick a day (6th Feb 1952 – present). Choose a topic from the list above. Write a poem, letter, article, essay or story about what happened. Feel free to include illustrations or photos. Submit your entry!


Commonwealth Photographic Awards

This year’s Commonwealth theme is ‘Connecting Cultures’. Whether you use a digital, analogue, disposable or mobile phone camera, we want to see your image! Your entry must relate to a single day in the last 60 years since 6th February 1952.

You must be aged 30 or under on 1st May 2012, and a national of, or living in, a Commonwealth country to enter. Please include a date of birth when entering as all photos will be judged according to age group. Entrants should submit one photo and up to 500 words of accompanying text to explain why your image is connected to your chosen day and this year’s theme.


Commonwealth vision awards

Young filmmakers are invited to submit a film of up to 4 minutes long responding to this year’s theme, ‘Connecting Cultures’. Your entry must relate to a single day in the last 60 years since 6th February 1952.

You must be aged 30 or under on 1st May 2012, and a national of, or living in, a Commonwealth country to enter. Please include a date of birth when entering as all films will be judged according to age group. Entrants should submit one film and up to 500 words of accompanying text to explain why your entry is connected to your chosen day and this year’s theme


Thousands of young people from around the world enter every year, but the winners are often those picking up a camera or putting pen to paper for the first time. What we look for is a creative spark, a unique insight or a bold idea.

In 2012, all essays, photos and films will be entered into the Jubilee Time Capsule. For one year only, your chance of winning a prize is doubled!

By entering the Young Commonwealth Competitions, you could:

• See your Jubilee Time Capsule entry presented to Her Majesty the Queen in 2012.

• Win a certificate, cash or photographic equipment.

• Win resources for your school.

• Be flown to London.

• Be invited to meet famous authors, film directors and photographers; take part in expert

workshops to learn new skills; and do work experience at international organisations.

• See your entry exhibited around the Commonwealth and featured in worldwide media.

How to submit your entries

Online: Please upload your entries to www.thercs.org/youth/competitions

By post: Each postal entry must be accompanied by an entry form (below)

Directly to us: FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, 25 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5AP, UK

Americas/Caribbean: FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, The British Council, 19 St. Clair Avenue, St. Clair, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Africa: FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, Baobab College, PO Box 350099, Chilanga, Zambia. OR, FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, The British High Commission, P.O Box 296, Accra, Ghana

Asia: FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, The British High Commission, 185 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Pacific: FAO Young Commonwealth Competitions, The British High, Commission, PO Box 1812, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

All entries will be uploaded into the RCS archive. After filling in the postal or online entry form, please write ONLY your name, age, chosen day and essay topic (if applicable) on the work itself. Do not write any personal details directly on your entry.

Jubilee time capsule In addition to entering the Young Commonwealth Competitions 2012, you can enter the Jubilee Time Capsule as many times as you want! Whatever your age, wherever you live, share your story with Her Majesty and the world: www.jubileetimecapsule.org.


Over 60 schools from 26 countries around the Commonwealth have joined what promises to be one of the world’s most ambitious classroom collaborations. Together these “SuperSchools” are helping us to reach 22,000 days of content for the Jubilee Time Capsule. Email jubilee@thercs.org or call +44 (0) 207 766 9206 if you would like your school to join this unique international team: http://www.jubileetimecapsule.org/discover/super-schools

Commonwealth community reporters

We are looking for stories from local communities for the Jubilee Time Capsule. If you are a budding journalist, if you know someone who is or you want to have your community’s voice heard, we want to hear from you! Visit our website for more information: http://www.jubileetimecapsule.org/info/groups

Resources for teachers

‘Antigua to Zambia: Getting to know your Commonwealth’ is a teaching resource designed to bring the Commonwealth to your classroom. Download free lesson plans from our website: http://www.thercs.org/youth/materials. You will also find special lesson plans for the Jubilee Time Capsule: http://www.jubileetimecapsule.org/info/groups

Commonwealth Week 2012

Every year, on the second Monday in March, people all over the world celebrate the special partnership of nations, peoples and ideals which is the modern Commonwealth. For this special Jubilee year, we encourage your school to mark the week with a celebration! You can hold a lesson on the Commonwealth, enter a special 2012 story into the Jubilee Time Capsule, run a mini Commonwealth Games in your sports class or learn about another Commonwealth country’s culture. Email us at youth@thercs.org for more ideas. If your school is based in the UK and would like to register your interest to be selected to attend the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey on 12th March 2012, please contact the RCS at youth@thercs.org.

Click here to download the PDF version

Entries are hereby invited for The Nigeria Prize for Literature. The yearly literary prize is endowed by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) to honour the author of the best book by a Nigerian within the last four years.
The prize will rotate amongst four literary genres – prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. This year, the competition is for Prose Fiction.

The competition is open only to published works by Nigerian writers irrespective of place of residence. It carries a prize of $100,000. Two other writers may also be accorded honourable mention.

Submission Procedure
Six copies of the entry together with evidence of Nigerian citizenship (photocopy of Nigerian passport or National Identity Card) may be submitted either by authors or publishers, in accordance with the genre in competition.

Books should be submitted to Nigeria LNG Limited’s External Relations Division, promoters of the prize, by the stipulated deadline. Failure to meet the stated conditions will lead to disqualification of the entry.
This being an annual prize, the date of publication on the works submitted must be within the previous three years. Complete contact information, including full postal address and/or email and evidence of Nigerian citizenship, should accompany each submission.

An author in any competition will enter only one published work. Manuscripts will not be considered. No book previously submitted for this competition may be resubmitted at a later date, even if major revisions have been made or a new edition published.

The prize will be awarded for no other reason than excellence.

Judges for 2012 competition
Prof. Abiola Irele – Chairperson
Prof. JOJ Nwachukwu-Agbada – Member
Prof. Sophia Ogwude – Member
Prof. Angela Miri – Member
Prof. Oyeniyi Okuneye – Member
Calendar for Prize Administration
Close of entries (deadline) – March 31, 2012. Late entries will not be entertained.

All entries should be sent to:
The Nigeria Prize for Literature
External Relations Division
Nigeria LNG Limited
Intels Aba Road Estate
KM 16 Aba Expressway
Port Harcourt, Rivers State

For entries outside Nigeria:
The Nigeria Prize for Literature
External Relations Division
Heron House,
Click here to download the PDF document

The first phase of the New African Writing initiative is almost over, with fifteen of the best entries selected for review. We now announce the start of the second phase, and for writers who did not get a chance to submit the first time, this is another opportunity. Kachifo Limited and ABC Literary Cafe once again call on emerging African writers to send in their submissions.

The submission instructions are same as before. Send in your short stories of not more than 5,000 words to shortstories@kachifo.com, and include your name, email address and phone number. Please note that nonfiction entries and stories over 5,000 words will not be considered. Also, writers are not allowed to send in more than one entry; where they do, we will accept the first and disregard any others. The deadline for this phase is midnight on the 19th of February. From the entries submitted in this second phase, another fifteen of the best will be selected and critiqued by our panel of esteemed writers. Writers who sent in submissions for the first phase are free to participate again, provided they send in a different entry.

New African Writing is aimed at promoting and showcasing new writing out of Africa, and as part of this initiative, Doreen Baingana will be hosting a session at The Life House on February 17, where she will talk about writing and give writing tips and lessons for emerging writers, read from her work and answer questions from the audience. Doreen won the 2006 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the AWP Award in Short Fiction for her book, Tropical Fish. She was also a two-time finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing.



Farafina Books

Hello, everyone. We are glad to announce the fifteen short stories selected for the first phase of the New African Writing contest. They are, in no particular order:

Across the Third Mainland Bridge by Aaron Akinyemi
Kissing Susan by Bankole Oluwole
Chief Bridesmaid by Nkem Awachie
Widows’ Close by Funke Ogundimu
Three Birds and a Nest by Timendu Aghahowa
The Unyielding Sacrifice by Adaeze Osuizugbe
The Governor’s Visit by Saratu Morolayo
Fifty Years of Sweet Memories by Kechika Nomu
The Boy with the Broken Teeth by Bode Asiyanbi
Springboard from the Past by Remi-Roy Oyeyemi
Of Lemons and Lemonade by Aderonke Taiwo
Once Upon a Rapping Shotgun by Akpoveta Valentine
Slingshot by S.A. Sabo
A Miracle Scorned by Banjo Bankole-Sijuade
Ajebutter Dilemma by Adebayo Adegbembo

Congratulations to the writers, and thanks to everyone who sent in their stories. The selected entries will be critiqued by our esteemed panel and, pending further review, stand the chance of being published in our e-book collection…

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March 1, 2012-December 31, 2012

Advocates for Youth is recruiting six youth bloggers from the Global South to report on sexual and reproductive health and rights issues from March 1, 2012-December 31, 2012.

If you would like to apply and are a young person between the ages of 18 and 24 and live in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, or Asia, please submit your application by Wednesday, February 15, 2012, to Lauren@advocatesforyouth.org.

To apply, you must:

  • have an interest in youth global sexual and reproductive health and rights issues
  • have an understanding of the intersection between sexual and reproductive health and rights, environmental sustainability and/or sustainable development
  • be able to commit to reporting by posting blogs throughout the year
  • have strong writing skills
  • have experience studying or working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights, youth development, and/or journalism
  • be available to travel to at least one international conference (costs will be covered by Advocates) during the year
  • have reliable internet connection with the ability to respond to emails promptly and regularly
  • be able to write 3 blog posts addressing global youth sexual and reproductive health and rights issues each month. One of the three monthly blog posts must relate to the connection between sexual and reproductive health and the environment.

Applicants will be notified about whether they have been selected by Friday, February 24, 2012. The six youth writers will participate in a webinar hosted by Advocates for Youth, focused on blogging skills, new media, and youth global sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. During the term of the contract, the youth bloggers will post at least three blogs per month. In addition, the youth bloggers may potentially travel to an international conference in order to report daily on youth sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. Advocates for Youth will cover travel to designated conferences and visa fees, in addition to lodging, and meals during the conferences. Advocates will also provide writers with a stipend of US$50.00 per month.

Download the Application!

Follow the link below for more information.


Today, I called a mature man an ignorant bastard. A man old enough to father me. What a shame, to be that old and still be an ignorant bastard. But that happens somewhere near the end of the story…

via Learner’s Permit- by Nkem Awachie.

Click to read the full story 🙂

Society Of Young Nigerian Writers  in collaboration with African Heritage Research Library And Cultural Centre

For Writers using Yoruba Language to write between the ages of 15 and 40.
The competition is organized by the Society to rekindle the interest of Young Writers writing in Yoruba language in Nigeria. Also to motivate and encourage writing in indigenous languages among young Nigerian Writers. The competition promises to be an exciting display of Yoruba Culture, Traditions, Norms and Values.

Prizes to be won include

  • Fagunwa Prize for Prose Writing – 20,000
  • Prof. Akinwunmi Ishola Prize for Drama – 20,000
  • Tunbosun Oladapo Prize Poetry – 10,000
  • Dr. Adebayo Faleti Prize for Drama – 20,000
  • Elder Supo Kosemani Prize for Poetry – 10,000

Conditions of entry
1. The competition is opened to anyone aged 15-40

2. Works should be in Yoruba Language, unpublished and not currently submitted or accepted  for future  publication

3. They must not previously have been awarded a prize in any competition normay be simultaneously entered for any competition other than this one.

4. Works must be your own original work.

5. Works must be on a separate sheet of A4 size, which must not bear your name, class, age and school.

6. No entry form is required but on a separate sheet of A4 you should show your name, address, title of the work submitted  and please tell us where you heard about the competition.

7. Entry should be sent to the following e-mail:     societyofyoungnigerianwriters@gmail.com. The closing date is 1st of March, 2012, as results will be sent out in April 1st, 2012.

8. The Judge’s decision will be final; no correspondence can be entered into

10. Unfortunately, submitted works cannot be returned so remember to keep a copy.

Wole Adedoyin
National President




My Heart Beats

My heart beats for you but I’ve asked it to be still

Heart, don’t you know that love can kill?

Unrequited love can make you ill

Make you do stupid things against your will

My heart beats for you, your smile, your laugh

Your honey-brown eyes and your poise.

Heart, please, stop that noise!

We had an agreement- no more boys


My heart beats for you, it skips, it flutters

But I’m locking it in and closing the shutters

Shutting my ears from the endearments you utter

Sweet-sounding words might end up bitter

My heart beats for you but I’ve begged it stop

Lest you bleed it to the last single drop

My heart beats for you and I’ve begged it to stop

But it won’t listen.

It beats…my heart…for you.

Do you have a story to tell? Here’s your opportunity to be heard.

Farafina Books

New African Writing is hosted by the ABC Literary Cafe at The Life House, and Kachifo Limited, publishers of Farafina Books. This event will provide an opportunity for emerging African writers to showcase their work and be exposed to critique and feedback from established writers.

Emerging writers are requested to submit any piece of prose of no more than 5,000 words. Thirty pieces will be selected from the submissions, and the writers will be invited to read five minutes of their work during the event. Our panel of distinguished writers will be on hand to critique their work on both days of the event. The thirty selected pieces will be subject to further editing and review by both the panel and Kachifo Limited, and the top fifteen will be included in an e-book of short stories to be released later in 2012. The stories not selected for publication in…

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