Call for Submision: “ANA @ 30″ Commemorative Poetry, Short Story & Play Anthologies

Deadline: 31 August 2011

The Association of Nigerian Authors invites interested Nigerian writers, home and abroad to send in their works for the ANA @ 30 commemorative anthologies. The anthologies which will cover the three genre of literature – Prose, Poetry and Play will be presented during the International Convention and 30th Anniversary of the association in October 2011, in Abuja.

Guidelines for Poetry Anthology:
– Writers are expected to send in 5 poems each
– Poems must be original and never previously published in any form (including on the internet)
– Poets are free to use any poetic form of their choice
– Submissions must be in English language
– The Subject box of the email should read: ANA @ 30 POETRY SUBMISSION
Editors: Ahmed Maiwada & Kabura Zakama.

Guidelines for Short Story Anthology:
– Writers are expected to send in maximum of two short stories
– Stories could be on any subject matter of the writer’s choice
– No part of the story must not have been published before
– Entries must be a maximum of 2500 words
– The Subject box of the email should read: ANA @ 30 SHORT STORY SUBMISSION.
Editors: Diego Okenyodo & Lizzy Ben-Iheanacho, (Phd)

Guidelines for Play Anthology:
– Each writer to submit one play each
– All plays must be original (no adaptation) and on any subject matter of the playwright’s choice
– Playwrights are free to explore any form of drama of their choice
– Play must be a maximum of three acts or not more than 45 minutes in performance time
– The Subject box of the email should read: ANA @ 30 PLAY SUBMISSION.
Editors: Denja Abdullahi & Jerry Jerry Adesewo

General Rules:
– All entries should be sent to ana30anthology@ymail.com
Deadline for submission is midnight of Wednesday 31st August 2011.
– All entries must be accompanied with the biodata of the writer

For enquiries, please feel free to contact the Convention secretariat on 0818 200 5597 or email: anaabuja@yahoo.com.

Photo credit: www.writerscafe.org

“Agbako Was Here” – A Short Story by Gbenga Awomodu

Mickey, the middle-aged black mouse pokes its head out of the tiny hole burrowed into the floor. Similar holes dot the four corners of this dingy room at the Kru Kru prison. Wary of the sole occupant of the room, it pushes forward, surreptitious and whiskers-alert. Only the staccato drop of water from the leaking roof can be heard as it joins the puddle near the centre of the room.

Until only three weeks ago, when the occupants were two, it was difficult, very difficult, to steal crumbs from them. That Monday morning, two prison officers, a man and a woman, marched to the entrance and called Pius, the older of the two inmates, out of the room. They slipped the handcuffs onto his hands and led him to the hangman’s noose. He never returned.

For a week now, the rat has made away with Agbako’s meal – a paltry loaf of bread and some watery, half-done beans. Agbako has refused to eat, but only stares in the dark. Every night, all he sees are strange things as Pius’ ghost visits him. In those apparitions, Pius never smiles…

After three years in prison, no one bothers to visit Agbako anymore. Even his wife, he heard, has run off with an Alhaji and left his children in custody of his widowed grandmother. The nightmares wouldn’t go, or even move an inch. Last Sunday, he was told he would finally be hanged today.

Continue reading here: BN Prose: Agbako Was Here by Gbenga Awomodu

Ababuo: Another Night in Lagos (A Short Story)

Gates of Ghana, Hear our cry
From a distant land, afar
Tomorrow, may we awake in Accra

“Hello lady, can I help you with your luggage? Those bags must weigh two tonnes!”

Ababuo turns back in search of the strange voice. Wow! An albino in Ghana!? She thought to herself. “My name is Appiah, may I know the name that suits this beautiful face?” the albino adds as he reaches to relieve the young lady of the heavier of the two bags.”

“I am Ababuo,” she smiles revealing her endearing dimples.

“What a coincidence! That’s my grandmother’s first name. Where are you headed?”

“I am looking for the GUFFS hostel.”

“Oh! You must be fresh on campus. That hostel is popularly known as Brunnei…” Appiah seems to be really popular here because almost every twenty seconds, someone calls out to greet him. If it is not one beautiful girl, it is a group of young guys strolling together, or some non-teaching staff… Light rays from the midday sun collapse midway on the albino’s bald head and Ababuo thinks she can see pieces of her own image staring back at her. She remembers how when she was only five, she thought Albinos were from Albania. Albania, a country she discovered in one of Papa’s big books, the one that contains the maps of the world. After some minutes of walking, Appiah announces, “Welcome to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana!”

“Ababuo!” Mama’s voice tolls from the back yard. “Aba-buo-oo…!” she calls a second time, then a third, her voice now approaching a crescendo.

“Mama… I’m coming!” Ababuo snaps out of her dream. She crawls out of the old rusty bed, accompanied by the jingling of tarnished springs, dislocated out of joint. Tired and still sleepy, she yawns and squints in the dark room. She feels the side of the bed, and the window sill for the torch. Outside the window, the day has suddenly sung itself into evening. The evening comes in slow steps, its star silvery and solitary on the girdle of the early night. She saunters out of the door, into the dark night which now engulfs the backyard like the devil’s parcel. She staggers and navigates the curved path to the kitchen, amidst rooms unconventionally scattered on both sides of the tiny passage. She walks somewhat unsteadily like a blind man feeling his way. She is led by a glimpse of the red glow of kerosene lantern down the path and the beam of light from her torch.

Night falls upon us

Photo Credit: Tosin Poluyi

As she draws close, the sweet aroma of peanut soup wafts along with intrusive smoke from the cramped dingy kitchen. “The soup is ready. Let’s make the fufu.” Mama pours the boiled starchy cassava and plantain into the giant, wooden mortar and pounds it into a glutinous mass, stirring to the limits of her endurance. She dumps a cup of the mixture into a wet bowl. Ababuo shakes the dough almost till eternity until it forms a smooth ball with sticky, slightly resilient consistency. She serves the fufu on five platters alongside the peanut soup. She takes Papa’s dish – the largest of all the platters – into the living room, and makes for the frontage where Papa and her two siblings are seated. Under the moonlight, Papa, a poor pensioner and head of a family scraping by on a single income, shares banters and stories from the good old days with friends. The kids in the compound listen, enthralled by the golden gloom of the past and the bright-hued hope of the future. They also enjoy the stories about Anansi, the legendary spider. She walks at an even clip towards her father, takes a turn around him, and whispers to him from behind, Papa your favourite is ready. Papa smacks his lips, then brings his Ghana-Must-Go story to a close and excuses himself. Five minutes later, power supply is restored to the street. Everybody, young and old, diffuses into thin air.

Two hours later, darkness descends on the community! The television flickers into nothingness. Ceiling fans whirr to a stop. Ababuo sighs, gasps, and laments as she reaches for the match box. She lights the kerosene lantern and her candle, opens the windows, and lifts the curtain for a release of fresh air from the street. The air is raw and pointed. She studies strenuously for another hour before the candle chills out. She cringes with pain in her heart. The stifling room continues to heat up as the smell of fossil fuels laces the air. At 12 am, the wail of a trio of power-generating engines in the compound gives way to the loud singing from a Pentecostal church, four blocks away. They must have started another series of vigils. Ababuo slips under the clammy sheets. She catches a glimpse of her Ghana-must-go bag as she tries to find sleep on the wafer-thin mat. Then she sees rivulets joining into streams on the forehead of every occupant in the room.

Many times, she wishes Papa had left when her people were forced out of this country. She hears of her native land’s progressive strides, how even Nigerians are now trooping to tap into the good of 21st century Ghana, and the fast pace of economic and educational development back home. She has learnt to see in the dark and think through the noxious fumes. Every day, she prays for success in her final secondary school exams and hopes for a bright future in a Ghanaian University. As she finally surrenders to a fitful sleep, Appiah the albino turns to her, “So Ababuo, what course have you been admitted to study?”

Contest for the The Bridport Prize 2011 – Poetry, Short Story & Flash Fiction

Deadline: 30 June 2011

Here’s another brilliant opportunity for writers out there to win fantastic prizes and gain more vital recognition. Yes, there’s an entry fee for this particular one, but I bet it’d be worthwhile contributing a few Dollars/Euros/Pounds.

Here are the Prizes at stake in what is arguably the richest OPEN writing prize!

SHORT STORIES: 1st prize = £ 5000 (approx. 8000 US$, 5900 € )
POEMS: 1st Prize = £ 5000 (approx. 8000 US$, 5900 €)
FLASH FICTION: 1st Prize = £ 1000 (approx. 1600 US$, 1180 €)

Competition Rules
Closing date for receipt of postal entries: 30th June 2011 5.30pm

Closing date for online entries: 30th June 2011 Midnight GMT

Maximum of 5000 words for short stories (no mimimum)

Maximum of 42 lines for poems (no minimum)

Maximum of 250 words for flash fiction (no minimum)

The title is NOT included in the word count or line count

Eligibility
The Prize is open to anyone, including non-UK applicants, over 16 years.
Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been published, self-published, published on any website or public online forum, broadcast nor winning or placed in any other competition.
Entries submitted posthumously will not be eligible.

Fees
Entry fee is £5 per flash fiction, £6 per poem or £7 per story (you can send as many entries as you like).
Fees are payable in sterling by credit/debit card, cheque or postal order. Cheques must be from a UK bank and should be payable to The Bridport Prize with the sender’s name and address on the back.
Online entries are paid as you submit, using the RBSWorldPay system.
Postal entries from overseas can only be paid by credit/debit card or in cash (notes only, NO coins) – either US dollars or Euros at the current exchange rate.
Overseas cheques, money orders or drafts will not be accepted.

Entry Format
Entries must be in English, typed, single sided, with pages numbered and securely fastened with a staple. Each entry on a new sheet.
Stories and flash fiction to be double spaced and a word count noted at the top of the first page, poems to be single spaced.
Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title (Online entries should have an ID number which we will supply when you enter).
The filename of online entries must be the title of the entry and it must be either a .doc, .docx, .rtf, .wps, .pdf or .txt file.
Entries are not returned, keep a copy.
No corrections can be made after receipt, nor fees refunded.
Please ensure that you use the correct postage.

Receipt of entry
Enclose a stamped addressed postcard marked ‘ACKNOWLEDGEMENT’ if you require acknowledgement of receipt of your postal entry
Online entries are confirmed by the email receipt of your payment to

WorldPay
It is not possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email
Overseas entrants : please send an international reply coupon from your Post Office rather than stamps.

Results
To receive the judges’ reports (winning entries only) and full results in November 2011 – enclose an A5 stamped addressed envelope marked ‘RESULTS’
Alternatively, check the website for details after November 2011
Overseas entrants : please send an international reply coupon from your Post Office rather than stamps.

Copyright
Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but the Bridport Prize will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning poems and stories, (including runners up), in the annual anthology and any relevant promotional material.

Judging
The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into
Judges are unable to comment on individual entries
Judging is fair and unbiased. Experienced readers assist the named judges in selecting the shortlists, headed by Jon Wyatt for short stories and Candy Neubert for poems.

Prizes
Prizes for both short story and poetry categories are:
1st £5000
2nd £1000
3rd £500
(plus 10 supplementary prizes of £50 each)

The prizes for the flash fiction category are:
1st £1000
2nd £500
3rd £250
(plus 3 supplementary prizes of £25 each)

No competitor may win more than one prize in each category
The Dorset Award for the highest placed writer resident in Dorset is £100

Prizewinners / prizegiving
Prizewinners will be notified in writing by end of October 2011
The list of prizewinners will be displayed on the website after the awards ceremony on 26th November 2011
Prizes will be awarded during the Bridport Literary Festival
Winners will be expected to attend the awards ceremony if possible

Entry implies acceptance of all the rules

Failure to comply with the entry requirements will result in disqualification

Print entry form fill in and then post with fee and entry

OR

Enter online

Postal entries should be sent to:

The Bridport Prize
PO Box 6910
DORSET
DT6 9BQ

Tel: 01308 428333

For more information, visit www.bridportprize.org.uk

Entry Fee: £5 per flash fiction, £6 per poem and £7 per story
NB: You can send as many entries as you’d like to.

Photo credit: petemillson.wordpress.com