The organisers of the Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) have called for entries for reviews of any one of five works of Ken Saro Wiwa’s fiction and drama.
The best review of either Sozaboy, A Forest of Flowers, Adaku and Other Stories, Prisoners of Jebs, or a joint review of Basi and Company and Transistor Radio will receive a N100,000 prize money on the opening day of the Festival, at Freedom Park in Lagos, on November 13, 2015.
The competition is open to Nigerians aged between 18 and 41, i.e those who were either not born, or were just teenagers or at most aged 21, at the time of the death of this Nigerian literary icon.
The entries are to be submitted to Mr. Toni Kan, chairman of the panel of judges, on or before 5pm on November 6, 2015. Mr. Kan is the author of Nights of The Creaking Bed and brand ambassador for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Each review should be no more than 1,000 words and typewritten and sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The competition does three things”, according to Jahman Anikulapo, programme chairman of the Committee For Relevant Art(CORA), organisers of LABAF, it serves to improve on the human infrastructure of reading; there cannot be a robust literary/literacy subculture, or a book market, without a vibrant review culture. The grounds on which conversations of culture stand, in the Nigerian arts landscape today, is shaky.
“It also helps to memorialise Mr Saro Wiwa, to whom the theme of this year’s edition of the Festival is dedicated. Saro-Wiwa was murdered by the state on November 10, 1995.
“And finally, it is the foundation of CORA/LABAF Annual Literature Review contest.”
Mr Anikulapo added: “So much effort has been paid, by sundry sponsors, to writers of books and less to the infrastructure of reading. CORA fancies itself as a landscapist and as we have pioneered the idea of Book Festivals with programme content, as opposed to book fairs in the country, we also want to sow seeds in the area of getting whole communities, as opposed to writers alone, to share in the joy of reading.”