The organisers of the Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) have called for entries for reviews of any one of Ken Saro Wiwa’s five books in 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 at the opening day of the festival.
The competition is open to Nigerians aged between 18 and 41, representing those who were either not born, or were just teenagers or at most aged 21, at the time of the death of the Nigerian literary and environmental rights icon.
The entries are to be submitted to Toni Kan, author of Nights of The Creaking Bed and brand ambassador for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, who also dubs as chairman of the panel of judges, on or before 5pm on November 6, 2015.
Each review should be no more than 1,000 words and typewritten and sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jahman Anikulapo, programme chairman of the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), organisers of LABAF, revealed that the aim of the competition is to improve the human infrastructure of reading. He added that “there cannot be a robust literary/literacy subculture, or a book market, without a vibrant review culture”.
“The grounds on which conversations of culture stands, in the Nigerian arts landscape today, is shaky,” Anikulapo said.
“It also helps to memorialise Mr. Saro Wiwa, to whom the theme of this year’s edition of the festival is dedicated. And finally, it is the foundation of CORA/LABAF annual literature review contest.”
Anikulapo lamented that the sponsors often pay more attention to writers of books, with little or no emphasis on the readers.
“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.”
The prize presentation is scheduled for Freedom Park, on November 13, 2015 – the first day of the festival.