Sunday, August 9, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Constant reincarnation of KEN SARO WIWA

CALL FOR PAPERS—RAL Special Issue on Ken Saro-Wiwa as Public Intellectual
Guest Editor: Stephanie Newell

Since his execution by the Nigerian authorities in 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa has received global recognition as a key figure in the struggle for minority people’s environmental and political rights. This special issue of Research in African Literatures focuses on Saro-Wiwa’s textual outputs and literary experiments and his legacy as a Nigerian and African “literary activist.” Contributions are invited from scholars with an interest in Saro-Wiwa’s popular media productions and political writings, in his poetry and creative prose, and in his broader influence over Nigerian literary culture. The aim of the volume is to debate Saro-Wiwa’s role as a public intellectual in all senses of the term and to highlight the ways in which his controversial appeal to local audiences (through TV series such as Basi & Co and books from Saros International) coexisted with his status as a political activist.
Close readings of Saro-Wiwa’s individual works are welcome, but the editor particularly invites comparative and contextual approaches and essays in which Saro-Wiwa’s significance to African public culture is addressed. Areas of interest may include:
Media, Creativity, and Publics: Saro-Wiwa’s television productions, journalism, YouTube/web presence, and popular media audiences;
Book History: Saros International Publishers and post-Independence publishing in Nigeria;
Local History: the ways in which Saro-Wiwa’s life and works are remembered and discussed locally;
Social and Political Satire: the operation and effects of humor and satire in Saro-Wiwa’s work;
Biafran War: Saro-Wiwa’s place in the canon of Biafran War writers;
After Saro-Wiwa: literary engagements with political activism, environmentalism, and ecocriticism since 1995.
All finished manuscripts are expected to conform to the standard RAL guidelines published in every issue of the journal and all submissions will be subject to peer review. Prospective contributors should send their 300–500 word abstracts by 31 May 2015 and expect notification of selection by 30 June 2015. Final papers are due by 30 November 2015 and will be subject to peer review. The guest editor encourages potential contributors to establish early contact via email to (with the subject line “Ken Saro-Wiwa Special Issue”).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015




PEN International has set up an annual New Voices Award to encourage new writing in
the countries in which we operate and to provide a much needed space for young and
unpublished writers to submit their work. The award will actively encourage entries
from diverse linguistic regions and communities.

Before PEN International was established in 1921, its founder C. A. Dawson Scott set up the
Tomorrow Club as a space for aspiring writers to network with more established writers. In 1928,

Herman Ould, International Secretary, felt strongly that it was important for PEN to maintain focus on helping emerging writers, and so established a ‘Young PEN’ chapter. The PEN International/New Voices Award builds on these ideas, simultaneously reconnecting
with our past and moving into the future.

The annual PEN International/New Voices Award aims to:
- work closely with our Centres, to encourage new writing worldwide;
- encourage writers aged 18-30 to write short stories, creative non-fiction, journalism,
and poetry;
- to promote freedom of expression, literature, and the tenets of the PEN Charter;
- foster new forms of writing appropriate to our time;
- promote translation, especially into ‘bridge’ languages such as English, French, and
- provide a (much needed) space for emerging writers to submit their work;
- help emerging writers by providing advice on how best to work towards a career as
a writer;
- to cement PEN’s profile as the world’s oldest and pre-eminent writers’ organisation
Details of the award’s terms of entry and judging structure are set out below:
- each PEN Centre, or officially-recognised Chapter, may nominate and mentor a
maximum of two writers. One male, one female;
- we only accept entries by email and from an accredited PEN Centre. Entries that
come directly from candidates will not be accepted;
- any nomination from a Chapter must be sent to PEN International by one of their local
PEN Centres;
- the nominating PEN Centre must include a correctly filled-out entry form with their
- official entry forms will be sent directly to all PEN Centres prior to the opening of the
- all proposed candidates must be over 17 & still under the age of 30 at the time of the
closing date;
- writers who have published books may not enter, but those who have existing
contracts with publishers for forthcoming books may enter. A nominee must not have
had any book published during the entire duration of the award;
- writers who have published pamphlets, or work in magazines and journals are allowed
to enter;
- writers nominated do not have to live in the country of the nominating PEN Centre, but
ideally should write in the working language of said PEN Centre;
- all manuscripts entered must be the work of one author only;
- prose entries must be between 2,000-4,000 words;
- poetry entries may take the form of individual poems, a sequence, or one long poem of
no more than 2,500 words in total;
- writers may only submit one prose work;
- all texts nominated must remain unpublished during the entire duration of the award;
- all submissions should be translated into English, French, and Spanish. The original
text must also be submitted. The nominating PEN Centre is responsible for organising
these translations where possible; in cases where PEN International arranges translations
PEN International is not responsible for their quality;
- the winning entry will be published by PEN International;
- the winning writer will receive an award of $1,000 USD;
- a longlist of six writers may request feedback on their entries;
- the shortlist of three writers may be asked to participate in later events through PEN
- the winning writer will be announced during Congress;
- all translators will receive full accreditation and recognition;
- there will be no entry fee
- the Nigerian pre-award selection will be open to submissions February-April 2015;
- the submission window will close on 22 April 2015 no late entries will
be considered;
- the Nigerian Secretariat will have the entries assessed and the winning two entries one in each category would be translated to English, French and Spanish for easy assessment by the international judging panel;
- the International Secretariat will also arrange an assessment of the entry in its original
- PEN National and International’s judging panel of experts, aims to reflect and be representative of PEN’s global remit and aims;
- amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted, nor
substitutions made;
- it is not possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email;
- poems to be single-spaced and a line count noted at the top of the first page;
- short stories to be double-spaced and a word count noted at the top of the first page;
- the filename of online entries must be the title of the entry and it must be either a .doc,
.docx, .rtf file: we cannot accept PDFs
- if poetry is part of the nomination, all poems by one poet should be in one single Word.
- all entries are judged anonymously: do not include the entrant’s name on the
document, only in the cover mail;
- the judges' decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into;
To enter and for further information please contact Secretary General, PEN Nigeria Centre
Ropo Ewenla:

PEN Nigeria, an affiliate of Pen International, promotes literature and freedom of expression and is governed by the PEN Charter and the principles it embodies: unhampered transmission of
thought within each nation and between all nations. Founded in 1921, PEN International
connects an international community of writers from its Secretariat in London. It is a
forum where writers meet freely to discuss their work; it is also a voice speaking out for
writers silenced in their own countries. Through Centres in over 100 countries, PEN
operates on five continents. PEN International is a non-political organisation which
holds Special Consultative Status at the UN and Associate Status at UNESCO.
International PEN is a registered charity in England and Wales with registration number