Unleash your literary passion and win N250k in the 2023 Ken Saro-Wiwa Book Review Prize

In a beacon of opportunity for young Nigerian book enthusiasts, the Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) and  the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) announce the Ken Saro-Wiwa Book Review Prize, inviting aspiring literary critics to delve into the pages of On a Darkling Plain: An Account of the Nigerian Civil War by Ken Saro-Wiwa.

The contest presents a golden chance for individuals aged 18-30 to channel their passion for books and possibly walk away with a hefty reward of N250,000. The chosen book for this literary exploration is On a Darkling Plain: An Account of the Nigerian Civil War by Ken Saro-Wiwa, a captivating piece awaiting the discerning eyes of potential reviewers.

The call is open to all Nigerian residents falling within the specified age bracket, presenting an inclusive platform for budding talents.

All those who intend to participate need to locate the specified book, immerse in its narrative, allowing the words to weave a tapestry of thoughts and reflections and then craft a comprehensive review not exceeding 1,500 words.

showcasing their analytical prowess and literary insight.

Submissions should be sent to tonikan11@gmail.com.

The window of opportunity is closing, with the submission deadline set for November 14, 2023. Hurry, as time is of the essence!

Beyond the thrill of literary exploration, a substantial prize awaits the most exceptional review, turning the endeavour into a potential windfall of N250,000.

Organised by CORA, this initiative seeks to empower and celebrate the literary acumen of the younger generation. It pays homage to the renowned writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, making it a tribute to the fusion of history and contemporary artistry.

Ken Saro-Wiwa, who tragically lost his life at the hands of the Nigerian state on November 10, 1995, left an indelible mark on the world of literature and environmental advocacy. This prize seeks to keep his legacy alive by encouraging young writers to delve into literary works and provide insightful book reviews.

LABAF 2023,l takes place from November 13 to 19. 

The Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize project was inaugurated in 2015 during the 17th LABAF, which was dedicated to commemorating the 20th anniversary of Ken Saro-Wiwa’s tragic demise. The project aligns with CORA and LABAF’s key objectives, aiming to deepen the culture of reading and engagement with literary content across various genres.

As for LABAF 2023, the festival’s theme is “THE RESET: History and the Darkling Plain.” It aims to reflect on critical points in Nigeria’s history, especially as the nation transitions into a new political era, drawing lessons from its political and cultural history to chart a progressive path for the future. The festival features a range of programmes, including conversations, readings, reviews, exhibitions, workshops, mentoring sessions, and performances in poetry, drama, music, dance, and more.

LABAF is a comprehensive seven-day Cultural Picnic that features a variety of literary activities, including reading sessions, book exhibitions, art and crafts workshops, live music, drama, and dance performances. The festival, running from November 13 to 19, is designed to make books and the arts cool while celebrating ideas and life in general.

CORA is an art advocacy group that consists of artists, art enthusiasts, art promoters, and art writers committed to promoting contemporary arts in Nigeria and Africa. They have organised the Lagos Book & Art Festival (LABAF) since 1999, widely recognized as one of the largest culture picnics on the African continent.


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