What is wrong with being different?


Hey guys!

It’s been forever! Happy New year! Many more refining years ahead. We will get back to postings and hope to make your days. Starting off, we have Collins Arikor’s article. Enjoy 😀

It seems the world opposes, or even fears, anything perceived to be different from subscribed norms. When people are different or they try to do things differently, they must be ready for opposition. Stories abound, even in Biblical times, of men and women who had contributed so much to the progress of society in almost every conceivable field and yet they had to endure tremendous criticism, judgment and persecution. The reason for such imbalance obviously can be traced to the nature of humans. Anyone who tries to keep all the people happy all the time will never fulfill his/her destiny. Likewise the one who ignores all the people all the time. Everyone born into this world has the same starting point. We all have equal opportunities to either succeed or fail in life. Some others would definitely succeed, while others would end up in defeat and frustration.

No doubt success is a universal desire. It is innately present in every human; everyone yearns for success in one form or the other. Unfortunately, many go about trying to succeed by chasing shadows; chasing the winds. Unquestionably, someone’s success in life should not be dependent on man’s fabricated opportunities, but should be monitored and guided by personal inputs. I don’t spend time listening to growth experts who are not exhibiting any outward sign of growing themselves. They are just propounding theories. Theories and ideas that are probably not workable. Rather, I engage in trying it out, even though I might be laughed at. Let me say this with all humility: we are a people of equal destiny, what distinguishes us is insight.

The future of any endeavor is absolutely bleaks without that extra-ordinary self-confidence in one’s one capabilities and abilities. This is because the quality of confidence, is what ultimately determines the degree of triumph. The criticisms would come in their numbers. Scoffs and jibes would be plenty, but, because being successful is not a seven-day wonder, only self-confidence could drive those ones who would eventually turn out winners. There is always a period of challenges and adversity in life. Endurance, in the form of self-confidence, is the key needed to travail. At various stages of life’s race, challenges may arise but do not give in. It is your duty to resist discouragements when they come. It may not appear to be working today, but by keeping at it, it will surely work tomorrow. Most champions have marks of failure in their past records. But because they refused to remain where they fell, they ended up turning their stories for better.

This discourse certainly cannot be complete without humble reference to one of the greatest minds to tread planet earth: Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin’s story, today, is well-known throughout the nooks and crannies of America and beyond. Even though he had no formal education, Benjamin Franklin was one of the most admired men in the Western world, during the last half of the 18th century. Till this day, Americans still commemorate the Benjamin Franklin Day; a day off in honor of a great brain, which came entirely by personal development. Even when Benjamin Franklin sought to write for his elder brother’s newspaper where he was an apprentice, he was outrightly rejected. He wrote stories anyway, under a pen name, Silence Dogood, a fictional widow who was highly opinionated, particularly on the issue of the treatment of women. “Silence Dogood” later became popular, but that was just the platform Benjamin needed to become successful, for his jealous brother beat him which resulted in his running away. He subsequently started his own printing shop and took over a newspaper, the ‘Pennslyvania Gazzete’ which became a success story in America.

After inventing the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell struggled to come up with the money to make his invention a household name. Particularly, no one really took the invention seriously at first and even his family and friends encouraged him to focus on his improvements on the telegraph instead of that “speaking telephone nonsense.” Today, the world is regarded as a “small village”, largely due to improvements on Graham’s invention.

The point being made here is that being different is the basis for success in life. How a person responds to your actions, and, for that matter, how others respond is really up to you. Life is a race. Anybody can be a winner in life. It takes those who are willing to be different. Champions are not born; they are made. Your desire of becoming a champion starts with the task of identifying the race set before you, and, it inevitably ends with you succumbing to life’s adversities that may present themselves. Dare to be different.

Take charge of your destiny. See you at the top.

This article was submitted by Collins Arikor. He is @CollinsOgo on twitter.


Farafina Creative Writing Workshop 2014

The 2014 Farafina Creative Writing Workshop, sponsored by the Nigerian Breweries PLC., will take place August 5 to August 15 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria.

According to the press release:
“The workshop will take the form of a class. Participants will be assigned a wide range of reading exercises, as well as daily writing exercises. The aim of the workshop is to improve the craft of Nigerian writers and to encourage published and unpublished writers by bringing different perspectives to the art of storytelling. Participation is limited only to those who apply and are accepted”.

To apply, send an e-mail to udonandu2014@gmail.com

Your e-mail subject should read ‘Workshop Application.’

The body of the e-mail should contain the following:
1. Your name
2. Your address
3. A few sentences about yourself
4. A writing sample of between 200 and 800 words. The sample must be either fiction or non-fiction.

All material must be pasted or written in the body of the e-mail. Please Do NOT include any attachments in your e-mail. Applications with attachments will be automatically disqualified.

Deadline for submissions is June 30 2014. Only those accepted to the workshop will be notified by July 22 2014. Accommodation in Lagos will be provided for all accepted applicants who are able to attend for the ten-day duration of the workshop. A literary evening of readings, open to the public, will be held at the end of the workshop.

Orange Prize winner, Chimamanda Adichie is the creative director of the Farafina Trust; and together with some other notable writers like Kenyan Caine Prize winning writer, Binyavanga Wainana and Aslak Sira Myhre, they will run a ten-day writing workshop.

So, time to get your ink flowing. Goodluck!!!

International Radio Playwriting Competition

Culled from bbc.co.uk


Dear Playwright

We are delighted to be launching this year’s BBC World Service International Radio Playwriting Competition in partnership with the British Council. Now in its 24th year, the competition has some exciting additions!

There are two first prizes – the best radio play by a writer with English as their first language and the best by a writer with English as their second language. The overall winners will each receive £2000 sterling and a trip to London to see their play being recorded for broadcast on BBC World Service.

We are very happy to run this year’s competition in partnership with Commonwealth Writers again and to welcome our co-producers – The Open University. This has allowed us to introduce another prize – the Georgi Markov prize for the most promising script.

The playwriting competition welcomes scripts from anyone living outside the UK, whether established or new, and encourages writers to use the immense power and accessibility of the medium of radio drama – to tell your story, use your imagination and have your “voice” heard. Reading your plays – and hearing the winning plays on air – is a unique way of hearing what’s happening around the world.

Do take the time to read the rules and tips below before you send us your script. Thank you for entering.


Marion Nancarrow, Executive Producer, BBC Radio Drama

Neil Webb, Director, Theatre and Dance, British Council

Enter Here


Morland Writing Scholarship for African Writers (31-10-13)

New annual scholarship for early career African writers

The Miles Morland Foundation has established an annual scholarship scheme to support writers early in their career. The evaluation panel will include MMF trustees and past participants in the Caine Prize. Up to three Morland Writing Scholarships, each worth £18,000, will be awarded each year to writers of fiction or non-fiction.

Candidates must provide a 2,000 – 7,000 word sample of published work. This may be a complete work or an excerpt. The panel may request further work or information.

The candidate must also submit a brief proposal for new work (excluding work in progress). Work samples, the proposed work and application materials must be in English. Book projects of 80,000 words or more are preferred, as are works relating to Africa. Plays or screenplays are not eligible. The Morland Writing Scholar must produce at least 10,000 new words per month, in order for the Scholarship support to continue. Candidates must have been born in Africa or both of their parents must have been born in Africa.

The Trustees reserve the right to vary the terms and requirements of the Scholarships at their discretion.

Please send submissions by October 31, 2013. The Scholarships will be announced in December 2013 and will run for the calendar year 2014.

All enquiries and submissions relating to the Morland Scholarships should be directed to MMF@blakman.com

The Red Line: Free Short Story Competition with Cash Prize

From Redline To All Writers:

Hello All,

We have started a magazine aimed at encouraging writers to produce quality work in the short story form. Being writers ourselves we found being charged to submit work a bit dry, albeit necessary for the larger prizes. We wanted to fill that gap for writers of the short story who want to have a bit of fun and get some exposure, as well as all-important constructive feedback.

The competitions are bi-monthly, themed, and carry a fifty pound prize. You can find us, and all of the details about how to enter, at http://www.overtheredline.com.

The current theme that we are accepting submissions for is “Urban Stories“.

Stephen and Toby.

And GoodLuck!!!

Submissions to When Women Waken


Thank you for considering submitting to When Women Waken: A Journal of Poetry, Prose and Images.

When Women Waken is an online literary journal publishing fresh voices and art from around the world, primarily, but not exclusively, in English.

What are we looking for?
Fall 2013 Theme: Grief

Grief – As it relates to Self, Relationship, Place, Culture, Nation and World

Overall we are looking for very clear writing, very clear images. We want it to be accessible. Refreshing. Clarifying.

To submit please do the following:

Follow us on Twitter at @womenwriters.
Please read and comment on two of our previous pieces. It trains us to comment on each others work, and helps educate you on what we publish, and the culture of community we’re encouraging.
Please consider getting a gravatar at gravatar.com, which includes a picture when you leave comments. It helps people remember you and build relationships with you.
Send in the following:

Your full name as you would like it published. (It’s hard to change a link after it’s published)
A 2 line bio and a 1 paragraph bio in sentence format. (Don’t sweat it, if you can. We just need something for people to know about you
Your submission – prose (less than 1,000 words); poetry (less than 500 words); your own art or photographs at least 800×600 pixils and ideally 300 dpi for a quality look
Your social media and website links – it’s okay if you don’t have any, but it’s very helpful to provide if you do, we are especially interested in women on Twitter, as that’s our main conversation site
If your piece was previously printed, the journal or site your piece was previously published – if so – and otherwise, mention that we can have 1st digital publishing rights for one month
Links to the two pieces where you made a comment

The first issue was published on May 31, 2013 with submissions from writers, authors and artists from Spain, England, Ireland and India, and within the US, from Arizona, New York and North Carolina.
Submission Deadlines

Open submissions. However do not expect to hear back from us until the month of publication.

If you don’t want to wait long to hear from us, submit in the 1st two weeks of the month of publication.

Publication is quarterly at the end of the months of: August, November, February, and May.


Digital Rights

We are requesting 1st Digital Rights exclusive for 30 days, non-exclusive thereafter, when we encourage you to publish it elsewhere, and appreciate a credit and link back to us as first digital publisher.

We prefer pieces which have not been published elsewhere online, by another magazine, blog, journal. (Facebook and your own site are okay.)
Print Rights

We also request **non-exclusive** print rights for the issue in which your contribution is included, as well as a possible “Best of” publications down the road.

By submitting to the Summer 2013 Issue you are consenting to the rights as listed above.

For more information: http://www.booksbywomen.org/whenwomenwaken/submissions/

And GoodLuck!!!

Art Afrika: Black Communion Poetry Anthology


ArtBeat Afrika, a contemporary Africa poetry society, calls for submissions from published and unpublished Africa Poets at home and Diaspora.
This anthology, titled: ‘BLACK COMMUNION’ is aimed at showcasing to Africa and the world the work and talents of ‘the new Africa poet’.

You MUST be an African citizen or from an Africa origin to contribute to this anthology.
1. All poems must be in English. English poems with few tribal expressions and imageries are also allowed, provided they are accompanied with proper English translations.
2. Collaborations between two or more poets are ALLOWED. Note that a part of this anthology will be dedicated to collaborations among Africa Poets.
3. A poet is not allowed to submit more than 7 poems.
4. Both short and lengthy poems are welcomed.
5. Previously published works are allowed provided they are published in the last two (2) years.
1. Submission should be sent in either the e-mail body or as an attachment.
2. Along with the poem(s), the following should also be sent: Name, Pen Name (If available), Nationality, email address and a short biography.
3. All submission should be address to artbeatpoets@gmail.com.
4. The deadline for all submission is the 30th of September, 2013.
5. Submission to this anthology is FREE.
Artbeat Afrika is a society founded with the sole aim of ‘the unification of the Africa Poets’. Currently with members from Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria, artbeat aims at building ‘the league of Africa Poets’ and serve as loudspeaker to all ‘Black Voices’.
BLACK COMMUNION will be edited by Wale Owoade, a poet and founder of Artbeat Afrika.
Find more information here: artbeatpoetry.wordpress.com
And GoodLuck!!!