Thursday 2 November 2023

Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize opens submission of entries for 2023

Winners to be presented at LABAF on Nov 13-19

Late poet, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

THE Committee for Relevant Art, CORA, promoters of the yearly Lagos Book & Art Festival (LABAF) has called for submission of entries for the 2023 edition of the annual Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize For Book Review.

Dedicated to celebration of the life and career of the famous writer and environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was killed by the Nigeria State on November 10, 1995, the Prize is designed to encourage reading and engagement of the published text, which is in tandem with the core objective of the CORA and its prime project, the LABAF. 

A statement from the Programme Directorate of the festival spells out the features and conditions for the Prize. The Modalities: Review of the drama text GRIT (by Obari Gomba) – winner of the 2023 Nigeria Prize for Literature worth $100,000; entries should be max 1500 words, min. 800 words; entries must be submitted latest 12 noon November 10, 2023 to; ompetition open to only those in Age bracket: 18-25 years.

The Outlines: announcement of shortlisted entries, Monday, November 13; announcement of Overall Winner, Wednesday, November 15; conferment of Prize on Winner, Friday, November 17 at Freedom Park, Lagos. The Special guest of Honour is Obari Gomba, winner of the NPL 2023 while Guest of Honour will be Andy Odey, General Manager, ER & SD, NLNG Nature of Prizes. Prizes will be announced in the course of preparation for the Lagos Book & Art Festival LABAF 2023 – November 13-19. The winner and two runners-up will win Prizes denominated in Literary materials and tools. The winning review would be widely published in the media and in reputable journals. 

About the KS-W Prize: The prize project was launched in 2015 on occasion of the 17th LABAF, which was dedicated to mark the 20th anniversary of the state killing of Saro-Wiwa, himself a keen observer, commentator, and critic of the quality of literature being produced in the country in his time.

Objectives: The project is designed to further a key objective of the CORA and LABAF— deepening the culture of reading and engagement of content of literary works, particularly fiction, drama, poetry and non-fiction –– all the genres where the late author, Ken Saro-Wiwa, excelled in his illustrious writing career.

The theme for the 2023 edition is THE RESET: History and the Darkling Plain, and it is designed to - through written texts and performances in drama, music, poetry and the visual arts etc - reflect on the various critical points in the history of Nigeria, especially as we settled into a new political dispensation, and by extension the histories of rest of Africa and the world. The essence is to mine those lessons in the political and cultural history of the nation to plot a progressive direction for its future. The Festival’s main programme iterations include: Conversations around ideas contained in the books of the festival – relevant to the theme of the festival; ; Readings, Reviews and sessions on Writing and Publishing; Exhibitions of Books and Visual Arts; Workshops and Mentoring Sessions for young people; Performances in Poetry, Drama, Music, Dance etc; Arthouse celebrations of eminent artistes and culture workers who have registered their names and footprints in the cause of nation building – the idea is to set them up as role models for both old and young people – to inspire hope, motivate them to aspire to greater accomplishments in their chosen careers or vocation.

Translucent S.I. Media management agency for artists and art galleries

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