Here’s a sneak peek of the cover of Nnedi Okorafor’s new release – Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi

Cassava Republic Press recently revealed the cover for the African and European edition of Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi by award-winning fantasy writer Nnedi Okorafor and we are totally in love with it.

Designed by Anna Morrison, this arresting cover is a rich blue, flecked with gold, that hints at the magic within the books pages. The sophisticated design and mix of colours will appeal not only to a YA audience, but to adults as well. At the centre of the cover is a beautiful image of Sunny in profile, illustrated by Greg Ruth, which showcases Sunny’s hidden strength. Layered over the image are Nsibidi symbols and a mysterious red spider, whose significance will become clear as the book unfolds.

The spellbinding sequel to What Sunny Saw in the Flames, published as the Akata Witch series in the USA takes us one year into the future, as 13-year-old Sunny Nwazue continues her juju training in Leopard Knocks, a city in Nigeria inhabited by magic wielders. With the help of her friends and her mentor, Sugar Cream, Sunny must harness her newly discovered powers to defeat Ekwensu, a terrifying lake monster who is determined to usher in the apocalypse. If that wasn’t complicated enough, Sunny must do all of this without revealing her true identity to her family.

We sure can’t wait to grab a copy of the second installment of the YA fantasy series!

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Olumide Popoola’s book launch takes Lagos by storm!

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 On Thursday, 16 November 2017, When We Speak of Nothing, the debut novel by Olumide Popoola, was launched in Lagos, Nigeria, to a crowd of book and art lovers at Colours in Africa, 13a Musa YarAdua, Victoria Island.

The event saw Popoola read from her novel, which was published by Cassava Republic Press. She also gave an intimate explanation of the inspiration behind the book – which has so far been critically acclaimed for its beautiful use of language and exploration of friendship between two young black boys. Popoola explained that Esu Elegba, a Yoruba trickster god, was the inspiration behind the book and that the novel is voice driven and marked by its use of stream of conscious.

Afro-soul singer, OloriAfrica, thrilled the crowd far into the night while fiery spoken word and rap artiste, Ms Eva Johnson, performed series of poetry that intimately explored gender, feminity and love. The book launch was anchored by Classic FM #BookOnReview host, Benjamin Okoh.

See pictures from the launch.

 

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Who is ready for the African Writers Meet?

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There are a few opportunities in Nigeria, where budding writers, bloggers, authors, content writers, and poets can come together to network, learn from mentors and pitch their dreams to people that have the power to propel their careers into a quick start. The African Writers as an organization was created to bring these writers together and help them learn more about their craft so that they could grow and become recognized. The African Writers Meet was born out of the need to see these new voices rise to limelight.” – Faith Moyosore Agboola, Founder The African Writers.

THEME: TURNING YOUR WRITING INTO AN ENTERPRISE.

DATE & TIME: OCTOBER, 28, 2017, 10:00AM.

VENUE: ONIKAN YOUTH CENTER, KING GEORGE V ROAD, TBS, LAGOS, NIGERIA.

ENTRY:  FREE

The African Writers Meet “17 is packed with amazing activities. The first being the Conference and Panelist Session where notable figures in the literary space like the revolutionary Poetpreneur and Founder of i2x Media, the organizers of Word Up, Olumide Holloway, Top fiction blogger and author of bestseller novels including The Guardians of the Seals, Tunde Leye, Social Media Strategist and relationship and lifestyle blogger Elsie Godwin of elsiesy.com and Editor, Writing Coach and Founder of the Sparkle Writers Hub, Adedoyin Jaiyesimi will each give talks on how writers can build their brands in the different writing fields. It will involve practical lessons and detailed description of personal experiences which will be followed by a Question and Answer session to ensure the writers get the very best.

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The second activity, which promises to be very memorable will be the Pitch Your Dreams where aspiring authors, bloggers, content writers and poets will pitch their dreams to a group of panellists. These panellists will pick the most convincing and promising participants who will get amazing career boost opportunities from partnering brands. The authors will get free e-book publishing and promotion courtesy AW Publishing, the bloggers will get a complete rebrand of their blog and free SEO optimization courtesy OV Media, the poets will get free Audio recording of their spoken word pieces and the content writers will get a free individual and group masterclasses and placement for job opportunities in the Sparkle Writers Network courtesy the Sparkle Writers Hub. Others include performances by talented young poets and soulful artists who will serve as a source of entertainment and there will also be giveaways for winners of mini-challenges at the event. Amidst the numerous value it promises to provide, it will also be an opportunity for writers to network with one another and meet possible people to collaborate with.

The event is free but it is important to register to attend as only 250 spaces are available. Only registered participants will be allowed into the venue.

To Register click here:

 

#PickOfTheWeek – A little bit of everything

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Hey Sparkle Writers! It’s Tuesday and as you know on the hub time to feature amazing peices  from writers who tag us on instagram. 

Today’s posts are from a little bit of everything.  Ceejay Eze speaks on anger. We are not sure we agree with what he says here but then it’s his view and we want to know what you think. farmto table (1)

We love this one by Maryann Okoli. It doesn’t make sense to give up on who you want to be because some people can’t understand what you are doing or who you are trying to become. 

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Thank you Sensei Fawx for speaking the truth. Before we talk about our colour, race, tribe or religious affinity we are first human. If we remember that, we’d treat the next person to us much better. farmto table (3)    Muhamad Solati speaks the truth with this one! Until we connect our pen to heart our voice will just be an echo. farmto table (4).png 

If you would like to be featured on Pick of the Week, don’t forget to tag @thesparklewritershub on Instagram.

Download the Afriwowri Ebook, ‘The different shades of a Feminine Mind’

Afriwowri (African Women Writers) Literary Project Team, in collaboration with Writivism, The Sparkle Writer’s Hub, The Radioactive Blog and Africa Matters is excited to announce the official release of the anthology, ‘The Different Shades of a Feminine Mind’.

‘The Different Shades of a Feminine Mind’ (A daybook of the African woman’s narrative) is an anthology of short stories which explores diverse feminine themes from a woman’s perspective. The purpose of this project was to curate fresh, unique and startling voices telling a holistic collection of daily African experiences which appreciates the nuances in each story.

This book features stories from writers from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Eastern Cape, and the United States.

The book is only available as an electronic book (pdf – digital book), and is also available as a free download from different sites such ISSUU and datafilehost.

Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, writer, poet and founder of the Babishai Niwe (BN) Poetry Foundation praised the short stories;

“I deeply appreciate that the narratives sway from the usual and hold their own, in unapologetic, melodramatic and confident poise. The characters are people we know, they are a mirror of whom we purport to be, of our urban and rural communities.”

Use these links to download your copy of the book:

http://www.datafilehost.com/d/4b184ed0

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzuIDV337byBLS1FMHJMTW9velU/view?usp=drivesdk

https://issuu.com/radioactiveblog/docs/the_different_shades_of_a_feminine_

Enjoy the read!

Meet the writers for the Afriwowri Literary Project E- book!

 

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We’re so excited to announce that the AfriWowWri E-Book edited by our Founder, Adedoyin Jaiyesimi will be released on Monday 9th October. While we await the release we want you to meet all the amazing women that contributed to this book from different countries of the world! We even have writers from The Sparkle Writers Hub contributing to this book. Isn’t that exciting? 

Nokwanda Zakiyyah Shabangu – Let Lovers Make Love

 

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I am the single mother of a four-year-old named after the deepest river in the world. A performance poet and vocalist who has graced only a handful of stages because I spend my days contesting social ills. I’d like to think of myself as a humanitarian who places emphasis on grassroot activism. To mobilise notions of freedom using my writing, singing and very being. To summarise what you can find on LinkedIn… I am a Digital Content Editor (DiCE) for an organisation that supports small businesses, youth development and women’s empowerment with a focus on technology and innovation.

Kingwa Kamencu – An argument with my Landlord

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Kingwa Kamencu is a writer based in Nairobi. She has written and published a novella To Grasp at a Star (East African Educational Publishers) and a childrens book, The Shy Girl (Oxford University Press). To Grasp at a Star has won numerous awards in Kenya. Kingwa’s poetry and short stories have been published in anthologies locally and internationally. Kingwa also wrote scripts for the highly acclaimed Kenyan TV series ‘Stay’ (season 2). She enjoys writing and reading humor and has been influenced by writers including Wahome Mutahi, Richmal Crompton, Frank Richards, Sophie Kinsella and Kate Getao. Kingwa holds an MSt. in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford (UK).

Hadiza Mohammed 

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Hadiza Mohammed is a Nigerian. She lives and writes from Abuja. She is the author of the Children’s book My Life as an Almajiri. She has been published in Brittle Paper, Saraba Magazine, Praxismagonline and Kalahari Review

Holly Ajala – Skin Deep

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Holly Ajala is a writer and storyteller with a fierce belief in the power of effective narrative to inspire empathy in the face of difference, to propel the reach of social justice and above all to challenge humans beings to be more human. To these ends, Holly has worked with the NYU Leadership Initiative, the ACLU Racial Justice Project , and the NYC Collaborative Writing Project to amplify the reach of marginalized voices, narratives, stories and communities. Holly currently writes for AYO Magazine, an online publication dedicated to honest and multifaceted portrayals of black women in search of joy. She is a recent NYU graduate with a B.A. in Politics and Africana Studies.

Natasha Omokhodion Kalulu Banda – Mirage

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I am a 33-year-old woman from Zambia with a career in marketing and event management.  I feel as though my generation was found at the tail end of the pre-World Wide Web age.  What was referred to as modern history when we were teenagers, was only ninety years since Africa was being carved up and shared, fifty since the last World War and thirty years since most African countries gained independence.  Hence, I feel that we have a unique perspective, which, like a confluence, brings together the old and the new.  My prayer is that we share this with the world through our story-telling. I love Africa – its history, its present and mostly, its future. 

Charissa Cassels – We are Queens

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 I am Coloured Woman, aged 21 and I am a Third year Journalism and Media Studies student and I major in Politics as well. I am an activist at heart and believe that we cannot rest and cannot allow us to ourselves to be tired while people are still oppressed and marginalized. It is our duty, not as citizens, but as human beings, to fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves and to speak for those who have lost their voices. We cannot lose faith and hope, we are fighters and we shall fight until the fight is won.

Ife Olujuyigbe – How to grab a Furnance

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Ife Olujuyigbe is a writer and chemical engineer. Her literary works have appeared on Brittle Paper, The Naked Convos, Storried Nigeria, Akoma, WordsAreWork, Paragraph Planet, ShortSharpShort magazine to mention a few. She has also won literary competitions The Blackout (2016) and the SGNT Media Short Story Prize (2016). She is passionate about children, art,  scrabble, potato chips and chicken.

Victoria Naa Takia Nunoo – Laide

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Victoria Naa Takia Nunoo is a Ghanaian writer, poet, and a reader with recent bias towards reading African Literature. Her work has appeared in The Kalahari Review and is forthcoming in other literary magazines. She currently lives in Greater Accra, Ghana. You can read more of her work on her blog or connect with her via Twitter or Instagram.

Catherine Shepherd – Forty-eight Hours

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Catherine has a degree in journalism from Rhodes University. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including My Holiday Shorts, My Maths Teacher Hates Me, Imagine Africa 500 and the 2016 Writivism Anthology. Her latest project was the editing of a young writers anthology  ‘Misplaced and Other Stories’ under the supervision of author and editor Karina Szczurek and Rachel Zadok, founder of Short Story Day Africa. She lives in Cape Town, but has plans to build a writer’s retreat in the historic village of Suurbraak in the Langenberg mountains.

Ros Limbo – Landmines in my mind

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Writer, blogger, yogi and lover of life.

http://memoirsofavirginprostitute.com

Maame Akua Tsetsewa Yawson – My Scars, your scars

Maame Akua Tsetsewa Yawson  is a 21 year old Ghanaian-based final year undergraduate student offering Architecture and a blogger (www.notesofakukieblog.wordpress.com). An avid reader herself, she loves to explore all forms of creative writing, especially poetry and story writing. Oh and yes! she loves chocolate and interactions on social media too

Wonuola Lawal – The Angels are upon us

 

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Wonuola Lawal is a photographer and writer whose work focuses on exploring the identities and vulnerabilities of herself and others.

Ifunanya Adannaya Anih – How to Grab a Furnace

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Ifunanya Adannaya Anih is an aspiring Nigerian author who is of Igbo descent. She graduated from the University of Nigeria Nsukka where she studied English and Literature. Her interests include matters surrounding Gender, Culture and Art.She lives everyday with the hope that through stories told by prose and poetry, she will reach out to the world and touch lives.

Oke Bamidele – My Dirty little secrets

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My name is Oke Bamidele. I write under the pseudonym, Oke Peter. My first novel titled, ‘A Life Past Perfect’ was first published online in 2012 and then republished in 2015, both times by ComicBandit Press.I have worked as a teacher in a secondary school in Lagos state, Nigeria for 3 years, teaching the English language. I also have a 2-year experience working as a Content Writer with two prestigious media firms also in Lagos. Presently, I work as a Reading Tutor for primary school children

Sanyu Kiyimba-Kisaka – Operation : Mother’s bruises

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Sanyu Kiyimba-Kisaka is a professional actress, a poet, playwright and dancer. After winning the BN poetry award in 2011, she commenced her acting career and has so far staged her own play, “Black”, at the Kampala International Theatre Festival while also appearing in several other stage plays and films such as “Silent Voices”,  “The Betrayal” and as lead actress in the film “Faithful”, to name a few. She hopes to continue on in her artistic journey and glorify God as she does so.

Beti Baiye – Hiding under the cloak of Indifference

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Beti is a writer, an editor and a Child Rights Advocate. In her free time, she indulges in fiction writing and spoken word that explores human complexities. You can find her on Instagram betibaiye and twitter

@betihez; on Child Advocacy matters, you can email her on beti@childprotectionhub.org.

Pearl Mokgatlhane – Fortitude

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Pearl Mokgatlhane is an avid reader and an upcoming writer born in Botswana .  She has no professional training as a writer , but aspires to be a well published writer. She is currently editing her first anthology.  She worked in the publishing and distributing industry for 5 years. Her favourite misqouted qoute reads “ never trust anyone with no books in their home nor coffee”

Francisca Ogechi Okwulehie – Escape

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Francisca Ogechi Okwulehie is the Author of Tari’s Golden Fleece an African Fiction based Novella and a graduate of Philosophy from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

She worked as a radio presenter on the programme Girl’s timeout on Unilag (103.1)FM, and as a journalist has reported and contributed for feminine lifestyle magazines.

As a multipassionate individual, she is the founder of Smile-Africa Foundation a Nonprofit organization and is also the CEO of Moncoeur Global Concept and Moncoeur Proposals a marriage proposal and event planning company. She undertakes a Creative writing workshop for secondary school students once a year.

She is a recipient of the Educate a Girl (EAG) scholarship on the &Fundamentals of Journalism& funded by the Ladies Fund in conjunction with the Whole Woman Network of Canada and the Dawood Global Foundation of Pakistan.

She currently writes a Column on DRIVE an entrepreneurship Magazine. Her penchant for highlife music leaves her listening to it when she is not reading or writing.

Ololade Ajekigbe – Beauty’s Curse

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Ololade Ajekigbe is a Nigerian essayist, fiction, non-fiction and copywriter who blogs weekly at her online home http://www.lolosthoughts.com. Her articles have been published on several platforms, including Punch Newspapers, City People, YNaija.com, and Inflyt Magazine. Ololade describes herself as introspective, resilient and a rebel at heart. When she’s not reading or writing, you can catch her at the movies or enjoying a good dance. She is a huge fan of Manchester United Football Club, and lives with her family in Lagos.

Acan Innocent Immaculate –First Light

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Acan Innocent Immaculate is a Ugandan writer currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery. She won the 2016 Writivism Short Story Prize and has been published by Omenana, Brittle Paper, and AFREADA.

 

#PickOfTheWeek – Writers and their incredible musings

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We are loving our #PickOfTheWeek Segment. So many fun writers every week. Today we are featuring familiar and new writers with incredible musings. 

What we love about these pieces is their ability to help us think and question the status quo with a few words. Whoever said talk is cheap hasn’t seen these ones. 

If you have ever been tempted to quit Akinrulie Opeyemi Joshua tells you that you are not alone. In this piece, he reminds himself and perhaps you of why he/you mustn’t quit even when others have.

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Our second pick by Agbo Iyefu is for those people whose love was not reciprocated. We understand you. 

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Dorathy hit home with this one! Not everyone should see your pain, not everyone truly loves you.

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This is perhaps one of our best for the week, simply because it is the truth. Pain is not always bad. Thank you Okuwoga Temitope for this. farmto table (1)

If you are a writer and you post your work on Instagram, don’t forget to forget to tag @thesparklewritershub for a chance to be featured on our Pick of the Week.

 

Register your child for the 5th edition Teecoks writing competition

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It’s at that time of the year again where Teecoks writing competition for secondary school students occurs. It’s a writing competition organised by Towunmi Coker Literary Initiative, founded by Dr.Towunmi Coker.  The desire is to promote reading and writing culture among students. The aim is to inspire, develop, promote and support students in Nigerian Secondary Schools who have flair for writing and generally impact its environment through literature.

It is driven towards promoting our own culture, reading and writing culture in our environment. The initiative began with Teecoks writing competition among secondary school students in Lagos State in 2013 which aims at improving the writing skills of the younger generation of Nigerians, exposure to technology which can further improve them to modern skills of writing and introduce them to the world as young writers.

The desire for this came from her own courage to continue to write after winning ANA/NECO (Association of Nigerian Authors/National Examination Council) 2007 as a secondary school student. Therefore, she wanted other students who love to write, not to stop writing but develop their gift, talent and flair for writing.

This fifth edition just like every edition of Towunmi Coker Literary Initiative writing competition promises to be exciting. There is a fiction writing competition and a poetry competition with a theme on ‘Flipping the scripts: An Unemployment story’ Participants are to submit a creative work of fiction with a story directed on Turning the tide of unemployment in not more than 1000 words and poetry in not more than 30lines. Multiple entries are not allowed. Entries are expected from September as schools resume with a deadline on Friday 10th November 2017. Schools that would be willing to participate but don’t get a letter from TCLI can contact them through their website, phone numbers and social media platforms. All winners qualify for a writing masterclass from sparklewriters. YetundeSarumi Collection; an African inspired fashion clothing is also supporting this writing competition encouraging students that they can be whoever they want to be. Emphasising the importance of an education while pursing your passion and letting students know both is possible. YS and TCLI earlier in the year organised entrepreneurship seminars for schools were a good number of students got empowered.

Check out the amazing prizes to be won!

FOR FICTION

1st Prize – Cash prize + a Tablet, five Nigerian novels, T-shirts, Hoody Jacket, biros, school pack etc

2nd Prize – A Tablet, four Nigerian novels, T-shirts, Hoody Jacket, biros, cup, a school pack etc

3rd Prize – A Tablet, Three Nigerian novels,T-shirts, Hoody Jacket, biros, cup, a school pack etc

4th-10th Prizes – Two Nigerian novels, Hoody Jacket, T-shirts, biros, cup, school pack etc

FOR POETRY

1st Prize- A Tablet, Nigerian Novels, T-shirt, Hoody/Sweat Jacket, Biros, School pack, etc

2nd – 5th – Nigerian Novels, T-shirt, Sweat/Hoody Jacket, Biros, School pack, etc

The school that produces the first prize winner will be presented with a Printer and other prizes

All participating schools also get certificates

It is an interesting competition, so if you love to write and you are a secondary school student, inform your schools and send your entries. Schools interested should also feel free to participate.  Every participating school also gets something.

We’ve had a diversity of winners over the years and we love that so many young people love to write and are even interested in receiving more this year. All secondary schools in Lagos qualify.

We’ll like to emphasize that this is a creative writing story and so plagiarised works are illegal. All submitted entries have to be pure works of the students.

We are empowering with fingers. We are promoting reading and writing culture among youths.

These are the names of Past First Prize Winners:

SadikuFeyipitan                                    Maryland Comprehensive School

EjikemeChidimma                                Anglican Comprehensive High School, Ipaja, Lagos

AbdulfattahNusayabah                        International School Lagos (ISL)

IbukunoluwaAdddy                              Chrisland College Idimu

 

If you’ve always wanted to write for children, this is your opportunity

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We love it when we see all these amazing opportunities springing up for writers.

This is something you would love, especially if you have a passion to write for the younger generation. 

Invisible Board is looking to publish writers who are working on books on the culture of Africans for children aged 7-12.

Interested in this opportunity? Send a mail to info@invisible-borders.com with a 3-5 page sample of children writing preferably relevant to the subject of this call. 

The deadline is 9th October 2017.

All the best!

Apply for the Arkansas International Emerging Writer’s Prize

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We know there are amazing writers in the Sparkle writer’s Hub, that’s why we are bringing this information to you.

The Arkansas International is inviting entries for its inaugural emerging writer’s prize. The winner will receive US$1000 and a publication. The prize is only open to writers who have not yet published a full-length book.

The Arkansas International is a journal of literature from the University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing and Translation.

Entries for the Emerging Writer’s Prize in Fiction should be a single prose work not exceeding 7,500 words. Entrants may submit more than once, but each new entry must be accompanied by a separate $20 entry fee.

Here are few guidelines you need to note;

– It is pen to writers who haven’t yet published a full-length book, and who have no book forthcoming before May 1, 2018. Writers with chapbooks are allowed.
– All work will be considered for inclusion in the print journal.
– Only previously unpublished work will be considered.
– The contest will be judged blindly, so please do not include your cover letter, your name, or any contact information in your uploaded document.
– Submit your double-spaced work as a single .doc, .docx, or .pdf file.
– Close friends of the judge, as well as anyone recently affiliated with the University of Arkansas, which includes those who have studied or worked there within the past 4 years, are ineligible.
– $20 entry fee includes a one-year subscription to The Arkansas International (free to current subscribers).

Whatever your decision please make sure you submit your entry on or before 15th October 2017. Applications should be done via the Prize’ website.