AMAB-HBF FLASH FICTION CONTEST

AMAB Books in collaboration with Home of Books Foundation announces the 2ND Flash Fiction Writing Contest
THE RULES
1. Submissions must be 1000 words or less in length, written in #English.
2. The competition is FREE and the theme must be indigenously Nigerian. Radical, futuristic and abstract works are especially encouraged.
3. Entrants are encouraged to follow AMAB Books’ page (@amabbooks) and Home of Books Foundation (@home_of_books_foundation) on all popular social media platforms. This, however, is not an edge. Tagging of potential writers is highly encouraged.
4. Entries must be original and must not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere.
5. Work must be entirely the work of the entrant, and the entrant must own the full publication rights to the entry
6. Submissions must be accompanied by a one-paragraph bio of the entrant
7. Submissions can only be accepted online via amabbooks@gmail.com
8. Entries should be submitted as an email attachment as a Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx), or pdf
9. Multiple submissions are not permitted.
10. Entries cannot be returned.
11 Entrants must be resident in any of the States of Nigeria
12 Entrants must be minimum of 13 years old.
13. A word count must be given at the end of the story or in the covering email
14. Entrants agree to have their story published by AMAB Books in both electronic and paper format. Authors will retain worldwide copyright on their work with AMAB Books having first publication rights.
15. Closing date is March 13, 2017
17. Entries will be judged by the #amabbooks panel. The judges’ decisions are final and no individual correspondence will be entered into.
19. Entries not complying with competition rules will be disqualified
20. Entry is confirmation of your acceptance of all rules and conditions.

The Prize
FIRST: N100, 000 worth of books (Winner’s Choice) plus publication
SECOND: N80, 000 worth of books (Runner up’s choice) plus publication
THIRD: N70, 000 worth of books (Second Runner up’s choice) plus publication. #tag others

REPORT OF THE CHAIR OF JUDGES FOR THE 2015 FLASH FICTION CONTEST

ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF 2015 FLASH FICTION CONTEST: REPORT OF THE CHAIR OF JUDGES

Introduction

There is obviously a strong suggestion of detail and attention in the process that has led to the final shortlist of five writers in the AMAB-HBF Flash Fiction Competition 2015. To the extent that they vigorously inflect, in diverse ways, the broad features of the short story in character, setting, plot, conflict and theme, we are little surprised that the works find resonance with time-tested observations of literary and narrative critics and scholars.

They are, indeed, short stories, in the manner of O. Henry’s, and equally as memorable as his characters are, graphic as the settings, unrelenting in the focus of themes, particularly of works like The Green Door, The Last Leaf and The Gift of Magi, respectively. Yet, if your penchant for the conflict is restricted to the inevitability of a struggle between two people or things, this is somewhat revised from the tradition of Jack London’s To Build a Fire in a number of the stories here.

TJ Benson’s and Awwal Abdul’s stories, in different ways, are good illustrations. Hardly of the mimic type, at least four of the five writers remain something of creative deviants, in the sheer habit of defamiliarising even those standard features of the sub-genre. And yet, they are hardly united in the choice of the narrative voice employed ranging the third, second and first person point of view.

But it must be quickly remarked that stories are not ranked on account of their choice of form of delivery, but the quality of executing any self-chosen form by the authors. For instance, TJ Benson’s An Abundance of Yellow Paper is rendered in the more standard third person narrative voice, but does not detract from the author’s excellent presentation of the story. Of all, Awwal Abdul is the dare-devil with New Openings, by daring the generally ‘forbidden’ second person narrative voice, and yet squeezes enough flow out of the desert, and with sufficient creative brilliance too. The trio of Abdul’s New Openings, Aminu S. Muhammad’s Not at Home and Kelvin Alaneme’s Blood on the Soil deploy the first person narrative voice, even if with different degrees of competence. But above all, they equally broadly attempt to mine the mind in the general strength of the first person narrative; but it is with Awwal Abdul that that old folkloric trick, which has become best exemplified in Faulkner, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce in the tradition of stream of consciousness, seems to return.

Such is the diversity of rendition the judges have been confronted with which, in a way, may be hinting at a resurgence of youth literary, creative energy in the country. It is on the strength of these observations that we announce the outcome of the literary prize along the following ranking:

Name Work Position
Kelvin Alaneme Blood on the Soil 5th
Aminu S. Muhammad Not at Home 4th
Ohioleh Osadebey God and Other Griefs 3rd
 N/A  N/A 2nd
Awwal Abdul  New Openings 1st
TJ Benson  An Abundance of Yellow 1st

In spite of the difference of narrative point of view in the rendition of the first prize winners, TJ Benson and Awwal Abdul, some compelling similitudes unite their characterisation and setting, even if the motivation of conflict is different. In terms of characterisation, both protagonists are on the run; Benson’s from the physical society while Abdul’s from his mind. Add to this, they both remain nameless. But it is not merely these stagings of character uniqueness that becomes the ultimate recommendation of their art, but also the sophistication of language as well as exciting turn of phrases.

Osadebey, the third prize winner, is full of surprises and sudden reversals in this short story format. The language is creatively developed, even if slightly limited by unnecessary incursion into academic jargonisms, not as delivered by characters as with those of Soyinka’s The Interpreter but a clear authorial intrusion! It explores, perhaps more than any of the entries, the existentialist impulse; and you could actually whiff a certain Nietzchean energy.

The fourth prize winner, Aminu S. Muhammad’s setting is rural and sharply comes alive with appropriate registers. The characters are knowable and identifiable in the daily rounds of living. The story explores two compelling anxieties: the bride’s and the bridegroom’s, although we only get to know of the latter’s on the bridal night —the bridegroom is impotent! In a story recounted by the bride protagonist, Nzagi. But that is the mere story. What recommends the story is the creative use of time (Dawn—Afternoon—Evening—Night—Morning), as signifier of increasing moments of tension in the conflict. A closer read clearly reveals that Muhammad’s “Not at Home” bears such similarity with H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Alchemist”.

The fifth prize winner, Kelvin Alaneme’s “Blood on the Soil” is an effort at exploring a belief system, but it does not come on strongly enough. The story content is quite plausible but really needs better management, in style and language.

 

Sola Olorunyomi, Ph.D, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF THE AMAB-HBF FLASH FICTION COMPETITION 2015

ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF THE AMAB-HBF FLASH FICTION COMPETITION 2015

AMAB in collaboration with Home of Book Foundation announces the winners of the maiden edition of the Flash Fiction Competition. The literary award, which is a first of its kind in the country was first made public in early July 2015. Out of the 72 entries received, 15 made the long list which was announced in October and a shortlist of 5 in November, 2015.

Of the five shortlisted entries, the literary prize, to be awarded in books worth N100,000.00 will be distributed to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners in the amount of N50,000.00, N30,000.00 and N20,000.00 worth of books (Winners’ choice), respectively. Find below, the winners:

1st Prize- An Abundance of Yellow Paper by TJ. Benson & New Openings by Awwal Abdul

3rd Prize- God and other Griefs by Ohioleh Osadebey

Consolatory Winners:

4th Position– Not at Home by Aminu S. Muhammed

5th Position- Blood on the Soil by Kelvin Alaneme

It should be noted that all the fifteen long listed entries will be published, among many others, in the first Nigerian Anthology of Flash Fiction later in the year.

 

 

Sola Olorunyomi, Ph.D.                                                                                          Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan                                                  Poet, Editor of Glendora Review                                                                                Chair of Judges

ANNOUNCING AMAB-HBF FLASH FICTION CONTEST SHORTLIST

On October 31, 2015 AMAB released the long list containing fifteen entries (15) out of the seventy two (72) submitted by Nigerians from all corners of the country for the 2015 Flash Fiction Contest organised in collaboration with Home of Books Foundation, Lagos.

To come up with a shortlist of five (5), the judges observed that all the fifteen stories on the long list are very strong with hope of budding into phenomenal African writing. However, the judges felt some of them deserve correct commendation with their impressive creativity and depth that can stand and attest to the virility of Nigerian fiction.

The shortlisted entries are as stated below in no particular order:

  1. New Openings by Awwal Abdul

This story confronted taboo subjects like anal rape and abuse, with boldness. While the subject of abuse is rather hackneyed, the writer is not afraid to touch controversy of a different kind of sexual act. This lack of fear shows in the confidence of this piece; somehow antithetical to the lack of confidence of the protagonist. Written in clear lucid language, contemporary yet not clichéd, New Openings show a writer that has a good journey ahead if he works hard at it.

  1. God and Other Griefs by Ohioleh Osadebey

This is a coming of age story in both biological and ideological senses told with great power and control. The strength of this story is the confusion and questions of childhood that were not answered even though they made a huge impact on the children.

  1. An Abundance of Yellow Paper by TJ Benson

The story explores an alternate reality in which poets have become hounded, making an eloquent statement for the value of words. It departs from the pack by being willing to project a futuristic story and it is able to envision a dystopia where artists would be endangered species. These are serious existential issues brilliantly captured. In the protagonist, we see the irrepressibility of art and the artist, and the various modes through which their voices would still be heard regardless of state repression.

  1. Not At Home by Aminu S. Muhammad

This story is characterised by good use of language to foreground a common account of life. We see a critique of the society that places moral burden on women but fails to examine the male counterpart with as much critical lens. We see how fickle the mask of masculinity can be when the new husband tells the wife he is not a “man” and leaves the woman to deal with the weight of the consequences.

  1. Blood on the Soil by Kelvin Alaneme

This story takes on the bizarre very creatively and the desire for masculinity leads to tragic inversion. It is an African story told from a perspective of conflict between superstition and science. The story is easily read and easily enjoyed.

Winners will be announced in Minna on December 19, 2015

 

 

 

AMAB-HBF FLASH FICTION COMPETITION 2015 LONG LIST ANNOUNCED

AMAB-HBF FLASH FICTION COMPETITION 2015 LONG LIST ANNOUNCED

AMAB and Home of Book Foundation announce today October 31, 2015 the Long list for the Flash Fiction Competition 2015. The unique annual Nigerian literary prize, established by the two literary organizations, is worth N100, 000 in books, for the first, second and third prizes. In addition to winning the book prizes, winners will have the opportunity to be published in the first Nigerian anthology of flash fiction 2016.

This year, 72 entries were received at the expiration of the deadline. The contestants were directed to submit entry not more than 1000 words. The judges observed that most of these entries were issue-based stories inclined towards exploitation, gender abuse, rape, child witches, child labour, among others. Narratives with thematic pre-occupations along contemporary times were few and far between. Some of the contestants put sociological criteria over good writing and approached these issues, not with fresh insights but rather, chose to go for shock over substance. In all, most of the entries were not probing enough nor deftly handled. However, there were stories with lots of promise. The authors of such demonstrated clear-headed thinking and the potential for future good writing.

Find below, the long list in alphabetical order:

  1. A New kind of Home by Mary Ann Olaoye
  2. An Abundance of Yellow Paper by TJ Benson
  3. Baptism by Sybbil Whyte
  4. Barber by Olakunle Ologunro
  5. Black by Nurain Oladeji
  6. Blood on the Soil by Kelvin Alaneme
  7. Daughters by Basit Jamiu
  8. Desire by Deborah Oluniran
  9. God and other Griefs by Ohioleh Osadebey
  10. Home by Tochukwu Okafor
  11. Lost by Okwara Mirian
  12. New Openings by Awwal Abdul
  13. Not at Home by Aminu S. Muhammad
  14. of madness and life by Hauwa
  15. Rubber Band Boy by Fu’ad Lawal

A shortlist will be announced on November 30, 2015. Stories in the long list will be published in due course.

Nur-d-din Temitayo Busari

Head Consultant, AMAB