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Another literary prize honour for Gimba

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Alhaji-Abubakar-Gimba

Alhaji-Abubakar-Gimba

The Delta Book Club, a subsidiary of the Enugu-based Delta Publications (Nigeria) Limited and conveners of the annual Coal City Book Convention has resolved to immortalize the company’s celebrated and widely-revered author, Alhaji Abubakar Gimba, who died recently, with The Abubakar Gimba Literary Award. It will be recalled that Delta Publications (Nigeria) Limited published Gimba’s first novel Trail of Sacrifice in 1985, which popularized the Minna-born author with the tag “Northern Nigeria answer to Achebe and Soyinka”.

This was followed with his subsequent two novels Witnesses to Tears (1986) and Innocent Victims (1987) were followed in 2000 with his first collection of poems, Inner Rumblings, which won the company’s annual award The Delta Poetry Prize.

In the intervening period, the company published a scholarly research study of his literary career, The Writings of Abubakar Gimba. His second collection of poems, This Land of Ours – decrying the vicissitudes of a Third-World nation going through the painful throes of transition, was launched in 2001 with great ceremony. His works under the Delta imprint were concluded in 2002 with his first collection of short-stories, A Toast in the Cemetery.

Gimba’s works recorded impressive sales, reaching 50,000 copies for Trail of Sacrifice and upwards of 100,000 copies for Witnesses to Tears, which was selected for JAMB syllabus. He was celebrated as an author of serious contemporary fiction, and recorded wide popularity for his engaging humility and charitable disposition, epitomizing every moral virtue.

In the light of the foregoing, The Delta Book Club resolved to create the aforesaid award in his name, to be staged annually under the auspices of The Coal City Book Convention and celebrated on the third day in Abuja.
Details of the award are as follows: The Abubakar Gimba Literary Award represents another major stride in the struggle to sustain a viable literary culture in Nigeria. The award is inspired by Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage in the art of story-telling and the consequent duty owed to posterity not to allow culture and language to die. A prize sum of N250,000, together with a plaque, will go to a single winner.

A statement signed by On-line Editor, Manuela Charlotte said the award would be held annually, and will cater for alternating genres in fiction, poetry, drama, and general non-fiction (biographical studies and true-life adventure stories). The 2015 award will commence with fiction.
Conditions for entry include any original work published in volume book form, in the English language, will be eligible, except compilations, edited collections, anthologies and translations; the award is open to any author who is indigenous to, and resident in, the Nigerian state, but submissions must be made through duly registered bona fide book publishing companies only.

Submissions must be of works published no more than two years before the relevant year of the award, and no publisher should submit more than three titles; works must be first published in Nigeria, and the Nigerian publisher submitting for the entry must control the original publishing rights; the overriding criterion in the selection of winning entries will be the quality of content, but strict attention will also be paid to the quality of production of books submitted; six non-returnable copies of a published work must be submitted, together with a brief resume of the work by the publisher and an outline justifying its submission, to reach the Secretariat not later than July 31, 2015. The works should be addressed to: The Abubakar Gimba Literary Award, c/o The Delta Book Club, 8 Byron Onyeama Close, New Haven, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria. Online enquiries should be addressed to – thefirstliterature@yahoo.com (attention Ms. Manuela Charlotte), who will acknowledge receipt of every submission by email).

Five Judges of proven integrity will consider the submissions. The winning entry will be made public in October of each year, and the prizes handed out on Day 3 of the Coal City Book Convention, in Abuja. While special mention will be made with regard to outstanding submissions which are not among the final winner, the decision of the Judges will be final, and no correspondence will be entertained with regard to their choice.

Gimba’s works recorded impressive sales, reaching 50,000 copies for Trail of Sacrifice and upwards of 100,000 copies for Witnesses to Tears, which was selected for JAMB syllabus. He was celebrated as an author of serious contemporary fiction, and recorded wide popularity for his engaging humility and charitable disposition, epitomizing every moral virtue.



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