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CORA opens entries for 2017 Ken Saro-Wiwa prize for book review


Ken Saro-Wiwa

The Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), promoters of the yearly Lagos Book & Art Festival (LABAF), has opened submission for entries in the yearly Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize For Book Review 2017.

According to released sent to the Guardian, the winner will go home with a N100,000 cash prize, while the winning review would be widely published in the media and in reputable journals on literature.

Before this, a shortlist of three finalists will be announced at the Cora Book Trek, which holds on Monday, November 6. The Book Trek will flag-off LABAF 2017 events. And on Saturday, November 11, the winner will be revealed at the festival’s gig.


The competition is open to – students, teachers, academics, non-academics and the public. Review(s) of the four texts could come in one extended review write up, or sent as separate copies and it must not have been published elsewhere.

All entries are to get to CORA on on/or before October 30. Other details of the event could also be got at

The project is designed to further a key objective of the 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 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 critique of the quality of literature being produced in the country.

To qualify, contestants must have read and written reviews of any four of the following books written by Professor Niyi Osundare: Songs from the Marketplace (1983), Village Voices (1984), The Eye of the Earth (1986), Moonsongs (1988), Songs of the Season (1999), Waiting Laughters (1990), Midlife (1993), The Word is an Egg (2002), Early Birds (2004), Tender Moments: Love Poems (2006), City Without People: The Katrina Poems (2011) and Random Blues (2011)

This year’s LABAF, which holds from November 6 to12 is dedicated to poet and teacher, Professor Niyi Osundare, which is also the Festival’s Special Guest of Honour. Thus the focus of the competition is to bring greater attention to Prof Osundare’s works, especially those that address cogent and relevant issues in the socio-political and cultural affairs of Nigeria and Africa.

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