May 2012 E-Newsletter

Cassava Republic - Feeding the African Imagination
May Newsletter



ay is an exciting month for us. This month sees the release of the much awaited novel, Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away, by the award-winning author Christie Watson, as well as reprints of some of our best-loved titles.

Children's Fair
Pictures of the Children's fair

This Children’s Day, why not avoid another round of parades under the sun? Instead, reserve your children’s energy for a fun-packed afternoon on Saturday 26th May 2012 from noon to 6pm.

There’ll be storytelling sessions, workshops and – for all you brainiacs out there – lots of goodies to be won at the Kids’ Book Quiz. Featured guests will include children’s writer Ayodele Olofintuade, author of Eno's Story.

Kids should come dressed as their favourite character or best cultural costume and they’ll automatically be entered for a book fashion show and costume contest at the end of the day. The winner of the best outfit will get a great prize.

Entry fee is 1,000 (free for children 10 and under) and includes one free copy of our latest children’s book, Birds of Our Land, by Virginia Dike. The venue is: Shop 62b, Arts and Crafts Village, opposite the Abuja Sheraton. Hope to see you there!

Out Now
Tiny Birds front cover

Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson

We are excited to announce that our first novel of the year is out on sale now. Christie Watson's Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away is a beautifully-written coming of age story set in the Niger Delta, about what it means to be human in a world of greed and corruption.

Blessing and her brother Ezikiel adore their larger-than-life father, their glamorous mother and their comfortable life in Lagos. But all that changes when their father leaves the family.

Soon they have to quit their air-conditioned apartment to go and live with their grandparents in a rural compound just outside Warri. Adapting to life in the poor countryside is a shock: there is no water or electricity and no school to attend, Grandfather Alhaji is a firm believer in the healing properties of Marmite, while Grandma has a secret profession. And there’s Alhaji’s new wife, Celestine, who is obsessed with bright Lycra tops and bad hairpieces. But even as Blessing settles into this new life, her brother becomes drawn into the world of the local militancy.

This year’s winner of the Costa Award for New Novel, Tiny Sunbirds shows how some families can survive almost anything. At times hilarious, occasionally tragic, always poignant, it is a book you won’t soon forget.

Second Editions

These titles were such favourites that they sold out quickly. Now we’re excited to present new editions. So, if you were not able to pick up your copy of these books, get one now!

I don not come to you by chance front cover

I Do Not Come To You By Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Kingsley Ibe has the world at his feet. As the eldest son, he gets a little more meat with his soup, he has a university degree and he has Ola, his African Queen. Life is sweet. But then tragedy strikes and Kingsley is forced to become the family’s breadwinner. As his cash flow becomes an issue, Ola moves on to a new guy who can keep up with her expensive tastes.

In desperation, Kingsley turns to his uncle, Cash Daddy, for help. Cash Daddy is a successful email fraudster, with the waist, the watches and the silk shirts to prove it. When Kingsley shows a surprising knack for his uncle’s business, he is faced with an unexpected choice: the money or his life. Can Kingsley’s morals survive this seamy underworld, or will he get sucked into the 419 abyss?

This hilarious look at Nigeria’s email fraud “industry” was winner of the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives front cover

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin

For Baba Segi, his large collection of wives and children are signs of his virility and a confirmation of his manhood. All runs smoothly in the polygamous home until wife number four arrives. Upheaval follows as Bolanle, a graduate amongst the other semi-literate wives, is hated from the start. Worse, her arrival threatens to do more than simply ruffle feathers. She’s unwittingly set to expose a secret that her co-wives intend to protect, at all costs.

In a cleverly-plotted story, this award-winning novel weaves a light and ironic exposé of the rotten innards of a polygamous household riddled by lies and intrigue.

Imagine this front cover

Imagine This by Sade Adeniran

Lola is devastated when she has to leave London and move to a small village in Western Nigeria with no running water, no electricity and worst of all, no big brother, Adebola, to share secrets with. But it takes more than a mean aunt and her bullying cousins to keep Lola down.

Fearless and fiercely intelligent, Lola manages to keep her head even as it seems that she is losing everything she loves. But it is not until she finally moves to Lagos and things take a drastic turn for the worse that Lola discovers she is capable of more than she ever realized.

Winner of the best first book award of the 2008 Commonwealth Prize, Imagine This is a brilliant coming of age story about the what it means to be strong in the face of certain despair.

Opportunities for Writers

Farafina Literary Workshop

Farafina Trust will be holding its annual creative writing workshop in Lagos from August 14 to August 24, 2012. Organized by award-winning writer, Chimamanda Adichie, The workshop is will also feature Caine Prize-winning writer Binyavanga Wainaina and Jeffery Allen as guest writers and co-teachers. To apply, e-mail your name, address and a few sentences about yourself along with a writing sample of between 200 and 800 words to Your e-mail subject should read: ‘Workshop Application.’ The sample can be either fiction or non-fiction. All materials must be pasted or written in the body of the e-mail. The deadline for submissions is June 25 2012. Only those accepted to the workshop will be notified by July 31 2012. For more information visit their website.

Golden Baobab Prize

The Golden Baobab Prize is inviting entries of unpublished African-inspired stories for children and young adults for this year’s prize. An award of $1,000 each will be given to the best stories in the two categories and $800 will go to the most promising young writer 18 years and younger (the Rising Writer Prize). The Golden Baobab Prize will also work to connect outstanding stories with African and international publishers. The Prize is open to African citizens of all ages. Entries should be submitted as typed Microsoft word or PDF documents. The Deadline for submission is June 24, 2012. For more information on how to submit, visit their website here.

Calls for Submissions: African City Reader

The African Cities Reader is a journal creation of the African Centre for Cities and Chimurenga examining issues around urban spaces in Africa. It is looking for imaginative reflections on the recent global phenomenon of urban utopias for the growing middle-class, which are unmoored from the messy realities of the cities around them. It is also curious about enduring autonomous artist colonies and other creative spaces. The Reader invites writing and art by writers, academics, activists and artists from diverse fields across Africa. Submissions will be accepted until Wednesday, 31st August 2012, and should be submitted electronically in Word format and low-res jpg to Liepollo Rantekoa at For more details, visit

Calls for Submissions: The Kwani? Manuscript Project

Kwani Trust is calling for submissions of unpublished fiction manuscripts from African writers across the continent and in the Diaspora for its one-off literary prize for African writing. The Kwani? Manuscript Project will award cash prizes for the top 3 manuscripts submitted. In addition, Kwani? will publish manuscripts from across the shortlist and longlist, including the three winning manuscripts. It will also partner with regional and global agents and publishing houses to create high-profile international publication opportunities for the entries. Deadline for submission is 20th August 2012. For more information, click here.

Calls for Submissions: AfroSF Anthology

The AfroSF Anthology is calling for works of science fiction from African authors on the continent and in the Diaspora. The anthology is open only to African writers. The collection will be edited by Zimbabwean author Ivor Hartmann. Deadline is May 31st, 2012. For more information on submissions guidelines, please visit their website:

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