Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

8617836982_bbe85d494a_k

Writivism recently published the remarks of the 2013 Writivism Short Story Prize judges regarding submissions on its site. The previously-unreleased comments feature savagely frank evaluations of the general quality of the submissions of the first edition of the prize.

Ugandan writer, Ernest Bazanye, who is also the author of The Ballad of Black Bosco and one of the judges, voiced strong opinions:

 “The problem with the arts is that there is a constituency of people who assume that the intention and effort are enough, that wanting to and trying to are sufficient. I have found that there are people who are so enamored of the glamour or prestige they assume comes from being an artist that they pursue these instead of pursuing art itself. They want to be writers. They try to be writers. But they don’t want to write. And they don’t try to write. Instead they just cobble together whatever will pass…and we let them get away with it. Whatever the reason, this is how we ruin our own literature. By allowing people who do not even have the respect for the art, let alone the basics, the very basic skills, to represent it.”

Getting specific difficulty of finding submissions of high quality, Bazanye adds:

“There are typos and mistakes. Everybody makes them. I am sure I have made one or two already. But then there is also flat-out negligence or carelessness or the casual refusal to learn. That is why I rejected most of these stories, they are just bad. Poor grammar and punctuation are criminal. They make a mockery of what we are trying to do as…writers.”

Can we just say that we are glad someone is finally calling out the hawkers of bad writing as “the future” of African literature? Kudos to him for saying what needed to be said.

We do hope this inspires more emerging African writers to get more serious about their craft.

We are definitely sold on this tough love. Way to go, Ernest.

Read full comments here.

************

Post image by KOMUnews via Flickr.

Tags: , ,

About kanyinsola olorunnisola

View all posts by kanyinsola olorunnisola

3 Responses to “Writivism Judge Makes Brutally Honest Remark About Submissions” Subscribe

  1. cm 2017/03/11 at 06:08 #

    I hope brittle paper practices what is being preached here. I cannot tell you how many times on this site that I have dropped a short story because of typos and poor grammar.

  2. Tola 2017/03/11 at 23:01 #

    LaEven this judge who is talking about poor grammar and punctuation has made an unforgivable grammatical error. Except, of course, his statements weren’t properly quoted. I fear that my Writivislalam story will be unfairly judged by him.

  3. Tola 2017/03/11 at 23:08 #

    *Even *Writivism

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Opportunity for African Poets | Enter for the 2019 Brunel International African Poetry Prize

Romeo Oriogun (2)

Submissions for the 2019 Brunel International African Poetry Prize will begin on 30 October and end on 12 December 2018. Previous […]

Alain Mabanckou’s 11th Novel, Black Moses, Wins 2018 Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Fiction

Alain-Mabanckou-©JF-Paga-Grasset-kk

Alain Mabanckou’s Black Moses has won the 2018 Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. The Congolese writer and UCLA professor’s 11th novel, which was […]

Un-Silencing Queer Nigeria: The Language of Emotional Truth | Five Writers in Conversation

Brittle Paper Anniversary Conversation - Un-Silencing Queer Nigeria

To mark BRITTLE PAPER‘s 7th anniversary in 2017, we organised two conversations on our Facebook page. The second, themed “Un-Silencing […]

#LIPFest18 | Register for Poetry Workshops with Kwame Dawes, Nick Makoha, Lebo Mashile, and Yomi Sode 

lipfest - lebo mashile

The 2018 Lagos International Poetry Festival (#LIPFest18) is offering workshops by some of the biggest names in contemporary African poetry. Much-honoured […]

The Freedom Artist, Ben Okri’s New Novel Forthcoming in January 2019, Is a Rallying Call in a Post-Truth Society

Ben Okri. Photo credit: David Levenson / Getty.

Ben Okri has a new novel forthcoming in January 2019. The Nigerian novelist-poet-essayist, who is the only black African to […]

Nuruddin Farah’s 14th Novel, North Of Dawn, Explores the Lives of Somali Immigrants in Norway and Experiences of Religion and Jihadism

nuruddin farah boundary2.org

Celebrated Somali writer Nuruddin Farah’s new novel will be out on 4 December 2018. The 384-page North of Dawn, forthcoming […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.