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Bakwa, Cameroon’s leading Anglophone literary magazine, is open to submissions for its 8th issue, themed around “pain.” Submissions can be emailed to dzekashu@bakwa.org. The deadline is April 15.

Here is the call for submissions.

Writing about pain, some have said, is an easy way to get published. Topics surrounding pain seem to draw empathy or sympathy. But how easy is it to articulate pain? Pain is one of the few emotions no one wants to experience twice. It’s easy to think of physical pain, whereas emotional, mental and psychological pain are usually overlooked.

Bakwa Magazine, in its first issue for 2018, is looking for stories around pain. That pain is restricted many times to the individual makes us forget that whole communities, countries, and families can also experience pain, be it in the form of war, genocide or different forms of atrocities. There is no restriction to the number of times we should talk about pain. Why does it even exist? Can one ignore it? Where does it come from? Heartbreak, menstrual pain, is there a singular way pain feels?

Sometimes pain is like a web, it traps us. Do we really heal from it? Bakwa Magazine seeks fiction, nonfiction, photography and poetry that explore this theme beyond the ordinary perception of pain. Why must pain insist on being attended to? Do we easily recollect painful moments than happy moments? In societies that train men not to show pain, and in the 21st century where men are encouraged to allow their vulnerability to be unmasked, how does this affect how they process pain?

We want experimental writing that pushes the boundary of writing as we know it. We want thought pieces, deep and questioning, that challenge ‘pain as a megaphone to rouse a deaf world.’

Email submissions to dzekashu@bakwa.org

Deadline: April 15

Find out more HERE.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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