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The team behind the remarkable e-anthology, Selves: An Afro Anthology of Creative Nonfiction, led by its curator, Basit Jamiu, have launched an ambitious campaign to get the anthology into print.

Selves, published by us, is the first in the Afro Anthology Series. Co-edited by Emmanuel Dairo, nonfiction editor at Praxis, and Uzoma Ihejirika, former writer at Bakwa, Selves is introduced by Brittle Paper deputy editor Otosirieze Obi-Young and features 14 writers: Sibongile Fisher, winner of the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize and finalist for the 2017 Brittle Paper Award for Fiction; TJ Benson, finalist for the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize and the 2017 Brittle Paper Award for Fiction; Sada Malumfashi, finalist for Writivism’s 2017 Kofi Addo Prize for Nonfiction; Alithnayn Abdulkareem, nominee for the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize; Ama Asantewa Diaka; Gbolahan Badmus, finalist for the 2016 ACT Award; Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu; Howard M-B Maximus; Innocent Acan Immaculate, winner of the 2016 Writivism Prize; Kevin Alaneme; Kenechi Uzor; Mapule Mohulatsi; Qamarun Nisa; and Umar Turaki, finalist for the 2017 Miles Morland Scholarship. Its curator, Basit Jamiu, is a Nigerian writer and editor at Enkare Review.

Read below: Basit Jamiu’s GoFundMe appeal for funds.

DOWNLOAD: Selves: An Afro Anthology of Creative Nonfiction

Dear Readers,

Thanks for stopping by. My name is Basit Jamiu. I am the curator of Selves: An Afro Anthology of Creative Nonfiction, published by Brittle Paper. Our anthology has been out in the world since February 9 of this year. That is 62 days in which this collection of creative nonfiction by young African writers has been circulating, facilitating new connections, sparking new conversations, and resuscitating old ones . Thank you for experiencing the universes invoked in these varied, wonderful essays with us! We have essays that pry open personal Pandora boxes, revealing the secrets imprisoned beyond mental bars. We have essays that hold the potential for personal healing even as personal hurts are replayed on the page. All of the essays are unafraid, unsparing.

It took us over two years of hard work to make Selves possible. From working closely with the writers who were courageous enough to share their work (and themselves!) with us to the editing and refining process—it has been a long but fruitful journey.

The feedback since the release of the collection is gladdening. There have been reviews on Witsprouts and LitSpaceAfrica. We are grateful that readers are participating in the work, and even in such a short time, we have heard that many have been moved by the anthology, and feel—as do we—that reading and writing in this way has the power to heal. But we are not done yet. We think we have more to make, more to contribute, and we believe you have more of yourselves to share with us as well!

What We Are Going To Do Together:

  • Get this e-book anthology in print for all our book-sniffers! Four new exciting personal stories will be included too.
  • Produce an audiobook so you can re-experience the collection in another magnificent format.
  • Outfit all our community T-shirts with our fave quotes from the anthology. Get you some Selves-love!
  • Take the magic of Selves to literary festivals on the continent.
  • Share our love of reading and writing (through our shared anthology!) with 4 literary groups in African tertiary institutions.
  • Continue producing anthologies like Selves and set up a little corner of the Internet to house them.

What We Need To Make This Happen:

We need your help to make this a reality. We need $4000 to make all this possible.

How Many Days Will This Campaign Last?

We hope to begin the distribution process by July. So this campaign will last for 51 days from April 10 to May 31st.

What Happens When We Get the Funds We Need?

Once the fund for the project is successfully completed, we will send the anthology immediately for a print run, begin the recording of the book and the production of the T-shirts and tote bags. We will begin the distribution across Africa immediately.

The distribution will have to begin before July because all African literary festivals begin from July. We really hope that we can get the funds we need before the end of May to begin the distribution in July.

Your generous donation will also aid the availability of the print book/audio-book/T-Shirts at very subsidized rate (60% off) in all African literary festivals starting from July, 2018.

TARGET AND PROSPECTS

Your donations basically covers our initial target:

  • Print costs for our minimum print run (We are setting the minimum at 700 copies).
  • Production of Selves T-Shirt (We are setting the minimum at 250 T-shirts).
  • Creation of a Website for subsequent anthologies. The Afro Anthology Series is a biennial collection.
  • Compensating our inimitable writers and team.
  • Publication of the audio book.

RISKS AND CHALLENGES

As far as we see it, the risks in this project are fairly small but we will take you along every step of the journey so we can pick each other up in case we stumble.

We have set a target – 700 books and 250 Selves T-shirts – so we are very optimistic that we will achieve this.

The anthology is fully ready as a book, so as soon as we get the funds we will begin the printing, which should last for 3 weeks.

THE REWARDS!

Alright, you must be thinking: Well, this idea looks necessary and significant and if I support it, what should I take home in return?

Here is what we have for you:

  • $10 – a very warm thank you note
  • $25 – a thank you note + a copy of Selves
  • $50 – a copy of Selves  + T-shirt
  • $100 – a copy of Selves + T-shirts + Audiobook
  • $200 – a copy of Selves + 2  T-shirts + Audio book + A customized tote bag specially made for you
  • $500 – 2 copies of Selves + 2 T-shirts + Audiobook + appearance on the sponsors page of our Website + a customized tote bag specially made for you
  • $1000 – 5 copies of Selves for you and two other persons + 2 shirts (with custom quote from the books) + appearance on the sponsors page of our Website + appearance on a dedicated Boards page at the back of the print book

END NOTE

This project chiefly depends on your kindness and generosity and its success lies in your passion to see that our little ideas see the light of day while we set ourselves up for long-term sustainability. We really hope that we can reach the $4000 mark needed to complete this project.

And please help us reach our goal by not only donating (Thank you, very much for your generosity!) but by spreading the word to your network of folks via social media. In the meantime, thank you for supporting independent publishing and new projects. We’re profoundly grateful for your help.

Donate on GoFundMe.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, academic, literary journalist, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Transition, and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted. His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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