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To mark its 20th anniversary, the Abuja Literary Society has announced the Abuja Literary and Arts Festival, dubbed #ALitFest18. Themed “Nigeria to the World,” the event will last for three days, from 5th to 7th July 2018, and will be held at the Abuja Exhibition Pavilion, Abuja, Nigeria.

Founded in 1998 by Victor Anoliefo, Ike Anya, Ferdinand Agu and Ken Ike Okere, the Abuja Literary Society (ALS) usually meets on Friday nights, and holds Open Mic events. The group’s initiatives include the ALS Book Club where selected books of the month are discussed and Book Jams where authors are invited to speak and share their writing and publishing experiences—both of which are held weekly—as well as a Poetry Slam quarterly where cash prizes and other incentives are offered to the top three artists in their spoken word contest and a monthly Teen Talk in which young adults are engaged in contemporary developments.

The Abuja Literary and Arts Festival will feature:

  • Poetry and Prose master classes to be facilitated by Dike Chukwumerije and Ishmael Beah, for twenty-five writers per genre. The writers will work on a personal basis with the facilitators.
  • An Open Reading session featuring excerpts from manuscripts by unpublished writers.
  • Book Readings and Panel discussions on media, art, politics, and literature. The eleven panel discussions and book readings will feature Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Ayisha Osori, Steve Gukas, Layla Ali Othman, Othuke Omniabohs, Segun Adeniyi, Bolaji Abdulahi, and Japheth Omojuwa.
  • A Grand Poetry Slam where previous Slam finalists and winners will compete for grand prizes up to N350,000 as well as the chance to represent Nigeria at an international poetry contest in Chad.
  • Children’s Creativity Workshop where children from ages 6 – 16, who will be given free entry to the festival grounds, will be engaged on a literary playground and crafts section.
  • Art exhibitions.
  • A music concert.
  • A Mini Fashion Fair where affordable and unique Nigerian designers will display their work.
  • A nature hike.
  • And a daily festival bar where eponymous craft beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) named after famous Nigerian literary and arts icons will be served.

#ALitFest18 Tickets can be bought on Afritickets.com, as well as at specific locations in Abuja: Salamander Café, Wuse 2, and The Cube Café, Maitama.

The Abuja Literary and Arts Festival has partnered with the US Embassy, Bature Brewery, French Institute, British Council, G-Water, the Australian Embassy, Century Endgame, Venue Hero, and OnoBello.

For more information, visit ALitFest.com.

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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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