The Dusty Manuscript Contest was created by Okada Books to break down the barriers facing aspiring writers in the Nigerian publishing industry. They teamed up with GT Bank’s YOU READ Initiative and Farafina Books to offer cash prizes and publishing contracts to the winning writers.

To expand the mandate of the contest beyond selecting three winning stories, the organizers of the contest invited the twenty writers on the long list to attend an intensive 2-day training session on everything from the craft of writing to self-publishing. Sixteen of those invited attended the bootcamp.

Okada Books founder Okechukwu Ofili talked about the business of writing and social media marketing. Brittle Paper Editor Ainehi Edoro led the session on writing and social media, encouraging writers to seek out social media as a space for innovative storytelling. Yejide Kilanko, author of Chasing Butterflies, led a session on self-publishing. She highlighted the ways in which self-publishing can help writers bypass the restrictive model of traditional publishing and went on to share valuable tips on how to do self-publishing the right way.

Eghosa Imaseun, author of Fine Boys and Publishing Director of Narrative Landscape, guided participants through an in-depth study of craft and technique. Toni Kan, author of the NDDC/Ken Saro Wiwa Prize-winning Nights of a Creaking Bed,presented tips on how to monetize writing. Enajite Efemuaye, Managing Director of Farafina, explored the ins and outs of traditional publishing.

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The event was held at one of GT Bank’s facilities. The quiet and comfortable atmosphere was perfect for hands-on exercises and lively discussions.

Here are some of the photographs. Enjoy!