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Nigerian book marketing company Vanguard Literary Services (VLS) is compiling a romance and sexuality-themed anthology, for the 2019 Valentine’s Day, and is calling for short story submissions. While the anthology will be made available online, “negotiations are ongoing for sponsorship of the print version which would be sold and royalties given to the contributing authors.”

Vanguard Literary Services “promotes African storytelling through book marketing and distributions, organising writing workshops, mentorship programs, book readings, and literary anthologies.” In 2017, it released an anthology on sexual and HIV/AIDS awareness, The Vanguard Book of HIV/AIDS and Sexual Awareness. The company is run by the writer Nonso Anyanwu, who has previously edited two Valentine’s Day-themed anthologies: Gossamer: Valentine Stories (2016), with an introduction by Toni Kan, and Love Stories from Africa (2017), with an introduction by Helon Habila. This will be the third he will be editing.

In an email to Brittle Paper, Anyanwu explained that the project “is centered, strictly, on the idea of portraying a romantic Africa, an Africa full of healthy people and environment. It is also a way of presenting to the world a new crop of writers who might have been overlooked or not really had the opportunity to publish their stories.”

The company, he explained, does not aim to make profit from the project, and that “VLS assures authors that the stories that stand out would be submitted to literary prizes and awards that require submissions only by the publishers.”

Submission Guidelines

  1. All submissions must be previously unpublished.
  2. All submissions must be sent as an attachment to vanguardliteraryservices@yahoo.com
  3. Please paste a 200-word-or-less biography in the body of the mail.
  4. Title of Story and Name of Author should be just before the start of the story.
  5. Word count: 3000 word to 4000 words.
  6. Word font: Calibri (Body) or New Times Roman.
  7. Formatting: 1.5 or double-line spacing. The text should be left Justified.
  8. The email subject should be the author’s name and the title of the work.
  9. Deadline for submission: 5th February, 2019.

All enquiries should be sent to vanguardliteraryservices@yahoo.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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