In-House Writing Contest v6: “From February With Love”


​In-House Contest Version 6!

Our In-House contest is a little way we ensure that the writing never ceases. Follow the discussion of this contest and topics on twitter, facebook, and instagram with the hashtags #ROAinHouseV6 and #FromFebruaryWithLove 

  

Welcome to the 6th Version.

You remember February and you think of the fourteenth, and then you think of a name—Valentine—which makes you think of love. Then you think of cherubs with red-tipped arrows, heart-shaped chocolate boxes; a slow waltz on a silent evening with your lover, a meaning sacrifice by a friend, or a simple family meal. You think of a lot of things. We want you to tell us what you think of when you remember February. And if it is not a love story, or about St. Valentine’s gift, or about cupid’s arrow, it’s okay. Tell us still. 

This version is themed “From February with Love”

This version offers you the liberty to choose the topic you write on under the given theme for each category, and this has officially become the way to go with subsequent versions. Apart from this alteration, contest rules remains the same. 
Contest Eligibility:

You have to be African, an active or passive member of Route Africa, and have identified with a Route Africa activity unit in order to participate. To become a member, click here.

 

Contest Rules:

No simultaneous submissions. No multiple submissions.

Submissions can be made in person to our Chief Editor (Phone: +2348136659798), or email to routeafricamail@gmail.com.

There are 12 categories for the contest, and contest submissions must be made in the format described below:

Category 1: Best Review of African Literature on Wattpad

Task: Considering that wattpad is dominantly consisted of young teenage readers who respond more to socially-friendly pieces than professional work, write a review of an African book that depicts the theme of this contest’s version. 

Word Count: Minimum of 1500 and Maximum of 2000 words.

Note: Review must be written on wattpad, on the user profile of the author alone, as a fresh story with only one part. The winning story gets included in a new collection series by the wattpad community profile for the Route Africa activity unit, Meet Africa Initiative, and in addition, receives a Route Africa Seal on its cover page. Still in addition, if the review is good enough, it stands a chance to get a shout out from our established partners, and a possible publication in established online literary magazines too.
Category 2: Best Spoken Word Poetry Piece

Task: Write and enact a poem that depicts the theme of this contest’s version. 

Word Count: The written work should have a minimum of 1500 words and a maximum of 2000 words.

Note: The written piece should be mailed to routeafricamail@gmail.com with subject line “ROAV6 Spoken Word Submission”. The enacted piece should be uploaded to youtube on the youtube channel of the author of the piece. The winning piece gets a his video included in a video made by Route Africa, dedicated to his winning piece, included as a video series for our Spoken Word in-House Contest winners. If the piece is good enough, it stands a chance to get a shout out from our established partners.
Category 3: Best Fiction Piece

Task: Write a Fiction piece that depicts the theme of this contest’s version. 

Word Count: Minimum of 3500 Words and Maximum of 5000 Words

Note: Fiction work must be mailed to routeafricamail@gmail.com as an attachment (.docx, .doc or .rtf formats) with subject line “ROAV6 Fiction Submission”. Include on the body of your mail a query letter indicating your name, location, and contact details. Also attach a recent photograph. Winning piece gets a publication in an established online literary magazine in partnership with Route Africa.
Category 4: Best Non-Fiction Piece

Task: Write a non-fiction piece that depicts the theme of this contest’s version. ”

Word Count: Minimum of 3500 Words and Maximum of 5000 Words

Note: Non-Fiction work must be mailed to routeafricamail@gmail.com as an attachment (.docx, .doc or .rtf formats) with subject line “ROAV6 Non-Fiction Submission”. Include on the body of your mail a query letter indicating your name, location, and contact details. Also attach a recent photograph. (Click to learn how to write a query letter). Winning piece gets a publication in an established online literary magazine in partnership with Route Africa.
Category 5: Best Flash Fiction Piece

Task: Write a flash fiction piece that depicts the theme of this contest’s version. 

Word Count: Minimum of 400 Words and Maximum of 700 Words

Note: Flash Fiction work must be mailed to routeafricamail@gmail.com as an attachment (.docx, .doc or .rtf formats) with subject line “ROAV6 Flash Fiction Submission”. Include on the body of your mail a query letter indicating your name, location, and contact details. Also attach a recent photograph. Winning piece gets a publication in an established online literary magazine in partnership with Route Africa.
Category 6: Best Poetry Piece

Task: Write a poetry piece that depicts the theme of this contest’s version. 

Verse Count: Minimum of 3 Microsoft Word A4-size pages and Maximum of 4 Microsoft Word A4-size pages (12pt font size; Times New Roman) 

Note: Poem must be mailed to routeafricamail@gmail.com as an attachment (.docx, .doc or .rtf formats) with subject line “ROAV6 Poetry Submission”. Include on the body of your mail a query letter indicating your name, location, and contact details. Indicate the poetic form employed on the body of the attached poem. Also attach a recent photograph. Winning piece gets a publication in an established online literary magazine in partnership with Route Africa.
Category 7: Best Written Play

Task: Write a play that depicts the theme of this contest’s version. 

Acts Count: Minimum of 3 acts and Maximum of 5 acts

Note: Written play must be mailed to routeafricamail@gmail.com as an attachment (.docx, .doc or .rtf formats) with subject line “ROAV6 Written Play Submission”. Include on the body of your mail a query letter indicating your name, location, and contact details. Also attach a recent photograph. Winning piece gets a publication in an established online literary magazine in partnership with Route Africa.
Category 8: Best Play-let

Task: Enact a play you’ve written (or one someone else has) that depicts the theme of this contest’s version. 

Script Length: Minimum of 4 script pages and Maximum of 6 script pages

Acts Count: Minimum of 3 acts and Maximum of 5 acts 

(Choice of act or script is at your discretion)

Note: The written piece should be mailed to routeafricamail@gmail.com with subject line “ROAV6 Playlet Submission”. The enacted piece should be uploaded to youtube on the youtube channel of the author of the piece. The winning piece gets a his video included in a video made by Route Africa, dedicated to his winning piece, included as a video series for our in-House Play Contest winners. If the piece is good enough, it stands a chance to get a shout out from our established partners.
Category 9: Best News Coverage

Task: Cover recent news (not older than 3 weeks) focused on a topic that depicts the theme of this contest’s version. 

Word count: Minimum of 1500 Words Maximum of 2000 Words

Note: The News Piece must be mailed to routeafricamail@gmail.com as an attachment (.docx, .doc or .rtf formats) with subject line “ROAV6 News Submission”. Include on the body of your mail a query letter indicating your name, location, and contact details. Also attach a recent photograph. Winning piece gets a publication in an established online literary magazine in partnership with Route Africa.
Category 10: Best Review of African and Non-African Work

Task: Write a concise review of an African book that depicts the theme of this contest’s version.

Word Count: Minimum of 2500 Words and Maximum of 3000 Words

Note: The review should be written and posted on goodreads.com with the goodreads account of the author of the work. Winning review will be included in a new Route Africa series published on our blog, centered on winners of out in-House contest Reviews. In addition, winning works have a chance to receive publicity for their works by any of our established partners, and in turn, have their works referenced in any publication by an established online literary magazine.
Category 11: Best Blog Post

Task: Write a Blog Post on the topic that depicts the theme of this contest’s version. 

Word Count: Minimum of 1500 Words and Maximum of 2000 Words

Note: The blog post should be written and posted on the blog site of the author of the work. Winning posts will be reblogged on our blog, and be compiled for our “Blog Posts of the Year” at the end of the year, where featured authors will receive an award price (an appreciation for continuous writing and the beauty of the blogging art). In addition, winning works have a chance to receive publicity for their works by any of our established partners, and in turn, have their works referenced in any publication by an established online literary magazine.
Category 12: Best Interviews

Task: Conduct an interview with a young African and get him/her to answer a question that depicts the theme of this contest’s version, in light of his/her business start-up.

Interview Length: Minimum of 7 minutes and Maximum of 10 minutes.

Note: The written piece of the interview (if any) should be mailed to routeafricamail@gmail.com with subject line “ROAV6 Interview Submission”. The interview must be caught on camera, and the video should be uploaded to youtube on the youtube channel of the author of the piece. The winning piece gets a his video included in a video made by Route Africa, dedicated to his winning piece, included as a video series for our in-House Interview Contest winners. If the piece is good enough, it stands a chance to get a shout out from our established partners.
Contest Prizes:

Grand Prize: A chance to get your work published by an established online literary magazine.

Other Rewards:

Chances to be on the watch list of established personalities in the African Literary world, who have affiliations with us, and be announced by them.

Enlisting your work in our special collections of exceptional work.

Membership with a fast-growing literary community of youngsters in Africa.

 

Runner-Ups: The beauty of Route Africa’s in-House contests is that Everyone’s a Winner. Runner-ups will comprise of all the works that did not win. How do runner-ups win as well? They win by receiving a chance to redo (if necessary) their works, and have them published on our blog once redone as one of our regular blog posts/pieces.

 

Judges

Our judging panel consists of a carefully selected group of readers, and winners are chosen by popular opinion among these readers.

 

Deadline:

Each version of Route Africa’s in-House contest runs for a three-week period. Version 6 runs from 0900 hrs, GMT+1 Monday, 27th February, 2017 to Monday, 20th March, 2017.

Submissions will only be received for version 6 within that window. Any submission after this time will be ignored.

Contest winners will be contacted the following day, as well as runner-ups.

 

♥♥Good luck guys, and may the best writer win.♥♥
POWERED BY OUR CURRENT PUBLICATION, PUBLICITY AND MENTORING PARTNERS: MOOFYME.COM & IRENOSEN OKOJIE (TWITTER LINK

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Bring Back Our Reading Culture | Highlights of The Efficient Reading Skills Workshop in FUTO 

by Ndukwe-Nwoke Chiziterem
Millennials (also known as Generation X) are persons born between the 1980s and the 2000s. They have been known to be the truly digital generation. A lot of advent and inventions that have been made in the information sector (social media, messaging, internet content interactivity) has occurred during – and has mostly been due to – this time period.

Today we have facebook, twitter, snapchat, instagram, and a continual and rapid discarding of information as plain text. This has dropped appreciation levels for the written word, and hence, people would rather watch a movie about The Great Gatsby than read the timeless classic by F. Scott Fitzgerald; they would rather have a snapchat or instagram story or a periscope feed inform them about a natural disaster or a terrorist attack than information on Times or Guardian or Vanguard (even if the information is sharing the same digital space as the video stories or feeds they run to).

Nobody is condemning this action. It is simply a call to any who hasn’t yet observed and known this—the times has indeed changed, and methodology to approach things must with it. News companies now incorporate strategies like Eye-Reports to cater for the desire to have a smart-phone recorded video story or feed be the source of news. Radio presenters have tilted more towards facebook comments and tweets to engage their audiences on their shows than the traditional phone-ins. It is everywhere—reading culture is dwindling, or rather, drastically changing.

In Africa, where effective education is scarce, and phone companies that produce low-budget smart phones as their business strategy (Infinix, Tecno, Innjoo, etc) have made into their biggest market, this lack, or inadvertent negligence, of reading poses a much greater problem. Africa is in dire need of persons who would not only catch up with the western world in R&D (Research and Development), but will overtake them and build Africa into a fierce economy. When we have Africans who aren’t reading and depend on those 1% who can afford education in diaspora to come home and perform magic for us, then, regrettably, Africa will remain the pity case for the western world. So, it is obvious there is a need for the efforts to get people to read in Africa is far greater than these efforts elsewhere.
This millennial syndrome – pardon the coined term – of preferring images, gifs, memes, videos, to text can only be solved if there is an efficient way where these texts, no matter how lengthy, can be treated the same way the videos, gifs, memes, and still captivating images are treated. The answer is speed reading.

Now, this is not speed reading as you may picture it, but instead, a scientifically-providential means to have a person appreciate long texts as he does a movie by comprehending fully and reading faster. There’s a lot to be said about how this is possible, and how efforts have already been made, and are still being improved upon to make this experience work for everybody, but this article is not about it. To learn more about speed reading, visit readfaster.com .

The Reading Revolution in Africa Project, RRIAP (a movement founded by Festus Azarah) 

is dedicated to seeing Africa through in this respect. Since it began full operation in 2012, the movement has approached secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria to introduce speed and efficient reading to students, and as well, motivate them to read and research more. 

The latest workshop conducted by RRIAP was in the Federal University of Technology Owerri, which was done in collaboration with Route Africa Writers Organization, FUTO (the FUTO club for Route Africa Writers Organization, a non-profit organization for emerging African writers) on Saturday, the 28th of January, 2017. 

The workshop, tagged The Efficient Reading Skills Workshop and campaigned with the hashtag #ReadRevFUTO, was graced by World-renowned researcher on Space Neuroscience and author of over 200 books, as well as proponent of the Igbo Heritage as Mediators of Yahweh, Academician Prince (Dr.) Phil Njemanze,

Academician Prince (Dr.) Phil Njemanze giving talk on “Igbo, Mediators of Yahweh”

who spoke extensively on his controversial and game-changing research and findings on the Igbo Culture (See this YouTube video for an interview with him where he explains this) and challenged participants to read wide and see joy in research. The event also hosted Dr. Uchenna Uwakwe, 

Dr. Uche Uwakwe giving talk on Positive Writing Culture

coordinator of Read to Write Right movement and staff adviser of Route Africa FUTO. Mr. Festus Azarah

Mr. Festus Azarah conducting the Reading Training

gave his workshop training on speed reading, and the event was wrapped up really nicely with a challenge to partipants to purchase the speed reading software introduced on the event day, read wider, and not accept limits. 
Other highlights of the day was an introductory speech by Route Africa’s founder, Chiziterem Ndukwe-Nwoke, 

Chiziterem Ndukwe-Nwoke giving talk on Route Africa titled “Speak”

titled “Speak” where he challenged participants to always use their voices, and not be silent on matters. Route Africa member, Stanley Ekpegbue

Stanley Ekpegbue doing Spoken Word

 gave a moving spoken word performance, Book promotions was done by Emizon Group‘s founder, Emma Ekeke,

Emma Ekeke (owner, Emizon Publications) doing Book Promotions

and finally, people left motivated, and pumped to bring back our reading culture. Not an African cry alone, but a global one indeed.
The event was anchored by Route Africa member, Okwuosa Chidike, an up-and-coming rapper and songwriter.

Okwuosa Chidike anchoring the event

Here are other photos from the event:

Chiziterem Ndukwe-Nwoke (Route Africa founder) and Oyim Theresa (reporter, De Lumen Press FUTO)

(Route Africa Founder with Oyim Theresa, Reporter from De Lumen Press FUTO)

L-T-R: Chioma Ginikanwa (Route Africa Vice President), Dr. Uche Uwakwe, and Chiziterem Ndukwe-Nwoke

L-T-R: Chioma Ginikanwa, Academician Prince (Dr.) Phil Njemanze, and Chiziterem Ndukwe-Nwoke

L-T-R: Dr. Uwakwe, Dr. Njemanze, Chioma, and Chiziterem

Mr. Festus Azarah and Dr. Uche watching a video presentation by by Les Brown

Dr. Njemanze and a section of the Participants

Event being live tweeted (Hashtag #ReadRevFUTO)

Engaged audience during Mr. Azarah’s training

Interactive session with Dr. Njemanze

Dr. Uwakwe reading out of his poem collection, The Headmaster’s Resonance

Dr. Uwakwe and a captured audience

An engaged student

Another engaged student

Chiziterem and a listening audience

Event Sponsors: The Literacy Company, MISSL, NIFES FUTO, De Lumen Press FUTO, Daniel’s RecipeQube Technology, Insight Media, Deezey Media, and Ugraffix.