It is unarguable; there is an ongoing renaissance of Nigerian literature. With the rise of Nigerian literary stars, both at home and in the Diaspora, the surge of e-publishing and the boundless freedom of self-expression on the internet, not only is the world eager to hear our stories, our writers are also eager to tell/sell them.
Perhaps this has led to the need for book festivals. Book festivals are as important as book themselves; they provide an atmosphere for future publishing deals to flower, they allow new readers to meet exciting works and provide an interface for literary legacies to confront contemporary cultures.
Last year, interestingly, the last quarter of the year seemed to be the chosen season to host the major Nigerian book festivals. The Garden City Book festival held in Port Harcourt late October. The fifteen edition of CORA organized Lagos Book and Arts Festival, LABAF, held in November at Freedom Park with a warm reception from the Lagos literati in form of participation in book panel sessions, reading and book purchases from publishers displaying their wares.
Also, the inaugural Ake Book Festival (ABF) held at Abeokuta in November, with world renowned authors like Teju Cole, BinyavangaWainana, and Marlon James in attendance. Robust discussions were also held around books in the ancient rock city that boasts of influential sons like Wole Soyinka and FelaAnikulapo-Kuti. Two plays were also staged: AlapataApata, the latest play by the Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka and RotimiBabatunde’s adaptation of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.
It’s 2014 and the literati have been gathering again, Omolara Woods, Wana Udobang and Toni Kan are few of Authors who have held book reading sessions this year. We anticipate much more.
Were you at any of these Book Festivals, you may send us a short write-up of your experience, and it just may get published!