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applications for Bada Murya by Lagos International Poetry Festival

Creative Africa, organizers of the Lagos International Poetry Festival, with the support of the MacArthur Foundation, is now accepting applications for Bada Murya (Give Voice), a 6-month digital writing and performance fellowship for writers of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and play writing, from Northern Nigeria.


The swelling population of young people across the North tends to be discussed in mainstream conversation in problematic terms: drug addled, unemployed and unemployable, canon fodder for extremist ideologies, etc. But there is a counter-narrative that situates the North’s youth bulge in the realm of its socio-economic potential, one that must be urgently centered.

Bada Murya (Give Voice) invokes the power of narrative/storytelling to shift perceptions. It presents a unique opportunity for emerging poets and writers from Northern Nigeria to write, publish and perform a multiplicity of stories that help re-frame the narrative around education, social development and economic progress in Northern Nigeria, and that contribute to writing a new history for the region.


The Fellowship is designed to connect Northern conversations to a global audience in a way that economically empowers a new generation of storytellers committed to changing the narrative of the North, and also to explore storytelling as a tool for social change.

The Fellowship offers ten (10) selected Fellows:

– A six-month digital workshop including three months of craft shaping sessions and three months of one-on-one mentorship.
– An opportunity to work on, and produce, an original work.
– Publication in an anthology resulting from the fellowship.
– Travel, accommodation and a stipend of N20,000 to visit Lagos in October 2021 for a special Fellows showcase at the 2021 edition of the Lagos International Poetry Festival.

The Fellowship will begin in May 2021 and end in October 2021. The deadline for application is April 10th 2021.

We are looking for original voices willing to experiment, pursue bold ideas, challenge stereotypes and engage literature as a tool for social change.

– The Fellowship is open to writers of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and play writing between the ages of 18 and 35.
– Applicants must be of Northern Nigerian origin, but can be resident anywhere else.
– The Fellowship has an 80% slot for women.

Fellows will be required to:

– Attend six digital writing workshop sessions.

– Attend one-on-one digital feedback sessions with mentors.

– Produce two works of literature in their chosen genre (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, play writing).

– Be available to travel to Lagos in October 2021 for a three (3) day period.


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