May 25, 2024
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Narrative Landscape Press set to publish short story anthology by Nigeria’s culture journalists

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  • February 25, 2024
  • 5 min read
Narrative Landscape Press set to publish short story anthology by Nigeria’s culture journalists

* Stories in Moonbeam cover a variety, range that we hope will stimulate readers, says NLP MD, Ojogwu

By Godwin Okondo

A new thing is in the offing, and its the anthology of short stories by Nigeria’s foremost culture journalists. Titled Moonbeam, it has been in the works and only recently found a home in the most innovative fiction publishing firm, Narrative Landscape Press (NLP) Ltd, managed by a writer and a book editor – Dr. Eghosa Imasuen and Anwuli Ojogwu, who are Director, Business Development and Managing Director, respectively, at Narrative Landscape Press Ltd. Managing Editor of Moonbeam Mr. Anote Ajeluorou secured the publishing deal last year when he sent the anthology for the seasonal call for submissions by NLP in March. Subsequently, a publishing deal was signed on January 31, 2024 at NLP office at Anthony, Lagos. Narrative Landscape Press has scheduled the publication of Moonbeam for 2025.

Culture journalists who contributed to the anthology include folk performer formerly with The Punch Mr. Akeem Lasisi, Mr. Terh Agbedeh who is now with the popular online platforms – www.thisislagos.ng and www.thelagosreview.ng, Adeniyi Kunmola, who is with Lagos Talks FM, former Arts Editor of Daily Trust and winner of The Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, finalist for the same prize (drama category) in 2023 (Yamtarawala – The Warrior King) and Arts and Deputy Editor for Saturday Sun Mr. Henry Akubuiro, and poetry performer and Woman Editor with The Nation, Evelyn Osagie. Others are Arts and Deputy Sunday Editor at ThisDay Mr. Okechukwu Uwaezuoke, Arts and Deputy Editor at The Guardian, Mr. Greg Nwakunor, Arts Editor at TheNews magazine Mr. Nerhu Odeh, and former Blueprint’s Arts Editor, Mr. Ismaila Isah Umaisha. Former Arts Editor and Head of Politics of The Guardian, Mr. Anote Ajeluorou brings up the rear as chief promoter of Moonbeam.

To further give added impetus to the anthology, three ‘elder journalists’ were enlisted into the project. They include the publisher of thisislagos.ng and thelagosreview.ng, Mr. Toni Kan, former Editor of The Guardian on Sunday and Chairman of Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), Mr. Jahman Anikulapo and the Editorial Board Chairman of The Nation, Mr. Sam Omatseye.

In a statement released shortly after Ajeluorou and Imasuen signed the publishing contract agreement in Lagos, the publishing company’s Managing Director, Anwuli Ojogwu, said, “Narrative Landscape Press is proud to announce the acquisition of Moonbeam, an anthology by some of Nigeria’s finest culture journalists. The anthology explores some of the complex issues in today’s world, with contributions from Toni Kan, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Anote Ajeluorou and Jahman Anikulapo, Akeem Lasisi, among others. The stories in Moonbeam cover a variety and range that we hope will stimulate readers to find them worthy pieces for their enjoyment. Moonbeam will be published in 2025.”

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Done Deal! – Director, Business Development for Narrative Landscape Press (NLP), Dr. Eghosa Imasuen (left) and Managing Editor, Anote Ajeluorou (right) sighing Publishing Contract Agreement for the new anthology of short stories Moonbeam while Managing Director (NLP), Anwuli Ojogwu looks on… in Lagos

One of the ‘elder journalists’ in the anthology Mr. Omatseye described the project as a “Great move to concretise agreement for us. It makes all of a family, and this could be the beginning of something special in Nigeria’s literary landscape. I commend Anote’s zeal and the rigour in putting together a deal for letters.”

Another ‘elder journalist’, Mr. Anikulapo shared how important this community offering is a source of bonding among the contributors, when he said, “It is always a delight to share literary offerings with one’s community. Moonbeam, with contributions by friends and colleagues who have become more of family, will make for better bonding, greater communal sense, and deeper understanding of the cultural environment of our habitation and individual practice, and as well encourage cross-pollination of cultural ideas and mores. It is, indeed, yet another milestone in literary journalism in Nigeria.”

Also, award-winning author of Season of Crimson Blossom, Mr. Ibrahim described the project as a milestone, saying, “This is an important milestone in Nigerian literature where art journalists, who have always been invested observers, decided to bare their creative teeth and publish their own fictional works. This is a brilliant idea and I, like all the other fabulous contributors to these anthology, am excited to see this work in print.”

Folk performer and musician Lasisi expressed enthusiasm about the when he said Moonbeam would be a welcome addition that will swell bookshelves, “Compared to novels and poetry collections, anthologies of short stories have not been steadily climbing our shelves. It is thus a piece of sweet news that Moonbeam will soon come on stream. Thanks to Narrative Landscape for the intervention.”

The managing editor Ajeluorou said it was a long and hard quest to find a suitable publisher for the anthology, and expressed happiness that Moonbeam finally found a deserving home at Narrative Landscape Press.

“This is huge for those of us who daily write about the creative works of others in our various platforms and daily promote literature,” he said. “Now we have a new song to be sung about us, too. My appreciation goes to NLP for believing in Moonbeam. We can’t wait to have this project out. We have some tested and trusted creative people – both as writers and writer-performers of the word. The combination is just unique. Those who have read the incisive writings of these journalists in the newspapers on art and culture will now see another aspect to them. Indeed, readers are in for the best of times in the company of these fine culture journalists.”

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