In February 2018, the #AidooCentre made a nationwide call for submissions of short stories for its pilot anthology Adabraka: Stories from the Centre of the World. The submission guidelines suggested that all entries be short stories (between 500 and 6000 words), be rooted in the Accra Metropolitan area, in any style and sub-genre including humor, quality flash fiction and stories with experimental narratives, and be in RTF, DOC., Standard Manuscript Format or some close approximation of those.
Before the March 31 deadline, the Centre was inundated with submissions of such high quality that my expectations as an anthologist were blown asunder. This made it necessary to bring on board a few more littérateurs to assist in the shortlisting and editing processes.
The criteria used in deciding were many, but basically all pieces had to be well thought through and in line with our guidelines. The literary editors had to agree that each of the final 14 showed great writing skills and understanding in content, created fantastic imagery, and evoked many complex emotions.
In the end those that made it covered the breadth of the complexities that make up the Ghanaian sensibility, if there is such a notion as that. The genres are many, like Kwesi Woode’s futuristic Don’t Wake Me Up; the themes are varied: from Serwa Gyedu-Nuako’s In Bed at Ɔdɔ-Nna (a subtle advocacy for autism), to Sena Cobblah’s Sedem (child sex abuse); and from Akorfa Dawson’s Somewhere a Distant Bell Tolled Midnight (arrested development) to the new classic Tuesday by Kofi Konadu Berko.
The future of Ghanaian literature is blinding indeed, and we at the #AidooCentre are excited about ushering to readers this sumptuous buffet of incredibly touching, insightful and always fresh goodies from the kitchens of the next generation of word chefs. It’s amazing what a mere month’s call can unearth.
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