Wednesday, August 23, 2017

From the novel entitled, "Beyond Imagination" by Oladele Dada.



Oladele Dada.
It was dawn. The chilly dust-laden wind formed dense fog on the road. The rocky hills and the tall trees made Ajewole a beautiful town. The birds sang aloud, and clanging of stainless dishes in the neighbourhood suggested human activity was at its peak. Humans had begun to move to their various destinations.

Adunni had trouble with child bearing and her husband was worried. Then she booked an appointment with her doctor. After several tests, the doctor suggested the couple be patient and that she will surely get pregnant. Not long after, Adunni was pregnant.

After several months, Adunni was delivered of a boy. The women in her neighbourhood, alongside the children, sang and danced to her home to celebrate with her. Her husband, Fredrick Olagbade, thanked the Lord and named the boy Juwon.   

As Juwon grew, his mother had another child whose name was Olakitan. Juwon was intelligent and his parents were struggling to make ends meet. As poverty stared them in the face, his mother who was a public school teacher engaged in menial jobs to support the family. Juwon attended public school. But he was withdrawn to a private school because he was struggling with his studies. The change worked wonders as Juwon began to do well. He improved tremendously. Everyone, including his parents, was amazed.

Juwon’s father sold his piece of land. He bought a car and began to use it for transport business. One day, Juwon and his brother Olakitan were returning from school, and then they decided to visit the motor park to see if their father could take them home. As they approached the park, there was a commotion. Juwon wondered what might have caused the disturbance.

 When they got nearer, the boys met their father and some passengers arguing over money. Before they could blink, their father and one of the passengers began to exchange blows from one end of the park to the other. Were it not for the other passengers that pounced on Fredrick, Juwon’s father, his blows would have brought the man to his knees. They overwhelmed Juwon’s father. A blow landed on his neck and swept him off his feet. Juwon and his brother tried to stop the fight, but their effort was like a tiny fly on the back of a horse. As they continued to pummel him, Mutere, the Chairman of the taxi drivers at the park intervened. Mutere was an imposing figure. He could work a body to hell by the mere wave of the hand.

Mutere resolved the matter and instructed Juwon’s father to give the passenger his money. Fredrick made the refund. Causing further disturbance at the park could get into trouble with Mutere. After the dust had settled, he noticed his children by the corner looking pale and drawn at him. Fredrick adjusted his shirt and signaled them to get in the car. Quietly, they opened the door and entered. Fredrick ignited his engine and drove off.

When they got home, everyone alighted from the car and quietly walked into the house. His wife, Adunni, came to welcome them. Her husband had been bruised and wore a long face.

“What happened?” she asked him, staring at his swollen face.

Fredrick hissed and explained, “I had a brawl with a passenger. We agreed on a price. And then he boarded my car. When we got to the park, he alighted and gave me money. When I gave him his balance, he said it was not correct. I tried to explain. But before I could blink, he sank a blow into my face and then we began to exchange blows. As we shared blows from one end of the park to the other, some passengers joined the fight and they overwhelmed me!”

“WHAT?!” she exclaimed. “That’s unfair!”

“No need to shout. It is over. Give me food. I am hungry and I have a headache!”

She ran to the kitchen to prepare hot water. She massaged her husband’s body and treated the wound with mentholated spirit. It was a long night. They have never had it rough. After everyone had eaten dinner, the family prayed together and put the day behind them.

        Months later, Fredrick was tired of using his car. He felt it was not his destiny to drive people around. He wanted a new challenge. Finally, he sold the car to Mr Okowdi, a renowned driver in the town who had been in the transport business for ages. And then he invested the money into the sales of motor spare parts. The business flourished because many drivers who used to go very far to the next town to buy parts, now buy from Fredrick.

Juwon’s education had been going on uninterruptedly. Now he was in High School. He had also become famous as the son of the only spare part dealer in the town.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The President’s Speech Upon His Return From Medical Treatment: Force, National Unity and Its Discontents by Kennedy Emetulu.

In the past, I have often blamed President Muhammadu Buhari’s speechwriters and handlers for not looking closely at some of his speeches and comments before they get to the public because these sometimes create unnecessary tension or exacerbate it and in many cases make him appear petty and unstatesmanlike, even when he possibly means well. But his national speech delivered on the morning of Monday, August 21, 2017, is such a short speech that I cannot lay the blame of its poor content and delivery on anyone else, but the President. It is a speech that truly captures his mentality and idea of the nation and the opposition and what we are getting from it isn’t encouraging.

This very speech could have been delivered better without changing the purport or purpose. All he wanted to say or what he should have said is basically this: Nigerians are one and every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his or her legitimate business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance. While we welcome responsible and peaceful agitations, we will not hesitate to deal with criminal elements and violent forces of disunity who use and want to use the cover of legitimate agitations to foment trouble. Our government will continue to work to serve all Nigerians as we are recommitted to pursuing programmes that will improve the standard of living of Nigerians and raise our nation’s standing in the international community.

Such a speech would have been received better. But what we have here is more or less a threatening speech that refuses to acknowledge the legitimate concerns of citizens. It’s even contradictory in parts. For instance, while the President is affirming that “the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a model of coexistence”, in the same breath he is claiming our unity is not negotiable and threatening people who are disagreeing with his view, people who are using the social media and other media to discuss, negotiate and work out this mode of co-existence he speaks of. Or does he expect that for the “groups to air their grievances and workout a mode of coexistence” they will have to do so all believing in the non-negotiability of the very thing or condition they are negotiating from their different perspectives? Does he expect people with different interests to believe in the non-negotiability of the very thing they are negotiating about? Also, if the President believes what we are faced with our “petty differences”, which, if true, we should be able to eschew in our collective interest, why talk of red lines and threaten citizens with the security forces for exercising their right to free speech? Why declare people who “question our collective existence as a nation” as taking “a step too far”? Nigeria is not North Korea. There is nothing in our Constitution and in international law that declares any geographical or political space unquestionable by Nigerians. Questioning our collective existence as a nation is a form of legitimate protest, how the rest of the nation and the state responds to that is part of the dynamic of nation-building.

The idea that the social media is the breeding ground of dissent and ideas that challenge our national unity or collective existence is false. Is this a pretext to crackdown on free speech in the social media? If it is, it must be strongly resisted by right-thinking citizens and the international community. The social media is just a forum for sharing ideas, not a breeding ground for anything. In fact, engagements by Nigerians on social media have done more to unite Nigerians through the sharing of ideas (even when people disagree) than anything the government has done by way of policy. Anyone can see that the separatists are not winning the debate on social media against those of us who believe in national unity, but their right to express their differences with us must be protected. This is because this right that we all share is a fundamental one guaranteed by section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which is our grundnorm. It is also guaranteed by international laws to which Nigeria is a signatory.

Section 39(1) of the Constitution states clearly: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference”. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares: “Every person has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontier”. So, no matter our individual opinions, no matter how much we disagree with anyone, our right to freely express ourselves and to agree or disagree on social media or elsewhere is fully guaranteed by law. No one can take that right away.

It’s therefore obvious that this type of statement by the President is intimidation. I mean, who drew the national red lines against free speech and the right to self-determination, both of which are equally guaranteed by national and international law? What is the crime in questioning our “collective existence as a nation” if we or some of us believe those in charge of the state are not making all of us or some of us feel a part of the nation with their conduct and policies? How can people you hunt down in the streets of their hometowns or elsewhere for staging peaceful protests feel they are part of a nation that kills them for fun? President Muhammadu Buhari told the world that he is a convert to democracy, but his words here indicate that he has no patience or respect for free speech and other democratic conducts.

Chief Emeka Ojukwu of 2003 did not speak for Nigerians of 2017 and quite possibly did not speak for Ndigbo of 2017 either. Whatever the President discussed with Ojukwu in 2003 and whatever agreement they reached is not binding on anybody, but themselves as former colleagues and opposing combatants in the Nigerian Civil War. Of course, it was great that they found a common ground as citizens of Nigeria through a private discussion, but that is an opportunity the President is now denying other Nigerians in the public space. If he can sit with Ojukwu who opposed one Nigeria to freely discuss Nigeria and reach an agreement, why does he think Nigerians in the social media and/or anywhere else cannot also freely discuss Nigeria and reach an agreement too? If nobody forced either him or Ojukwu to express whatever view they held about Nigeria at the time, why is he bent on forcing Nigerians to express a particular view about Nigeria now?

If the President had been following events at home while he was away as he said, he would have noted that the biggest national clamour today, even from amongst some of his own people up North, is on the need for restructuring. For instance, two of his biggest supporters and friends in Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and General Ibrahim Babangida, two people who like him believe in the unity of Nigeria as one, have openly come out to support national restructuring. Thus, those calling for restructuring are not attacking the unity of Nigeria, but rather are seeking a more perfect union based on justice, equity and effective and efficient administration reaching to the grassroots in order to deliver the dividends of democracy better. Those doing so are not “irresponsible elements” and are not looking to “start trouble”. Nobody wants another civil war despite the silly noises by Nnamdi Kanu. Also, quite apart from those of us clamouring for restructuring, the majority of those clamouring for Biafra have a right to their view as well. They do not need permission from anyone to exercise their right to self-determination. They are actually being confronted on the ground by their own people and other Nigerians who believe being together is better, no matter our present challenges. As I have shown earlier, threatening them is against our national laws and is against international law as well. Of course, anyone soliciting for arms or threatening or inflicting violence on others in the name of fighting a political cause should face the wrath of the law, but we must be able to differentiate between people agitating legitimately and rightfully, whether we agree with them or not, and others fomenting trouble.

The President’s advisers need to let him know that we do not need a national consensus to keep Nigerian unity. Nigerian unity should not be forced, it should be practiced out of genuine belief in the nation and its prospects by those of us called Nigerians. That is how you nurture and encourage true patriotism. If a group of Nigerians decides they want to go their own way, they do not need all Nigerians to agree with them, no matter how small the group is. What the rest of Nigeria can do through the national and state governments and through individual private and public interventions is convince them through words and actions that being part of Nigeria is in their best interest. The only people who can democratically determine if the separatists can stay or go are the people within the geographical area that the separatists are demanding to go and they can only do so through a properly organised and internationally supervised referendum. You don’t need threats or any action from the security forces to address whatever grievances they have, except to maintain law and order while such legitimate agitations are going on. The state cannot also be using the excuse of maintaining law and order to be killing off Nigerians legitimately agitating over any issue, including those openly exercising their right to self-determination. Again, the Constitution under section 40 guarantees their right to freely assemble and associate with each other and other persons for the protection of their interests. That section states clearly: “Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests.” IPOB is a legitimate association fighting for the interest of its members. They must be allowed to freely assemble and pursue their cause, as far as they do so without violence or intimidation of other Ndigbo and citizens of Nigeria and foreigners legitimately in Nigeria.

The President rightly said every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance, but that also must include the separatists agitating peacefully, irrespective of Nnamdi Kanu presently being engaged in provocative actions against Nigeria. I was very vocal in my demand that he should be released unconditionally earlier when he was held, but Nigeria is not a zoo as he claims. Nigeria is a country where law and order must reign, so if the state and the security forces find any of his actions presently troubling, they need to specifically address Nnamdi Kanu and not the generality of law-abiding Ndigbo who are agitating lawfully for Biafra. Those Igbo persons and their supporters have the right to live and pursue their business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance, including exercising their right to free speech and freedom of assembly anywhere in Nigeria. The security forces must not be set against them; rather, it is the duty of the state to protect them. I am not saying the state has to agree to the secession of Biafra (because even if that has to happen, there are legitimate official processes and many legal hurdles to cross-nationally and internationally), what I’m saying is that rather than threaten them, the state must protect their rights to free speech and pursuit of self-determination, irrespective of whether or not they are ultimately successful in their demand.

It is not a legal or natural fact that the National Assembly and the National Council of State are the only legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse, as the President stated. Indeed, there is nothing in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that says the National Assembly and the National Council of State are the only legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse. Rather, as I have shown earlier, the Constitution grants citizens the fundamental rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights supports their right to freely express themselves as well through any media and across any frontier. What all that means is that national discourse can happen anywhere two or three citizens are gathered. While it is possibly the wish of the President that national discourse should happen only at the National Assembly and at National Council of State forums, it is not the law that it should be so.

Therefore, the President must be advised to stop repeating the tired line that national unity is not negotiable. Nigerians did not sit down one day to agree on the Nigeria we have today, except in the sense of what was agreed by our founding fathers at the 1953/1954 Constitutional Conferences in London and Lagos which declared Nigeria a federation through the 1954 Lyttleton Constitution. Today, that Nigeria and that agreement stand destroyed from the moment the military stepped into politics in 1966 and through their subsequent impositions of unitary Constitutions on Nigeria and Nigerians each time we returned to civil rule. True, irrespective of everything, a lot of us are still totally committed to the unity of Nigeria, but we shouldn’t be pushing it down other people’s throats knowing that this so-called unity has not benefitted everybody, no matter in whatever area and from whatever aspect you choose to look at it. We cannot impose our view on others who disagree with us about Nigeria; we must win the debate on the ground and in the social media as we are doing already because of a lot of Nigerians, even very frustrated ones from all over the nation, still believe in the potential of Nigeria as one nation. But when the President makes this type of comment, he drags us back and makes our job of convincing others that Nigeria is better as one harder. Those close to him must tell him that he is making us lose grounds in the debate against the separatists and people generally not happy to be part of one nation.

In conclusion, it is my view that the President’s objective would have been achieved without necessarily making this speech a little on the hard side. Maybe he wants to show that the state would robustly take on criminal forces and forces of disorder, but he has in doing that conflated issues by mixing up people making legitimate agitations with criminals. I do not understand why he was singling out discussions on social media or especially focussing on the discussions there that do not support his view of the nation, except if he feels the greatest opposition to his government is coming from there. Maybe his advisers are telling him that Nigerians on the streets love him dearly and that only those on social media don’t. That is a false dichotomy. The Nigeria-related social media is an extension of the streets. The same ordinary Nigerians on the streets are the ones that use social media to express themselves. The President must be reminded that the social media won him the election that brought him to power. Activists on the social media were the ones who were in the forefront of opposition to the Goodluck Jonathan government; they were the ones who articulated the general angst against his government in a way that went viral enough to whip up popular sentiments against Jonathan’s reelection bid. So, if the President is thinking of cracking down on vocal Nigerians on the social media who do not share his view, he has to understand the implications because even his informed and patriotic supporters on social media will fight him for attacking free speech. He will increasingly alienate himself and his government and severely diminish their chances of a reelection in 2019. In my humble view, what he should be thinking of doing if he feels there is so much opposition coming from the social media is to empower the operators of his social media platforms with the relevant information to engage credibly with Nigerians. If Nigerians get the right information from the right sources about what government is doing in every area of our national life, the discussion will become more ideas-based and the threat of violence will drastically reduce as people will feel that even if the government disagrees with them, their views are being appropriately considered in the right quarters. That is what good governance is about. Force and threats will never be the solutions.


Friday, August 18, 2017

The Dangerous Night by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren.

There was a poor weather that wrecked havoc on the sea and upon the gray waters of Guzah. But just as the wandering clouds rested on the bosom of sudden death, a ship which had struggled all day on the sea, bubbling with Makundah pirates, anchored at the shores. Happy that they had survived the madness of the raging storm, they chanted victory songs and shot several bullets into the quiet hands of the night. A ladder was let down. One after another, the men clambered down and waded waist-deep through the water to land. Apart from weapons and ammunitions that they held, they had victuals and treasures. The night was cold and the multitude of glowing insects paraded the forest. An ambitious rider who is not conversant with the forest might take them for a wild cat waiting to walk a body to hell.
After they had gathered, they set off in a file into the forest behind their leader, Mukande, a wicked dwarf, whom they feared as a god. Carefully they were looking to every direction to make sure that they were not being followed. There were few stars on the bare chest of the sky. They happily gave their lights near the moon. When darkness began to tread the sun’s old path, going further would be a dangerous choice in this creepy kind of place.
The forest was old, and the stench of treachery hung in the air. Fruit bats made the forest and her fruits their heaven in the night. The human presence did not hinder them from moving from one tree to another to find their meal. Apart from dry leaves that paraded the place, the old feet of the pirates tormented the earth and crushed the leaves under their boots. There were dead woods and limbs here and there, and they hindered the travelers from maneuvering their pair of legs. The trees were in their rows, separated by inches and yards. Many fruits were not thoroughly eaten and rotted in the litter.  
Unknown to the pirates, who were determined to get to their hide out in one of the caves, there were interlopers lurking, waiting for a chance to unleash their treachery and sniff the life out of any wanderer. The intruders were Oza hunters from the hinterland who occasionally venture south of the gray waters.
After covering a good distance, chanting and brandishing their weapons, one of the pirates behind was snatched from the troop and dragged into the forest. Before he could snatch a breath and raised alarm, the hunter drove a dagger into his neck. As he lay struggling for life, the attacker grabbed his battle-axe and exerted a mighty heave to zap off his neck. The body of the pirate rested peacefully on the bare chest of the earth as his head rolled into the bush path. Quietly, he collected all that was on the severed pirate. Rings, beads and all his belongings were placed in his pockets. The hunter flashed a menacing smile at the severed body of the pirate, and carefully looked to every side to make sure that no eye was watching before he disappeared into the waiting hands of the forest.
As the gang journeyed against all odds, and the movement of their legs displaced the leaves, the pirates were once again reduced by a cruel hand that emerged from the quiet night. One of the hunters hiding behind an old baobab tree fell upon one of the pirates. They had a fair struggle. The pirate fought back with his battle axe, but his blow came a bit late as the hunter had already driven his sword into the pirate’s chest. His agony drew the attention of others. Before they could save the situation, the hunter had disappeared into the forest, and the pirate surrendered to the incoming blackness.
They rushed to the scene, flashing their torch lights. As they examined the dead, one of the pirates flashed his light about and noticed a strange mask on a tree. He drew his battle axe and walked quietly to the tree to have a closer look at the mask. Immediately he got there and tried to figure out what it was, one of the hunters emerged from behind the tree and drove a spear into his belly! The pirate yelled up to high heaven and fought back with his axe and missed his aim. He staggered as the hunter stabbed him repeatedly with the spear. Before the hunter could take cover and mix with the air, arrows from the other pirates swept him off his feet. The hunter fell to his knees, but just as they rushed to vent their anger on him, the fiendish creature drew his knife and took his own life. He fell on his face to the ground.
“He’s a hunter from Oza!” one of the pirates said as they gathered around the dead soul.
“What is an Oza hunter doing here? They hardly go beyond the hinterland,” said Salis. He looked carefully about.
“Where does that leave us?” Moadab inquired and looked at Salis.
  “We are in trouble. The hunters are tracking us,” Mukande disclosed. He turned around and gazed at the trees and back to his men. “Salis and Moadab will protect the treasure, and the rest of you will make sure they are safe.”
  They nodded in agreement, grabbed their weapons with an iron grip and continued their journey. Not long after, five or more arrows flew out of the woods. Two of the pirates were sent to their early graves and others were injured. Rattled by the attack, and the disadvantage of not seeing their adversary, Mukande and his men decided to make the best use of their legs through the dark forest to their hide out in the cave.  
The pirates tasted misfortune as their meal for that day. Tossed about by the cruel hands of an unjust fate, the men fleeing from the face of the unknown ran into the waiting hands of the hunters. The hunters fell on them and they fought massively all night.
The horror of death stared them in the face. Those who escaped the frenzied attack of spears and arrows fell by the sword and axe of the hunters from the hinterland. Many lay struggling for life like primitives that fell stone dead at the blast of muskets. The battered bodies of the pirates were about.
 The hunters also suffered loss.  Having few of the pirates to contend with, the battle took a new turn. Makunde, Captain Salis, Moadab and the few others that were still alive stumbled on a bush path. Before they could be sent to the silent world, they ran very fast. The hunters, chanting victory song and brandishing their weapons, gave them a hot chase. As they chased them through the forest, the hunters made life unbearable for the pirates. At the interval, an arrow would pierce the ugly darkness and rob a dear soul of his life. And the swift throw of javelins also snatched some people from the warm hands of the beautiful earth.
As the battle raged, Mukande and his men ran into a swamp, the home of crocodiles. But the night hindered them from seeing beyond their nose. Before they could come to terms with this reality around them, the three or more soldiers who tried to wade through the swamp to the other side were sent to their early graves. The crocodiles attacked and caused the pirates to mourn.
Mukande, Captain Salis and others coming from behind relieved the reptiles with their muskets and waded waist-deep through the swamp to the other side. As the hunters approached the swamp, they faded from the chase. Gradually, the creatures disappeared into the forest.  
No longer hearing the crashing of branches or the sound of their pursuer, the pirates looked back to see if the Devils were still in the chase. Trying to keep their pace and looking back at the same time, they dashed into their cave and secured it.
Men were scattered about on the floor like a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Groaning painfully as the horror tormented the camp. The few that were not badly injured, but had bruises here and there, made fire and offered treatment to those that were casualties. Mukande, the dwarf suffered a deep cut on his shoulder and was languishing near the fire. Treatment was offered to those they felt would survive, and others whom the pirates felt had little or no chance of survival, were killed and thrown out of the cave. Salis and Moadab only suffered bruises and were in the company of helpers.
As the dust settled, and the pirates were under the spell of sleep, the cruel hands of hell crept into the camp! Captain Salis was not under the spell of sleep when he heard footsteps lurking in the dark. He sat up and glared the balls in the socket of his skull about. The fire that dimly lit up the room made it difficult for Salis to see beyond his nose. His cohorts were fast asleep, snoring hard like the steam engine going through a deplorable road. Moadab was beside him with the sack of treasure. All of a sudden, a shadow appeared on the wall. It drew a knife and began to sneak on silent feet through the room. The captain’s heart jumped into his mouth as he alerted Moadab.
As they watched quietly from their corner, the creature that they could not figure out who it was faded out of sight. They were yet to figure out the next step to take when a loud cry from the other side of the room hit the air. One of them had been murdered. There was uproar and everyone seemed to be awakened. The hunters had invaded the camp and they had begun to unleash terror. The Pirates woke up to face the reality of death staring them in the face. So a bloody battle ensued in the cold night.
Moadab grabbed the treasure, Salis was there, and they snuck out of the mess. Holding a torch, they found their way to a passage where they contended with giant spiders and scorpions as they forged ahead. After covering a good distance, going through four or more bends, flinging glance back at the interval to make sure that no one was in the chase, the cruel hands of an unjust fate kissed Moadab. Captain Salis drew his dagger. He pounced and drove it into Moadab’s neck. The strike was enough to send his dear friend to the silent world. The big man lay struggling for life and rested peacefully on the bed of sudden death. Salis flashed a menacing smile at the lifeless body of his cohort. He searched Moadab and found a gold pendant, which he placed in his pocket. As the noise of an angry mob approached, Salis feared that he could meet a sad end. He quickly removed his dagger and slammed the sack of precious stones on his back and hasted into the waiting hands of the quiet night.  
Captain Salis found his way to a little opening in the wall. Down there was a raft on the gray river that flowed to the part of the mountain. As the captain pondered what to do, the sound of the mob approaching began to grow, and their legs descended like wreckage. There were two men near a fire, roasting a fish. They were heavily armed and munching noisily when Salis dived into the water.
The hunters were alarmed by the movement in the water. One of them rose to his feet. He grabbed his musket and his torch and went to the direction. Immediately he got to the edge of the river, the hunter flashed his torch about and found nothing. Then he breathed deeply and decided to go for a piss. After relieving his bowels, and adjusted his belt, Salis emerged from under the water. He pounced and wrestled the hunter to the ground. They had a fair struggle before the hunter was overwhelmed. He fought gallantly against the incoming blackness and was sent to the silent world.  
Salis took cover again when he saw the other hunter approaching. The man got to the river bank and flashed his torch about. He found his friend dead and almost died of fear. But before he could move, Salis rose from the water and aimed his chest with the knife. The hunter yelled and fell to his knees. As the man struggled with the incoming blackness, Captain Salis rushed to him, drew the dagger and stabbed him repeatedly in the chest. As the hunter walked side by side with his cohort to the silent world, Salis picked his sack of treasure from the water and dashed to the raft.
Immediately he mounted the raft and was paddling away, his pursuers emerged from the window, looking down at the river, flashing their torch lights that shone brilliantly like the starry sky. They found him and bedeviled Salis with arrows and spears, but he was out of range. Their leader ordered in their local dialect that they should apprehend him. So, three or more hunters dived into the river. As they approached him, swimming as if there might not be tomorrow, Salis grabbed one of the muskets he had inherited from his few minutes of the assault. He squinted his eyes and took his aim. His bullets found his adversaries. One by one, they rested on the bosom of death.  Others watched in dismay from the peak as their cohorts drowned. Salis paddled the raft out of sight and proceeded to the ship.
He went on board the ship and set sail. Captain Salis had a competent knowledge of the rules of navigation that were needful to be understood by a sailor. Learned how to keep an account of the ship’s course, and take observations. Under normal circumstance, the sailor wouldn’t have ventured into the sea at such a perilous time. But for the fear of death and the truckload of misfortune that have haunted him, there was no way he could let the chance of knowing the world again slipped.
The ship was no sooner gotten out of the gray waters and was comfortable at the high sea when the wind began to blow with vengeance. Salis kept faith with the boat until hell was let loose! The waves rose in a frightful manner, and the sea reacted like a devil trying to kill a fly with a sledgehammer. Salis rushed to the cabin to have a view of the wickedness of the rushing wind. His heart sank when he saw the misfortune that was underway. The evil against his soul was taller than the pair of legs that carried him. Before he could blink, the sea went mountain high and broke upon him. Salis lost his balance and was almost swept overboard. He hung on the mast by the skin of his teeth.
As his distress mounted, and the boisterous wind drove the ship near the land, hopes of survival seemed inevitable. Not long after, the ship finally struck a rock and began to sink.
With nothing to fight for other than his own life, Salis tried to regain his footing and get into the ship to get the sack of treasure. But he could not find it because everything had been buried under the water.  Nothing could describe the confusion that greeted the sailor.  But just as he tried to swim to find the treasure chest, another blow from the cruel hands of the sea wrecked its havoc. To avoid what would have robbed him of his place in the scheme of things, he grabbed a pillar.
Wave after wave, the sea vented its anger. Hanging on the pillar only lasted for a while. Another bedeviled wave struck and dashed the ship in pieces. As for Salis, it threw him with a mighty force toward the shore. He was cast into the deepest gulf of human misery and his treasure was lost.
The ship finally sank into the bottom of the sea as Salis lay on the sand, slipping in and out of consciousness. By the time he regained consciousness, he was in a prison.
A few weeks later, Salis sank into his favorite chair. His face pale with sadness as if he had just crushed his thumb against the anvil. He exposed a bare chest that had no hair, although one could count a few. They stood like a monument in a vast land. The bald man had a strong square jaw, and beard and teeth that could be hardly noticed. He threw himself on his feet and walked to the window. He pulled up the blinds and looked out. He saw the turn in the paved road and the rich farmland lying beside it. There was the glint of water in the distance. He gazed at the beautiful earth that spread before him like an old balance sheet under the nose of a shrewd accountant.
There was a heavy knock on the door as captain Salis lowered his head. A lanky frail man who paraded tribal marks on his face, and innocence in the balls that sat in the sockets of his skull, broke into the room. He was a prison warden. He held a club that seemed a burden to maneuver. Salis raised his head and flung a disgruntled look at the warden popularly known as Waziri.
“Good morning, Salis. You are wanted in the common room by the king’s emissary to the west,” Waziri disclosed and turned toward the door. The captain joined him as they left the room. Waziri led Salis through a passage with rooms on each side. The occupants of the rooms on each side were prisoners and must have suffered the same fate as Salis. The rooms were guarded by grave and heavily armed soldiers. They went through three bends or more until they appeared before a door. The warden threw it opened and led Salis into the common room.
The court was flushed with soldiers who took their respective seats as their standings in the army implied. The emissary, a cunning fellow called Kazeem, threw himself on his feet and flashed a humble smile at the man his soldiers found at the shores of their land some months ago. The emissary stood like a majestic mountain, crossed his arms over his body and looked straight into the fearless balls that sat in the sockets of his skull. “We have decided to let you go, Salis,” the emissary said. “But you have one thing to do for us.”  
“What?” Salis inquired. He frowned and flung a cold look about.
“The king’s brother is trapped in a cave on the coast of Meden. We have enough men to combat whatever might come up against us in that creepy kind of place. But one thing we lack is a credible man who can maneuver our ship. Based on what you told me, I don’t need a prophet to tell me that you are the best man to take over from our sailor who died a week ago after a brief illness.”
“I have never been to Meden and I don’t want to go,” Salis sounded.
Kazeem frowned and took some steps toward him. “You have no choice, Salis. Will you leave the King’s brother to die in the hands of the Medens? I know how important it is for a man to be free and we are ready to let you go. When you return, you will have your discharge paper here. And you will be free throughout the kingdom!”
Captain Salis adjusted and hissed. “I don’t risk my life for nothing. Your paper doesn’t make me a free man. I am a free man!” he shouted, banging his chest. “I will choose my own fate!”
“I agree but don’t be rash. If you study my face and read my lips, you will see that I can be trusted. Forget about your welfare. I know how to make people like you forget their sorrow. I will put a smile on your face when we return.”
 Salis took a deep breath. He looked at Kazeem and asked, “What proof do you have that the king’s brother is alive?”
Kazeem chuckled and looked around the room. His gaze met curious eyes as he turned to Salis. “The world is a small place. He visited Meden on a vacation. On their trip back home, they were attacked on the coast. One of the soldiers that escaped from the cave broke the news to us. Apart from that, it is forbidden for a royal son of this land to be buried outside this shore. Now we want to find him dead or alive. Salis, rest any further questions. You are in safe hands. The finest soldiers of this land will be on the ship with us. On your return, you will have the luxury of returning to wherever you came from or remain here and start a new life.”
Captain Salis pondered his words and seemed to be satisfied with what the emissary said. “When are we leaving?” he asked.
“At first light!” Kazeem replied and returned to his seat. With a wave of his bejeweled hand, Salis was led back to the prison.  

               

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Five Things You Can Do To Improve Your Business Book (or ANY book) by Ginny Carter.

There are simple techniques you can use to improve your business book that has nothing to do with magic or intrigue. Use these tricks to motivate, engross, and inspire your readers.

You know that magical feeling you get when you’re reading a book you can’t put down? The words draw you in and you’re lost in the pages.
As you settle down to write your own book, you want your readers to have that same sensation, right? Excited, absorbed, and so engaged they’ll recommend your book to everyone they meet.
But here’s the problem – you’re a business person, not an author. You can churn out blog posts when you need to, but crafting a whole book so it flows like a dream and persuades your readers to take action is something you’re struggling with.
It’s not surprising. The only long-form writing most of us have done was our assigned essays at school so many years ago – and one big difference between those essays and your book is that your teacher had to read them. No one has to read your book, and that can trigger your doubts.
What if your readers don’t fully understand your advice and ideas? How in the world can you tell if they’re going to like your book? These sorts of nagging questions might make you give up before you begin. But what if I were to tell you there are a few simple tricks to writing a page-turner that has nothing to do with magic, intrigue, or being the next Malcolm Gladwell?
Use these techniques to help improve your business book so that it motivates, engrosses, and inspires your readers.

Write hot, edit cold

Don’t try to write the perfect draft the first time through. Start by getting your words down on the page and don’t worry about gripping your readers with your prose. Don’t concern yourself with making it a good read; it’s just a read right now, and that’s OK.
Writing a draft uses a different part of your brain than editing does, which means it’s tiring and unproductive to continuously refine what you’ve written. Save the editing for some time after you’ve completed your first draft. You have permission to squash your inner critic for now.

Plan your outline

If you were to take an aerial view of your chapters, spread out in order, what would you see? Would it be a logical series of landmarks progressing and relating in a harmonious way, like a river leading to the sea, or would it be a mix of disconnected elements that don’t relate?
The order in which your points appear forms the outline of your book and the number one reason why some business books don’t make a convincing case is that the outline doesn’t work. Readers won’t get the point, and neither will a commissioning editor at a publishing house.
Put yourself in the place of your ideal reader. What does she know? What doesn’t she know? What’s her starting point? Plan your outline points with this reader in mind and ease her through your thinking, building your case and keeping her turning the pages as she learns more and more about your topic.

Flow like a slinky

Remember the slinky toy you had when you were a kid? The one that crawled down stairs, each step building the energy required to leap to the next one? I would play with mine for hours – it seemed magical (or maybe I was just odd). Your sentences and paragraphs need to flow like that slinky. Here’s what I mean:
Non-slinky flow: Dogs are simple creatures and their needs are few. They socialize with other dogs and require feeding twice a day.
Slinky flow: Simple creatures with few needs, dogs are happy to socialize with most other animals, especially other dogs, and only require feeding twice a day.
Think about what you write and how it will relate to what will come after it. Do they have a relationship? If so, make it clear. If not, reconsider why you’ve put them next to each other.

Don’t abandon your reader

Is the business book you’re writing a how-to guide? If it is, it’s a good idea to address your reader directly. Many writers make the mistake of phrasing their words in a theoretical way, which comes across as academic and impractical. Here’s an example:
Theoretical: Strategy is an essential tool in business: it drives every decision.
Convincing: Strategy is the most essential element in your tool kit: you’ll be using it to drive every business decision you make.
The first sentence is rather cold; the second helps your reader understand how the information relates to him.
Even if your book isn’t a how-to guide, similar thinking applies. You still want your readers to think differently after reading it, and you’ll be more effective if you speak to them naturally and directly. There’s no need to do this in every sentence, but you need to regularly address your readers or they will start to feel like they’re being left out of the party.

Be yourself

Your readers want to feel like they are a part of your world, and they can only get to know you and feel an emotional connection with your words if you show a bit of who you really are. The easiest way to get your reader to fall in love with you is to be yourself.
To be clear, I’m not suggesting you write as though you were chatting at a cafĂ© with your girlfriend when she, like, started to lol… Business books, by their nature, do demand an element of formality and they certainly require a lot of care with the writing. But let’s look at the difference between these two sentences:
Overly formal: I attended a meeting in order to discuss my opinion with the committee chair. I was not given much time, but I expressed my views forcefully.
Formal, with character: I shared my ideas with the committee chair at the meeting. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend much time with him, but I made my opinion on the matter abundantly clear.
Again, the first is cold, the second gives you a little more insight into the personalities involved.
Once you’ve written the first draft of your book, circle back and have a look at it with these points in mind. You’ve done the hard part by getting your thoughts down on paper – now take the time to make them shine.

Source: Bookbaby

The Hard Way by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren.

Not the best of times. It was dark and cruel. He could feel the evil wrapped in the warm hands of the evening. Away from the filth of the city, drowned in the corner of the abyss he called home, Fred was disgruntled. Some nights are heaven. As a lover that keeps you warm, you want the enjoyment forever. On the other hand, some nights are hell crushing a prey on her corridors. Sinking blows until the prey succumbs to her brutality. It is a miracle to be in hell and still survive her tongue.
It was a long night. Only if Fred could sleep or put himself out of his misery, will he shine again. There is no hope for the poor soul who cannot conquer his demons. Then he rolled out of bed and his legs carried him to his rickety chair and table. He sank into the chair, leaned forward on the table and lowered his head. The uncertainty was biting hard and it had swept across the country. Those who once boast of three square meals are now battling to survive. The numbers were not favorable and they knew it was only a matter of time before their world would come crashing down to the earth. Time was ticking away under the shadow of the dead night. It was a terrible time to live. Any man that wishes to survive public life must hide his imperfection.
Fred grabbed his handset on the table. He quickly dialed a number but the call was aborted. After several attempts, he finally went through. 
“Hello,” a voice bellowed from the other side and almost faded immediately. 
Fred jumped to his feet and walked to the window where he felt the reception was strong. “Mark,” he said. “Sorry for the disturbance.”
“What do you want?” asked Mark.
Fred swallowed hard. “I can’t wait for the 2019 elections. The thought of it has almost killed me!”
Mark hissed. “Was that why you woke me up in the middle of the night? Drop this call. I need to catch some sleep!”
“WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! We have a chance to take the country back!”
“What chance, you worm? Are you blind? Can’t you see the people are hypnotized? You better wait until he completes his two terms. And then his seat will be up for grabs.”
“NO,” Fred shook his head. “The President is a liar.”
“But some believe it’s the distance that ruined him,” Mark disclosed. “He was too far away from home and then he was lost in a foreign land. It was a blunder, I agree. But it will be difficult to defeat him in the polls.”
Fred scratched his head and then he said, “We can pull a few strings to sink him. Do we need to have a replacement before we can start the process? If the President cannot take care of himself, he cannot take care of anybody!”
Mark chuckled. “So what do you want me to do?”
“Join me and let us get this madness out of sight. They are playing politics without morals!”
“Fred,” Mark sniffed. “If you need to retain your seat in the Senate, you are talking to the wrong man. I have moved on. The way forward for Nigeria is not the 2019 general elections. A decentralized government is an answer. Let us return to regional government. If you are interested in a better country, see me tomorrow. Have a pleasant night rest.”
The call dropped. 
Fred glanced at his phone for a while. He breathed deeply and shook his head. He returned to the table and sank into his favorite chair, gazing at the ceiling.   




Monday, August 14, 2017

Gospel Musicians in Nigeria and Money by Ben Jossy Olofu.

Gospel musicians can innovate, form a band, play at weddings and events, source for help, sponsorship, get a job, and go to a church that can afford them if they want to be a full time church musician.

God has had people in the music ministry before the invention of tape recorders, cds, and modern music platforms. Sell your song on cds, iTunes, Cdbay, mtn Plus, etc. Stop lazying about in the name of ministry.

Find out ways to make money. Don't rely on church offerings. The same goes for pastors. Jesus didn't need full time musicians to open the eyes of the blind and do other miracles. We don't need musicians on full time if we cannot appreciate them with a basic salary. Let them work and come to sing at their free time.

If you have a committed musician, help the person, pray for the person for favor and raise funds to help them do albums and some promo.

IF YOU THINK GOSPEL MUSIC IS HARD, PLEASE TRY SECULAR. 

I have some famous musicians as my friends, I don't invite them to my church because we cannot take care of their logistics. Most of them don't charge. They only need logistics money for their band, their guitarists, bassists and others who work full time with them.

A gospel musician is a brand, and they need to make money to survive. On the other hand, a gospel music minister is not a brand. He is called to bless lives in the ministry. If you cannot afford them please don't invite them. If you can afford them, go ahead.

Every Gospel musician must work and fix their lives. God did not establish the church to pay you. Paul worked as an apostle, he bought his own food, paid his own rent and bought his own clothes.

Do not rely on hand outs to survive. Keep the fire burning by doing what is right. Not what you like.

Ben Jossy 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Get Paid to Write Short Stories: 22 Places That Will Buy Your Fiction.

Lots of us write short stories. But when we think of making money from our writing, we tend to get hung up on the idea of publishing a novel—or, better yet, a series of novels. Short stories are ways to explore new ideas and techniques or are giveaways for our email newsletter readers, but they don’t pay the bills.
Not so fast.
For a long time, short stories were actually a fiction writer’s best way to break into paying work, and they can still form a strong part of your author career. Selling short fiction into paying markets nets you exposure, new readers, and, oh yeah, some cash!
Sure, most literary magazines and fiction markets don’t pay a ton, but it never hurts to add another tool to your kit, giving you another distribution channel and a way to bolster your professional career.
There are new literary magazines opening all the time, especially online, and so it’s impossible to come up with a definitive list of all the paying markets currently accepting submissions—especially when you realize that there are dozens of venues for every imaginable genre.
Writers who are really interested in focusing on the short fiction opportunities out there might want to subscribe to Duotrope, Poets & Writers, or Writer’s Market to get more ideas of where to submit.
Here, though, we’ll take a look at 22 of the strongest paying markets for short fiction and what they’re paying.

Contemporary Literature

AGNI
About: The literary magazine of Boston University, AGNI specializes in publishing emerging authors. It accepts poetry, short contemporary fiction, and some critical essays or other nonfiction. There are two print magazines per year and other fiction is published online biweekly.
You can submit between September and May every year.
Pay: $10 per printed page for fiction, $20 per page for poetry, plus a year’s subscription to the magazine and several copies of the issue.
Black Warrior Review
About: Black Warrior Review is the graduate English department publication of the University of Alabama and is produced twice a year. This literary magazine seeks to embrace diversity and risky fiction; it welcomes both authors and stories with diverse backgrounds, including LGBTQ, (dis)ability, and people of color. Although it prefers contemporary fiction to strict category genres, magical realism and futuristic stories are encouraged—anything that pushes boundaries and encourages deep thought is embraced.
Black Warrior Review also accepts graphic novels and visual narratives.
Pay: One-year subscription and a “nominal lump sum fee,” the amount of which isn’t made public.
Boulevard
About: Another longstanding, award-winning journal, Boulevard has been publishing contemporary short stories, poetry, and essays since 1985. It particularly encourages new writers to submit—authors who have already been published in another paying market are actually at a disadvantage here!
Boulevard doesn’t accept genre fiction, only contemporary literary fiction.
You can submit between October and May each year.
Pay: $100–$300 for prose, $25–$250 for poetry.
Carve
About: This literary ‘zine focuses on “honest fiction” published online, but also offers a print magazine that includes poetry, nonfiction, and illustrations. One unique feature is that the editors frequently respond to submissions with editorial critiques instead of just a rejection note.
Carve only publishes literary fiction, not genre fiction (so no horror, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, thrillers, etc.)
Pay: $100 per short story.
Glimmertrain
About: Glimmertrain champions new and emerging writers in its three annual issues. The magazine has several different submissions periods each year; check the website for details on what they’re currently looking for (categories often include unpublished writers, super-short fiction, and various topical themes).
Pay: $700 and up, depending on category.
The Iowa Review
About: Part of the prestigious University of Iowa writing program, this journal has been around since 1970 and specializes in publishing fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction in a variety of styles. It publishes three times a year and accepts submissions in September, October, and November each year.
Pay: $0.80 per word for fiction, with a $100 minimum payment.
The Missouri Review
About: Another journal that welcomes contemporary fiction, poetry, and nonfiction essays, The Missouri Review has been around since 1978. It publishes four issues per year and frequently publishes new writers.
Pay: $40 per printed page.
Ploughshares
About: Published three times a year as a high-quality paper journal, Ploughshares is one of the most respected literary journals in the world. They accept submissions during a particular window, usually from June through January each year. Contemporary literary fiction is preferred. There’s also an annual Emerging Writers Contest for previously unpublished or self-published writers.
Pay: Ploughshares pays $25 per page, with a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $250.
The Southern Review
About: The Southern Review publishes contemporary fiction, poetry, and selected nonfiction including essays and book reviews. Submissions are accepted between September and December each year.
Pay: The Southern Review pays $25 per page, with a maximum of $200. It also provides two copies of the magazine and a year’s subscription.
Threepenny Review
About: Pitched as a “general literary publication,” Threepenny Review publishes contemporary literary fiction, poetry, and a wide array of essays and other nonfiction. It publishes four times a year, in print and online.
Pay: $400 per short story, $200 per poem.

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Analog
About: Analog publishes a wide range of science fiction, including welcoming hard science fiction. The technology, worldbuilding, and characters and plot must all be believable and seamlessly woven together—no tacking a plot on to a really cool world. New writers are encouraged to submit.
Pay: 8–10 cents per word.
Apex
About: Do you write edgy sci-fi, fantasy, or horror? Check out Apex! They actively seek boundary-pushing speculative fiction for their monthly online issues, which are available through a hybrid combo of free online access and paid eBook editions. Many now-famous writers got their start with Apex, which still regularly publishes new authors.
Pay: 6 cents per word.
Asimov’s
About: One of the most prestigious science fiction magazines around, Asimov’s concentrates on character-driven, rather than technology-focused, science fiction. Stories should “examine or illuminate some aspect of human existence.”
Pay: 8–10 cents per word.
Clarkesworld
About: Clarkesworld has won just about every award out there, and stories published in its pages also regularly win awards. It publishes monthly issues and also publishes story collections through its book program.
Clarkesworld welcomes fantasy, sci-fi, and horror of many types, but they have a long list of themes that they see too often; check it out before you submit.
Pay: 8–10 cents per word.
Fantasy & Science Fiction
About: Another longstanding, award-winning publication, Fantasy & Science Fiction accepts a broad range of speculative fiction, although stories should be focused more on characters than worldbuilding or technology. Science fiction and humor are particularly encouraged. The magazine publishes six issues per year.
Pay: 7–12 cents per word.
Giganotosaurus
About: Giganotosaurus likes long short fiction—yes, kind of an oxymoron, but unlike many markets, they welcome submissions ranging all the way up to 25,000 words. All kinds of sci-fi and fantasy are accepted, and a single story is published online every month.
Pay: $100 flat fee.
Strange Horizons
About: Every week, Strange Horizons publishes a broad range of speculative fiction, including horror, sci-fi, and fantasy—if you can imagine it, they’re probably open to considering it. They also produce podcasts of published stories and accept poetry, media reviews, and some nonfiction.
Submissions regularly open and close, so be sure to check the website to make sure they’re currently reading for your preferred category.
Pay: 8 cents per word.

Romance

East of the Web
About: East of the Web publishes a huge array of short stories across all genres, including romance (crime, sci-fi, fantasy, and children’s stories are also welcome). It has an open submissions period for most genres.
Romance stories here should include a thriller or mystery element. Previously published stories will be considered.
Pay: 5 cents per word.
Heroes & Heartbreakers
About: Heroes & Heartbreakers is actually an imprint of the publishing giant MacMillan. However, it specializes in short stories and novellas in the romance genre, making it a great place to get paid to start your romance writing career.
Pay: $1,000 advance against 25% royalties.
Shades of Romance
About: This quarterly print and digital magazine emphasizes diversity, including stories by and about people of color. It publishes short romance stories as well as tips and tricks about writing and motivational or inspirational nonfiction. Any genre of romance is acceptable, though erotica is not.
Query before submitting.
Pay: $25 flat fee.

Other

Flash Fiction Online
About: The shortest of short stories are welcomed at Flash Fiction Online, a digital publication. Pretty much any fiction story between 500–1,000 words will be considered, including science fiction, fantasy, romance, and literary fiction.
Pay: $60 flat fee.
Vestal Review
About: Do you write flash fiction? Then The Vestal Review is the place for you! It’s the oldest established market for super-short fiction (they only take stories of 500 words or less). It accepts every genre except children’s lit and hard science fiction and publishes twice a year in print, with some stories also published online.
You can submit between February and May and again between August and November each year.
Pay: $25 flat fee per published story, plus one copy of the magazine.

There are many, many more paying short story venues out there—no matter what, there’s a home for your work. Or you could always consider self-publishing your stories. When creating your author career, there’s no wrong choices, only what’s right for you.

Source: Tckpublishing.

Get Paid to Write Flash Fiction: 18 Places That Will Buy Your Super-Short Stories.

Getting paid to write is the goal of every dedicated author—and it’s even better if you can get paid to write only a couple of words at a time. That frees you up to go write more things elsewhere, keep your releases coming regularly, and always be providing your fans with new work to enjoy.
This is one of the reasons flash fiction is so great. We’ve talked before about what flash fiction is and how you can use it to promote your books, but did you know you can also get paid to write super-short stories?

Paid Flash Fiction Markets

Believe it or not, there are actually quite a few paying markets for flash fiction!
You’ll never make as much as you would selling a novel or a short story, but you can get paid to write flash fiction and start building your publishing credits up.
If you belong to a writing marketplace website like Poets & Writers, Writers Digest, or Duotrope, you can search their listings for magazines and journals that are currently accepting flash fiction submissions.
You can also check in with these 18 markets, all of which are reputable paying publications and were active as of July 2017.

American Short Fiction

American Short Fiction prefers literary fiction of 2,000 words or less and is open to submissions year-round. It also holds contests for flash fiction of 1,000 words or less.
The journal charges a $3 fee per submission, but it pays a professional rate for published work, likely 5 cents per word or a bit more (it doesn’t publicly disclose rates).

Brevity

Brevity magazine publishes flash nonfiction, meaning very short (under 750-word) essays. It also publishes short essays on the craft of writing. It offers $45 on publication. The magazine opens to submissions periodically, so check in on the website to see when you can submit.

Daily Science Fiction

Daily Science Fiction publishes new, short works of sci-fi daily, just like the name says. They accept flash fiction between 100 and 1,500 words in any speculative genre, including hard sci-fi, space opera, fantasy, slipstream, and more. The shorter the story, the better your chances of publication (as long as it’s a great story, naturally).
You can’t have published your story anywhere else previously, including on your blog, Twitter, or email newsletter.
DSF pays 8 cents per word. You may also have the opportunity to appear in one of DSF’s theme anthologies, which pays a small additional amount.

Devilfish Review

Devilfish Review publishes short speculative fiction—fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and other, weirder things. Unlike many journals, it’s open to poetry submissions. Stories should be 5,000 words or less, with a separate submissions category for 500-word flash fiction. It also considers some nonfiction submissions.
Devilfish Review publishes quarterly and pays $10 per accepted piece.

Everyday Fiction

Everyday Fiction publishes flash fiction of 1,000 words or less that tells a complete story. You can’t have previously published the story anywhere, including on your blog. Any and all genres are welcome, and the magazine pays $3 per story. Authors are encouraged to link to their website and to any available books.

Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine

Flash is the journal of the International Flash Fiction Association and, as a result, getting published here is a pretty big deal. That said, it’s not really a paying market—you only receive a complimentary contributor copy of the print issue your work appears in.
Still, it’s worth considering as a professional publication credit, especially since published stories might be nominated for the Pushcart Prize or other major awards. The journal publishes twice a year and has rolling submissions depending on whether the next issue is full; check the website for details. It prefers literary fiction of 360 words or less.

Flash Fiction Online

Flash Fiction Online is open to submissions on a revolving basis; be sure to check the website to see if they’re currently open. Stories should be between 500–1,000 words long, in any genre other than erotica. The editors particularly like fantasy and science fiction, but they’re open to any well-crafted flash fiction.
Flash Fiction Online pays $60 for original fiction. Reprints are also now accepted, with a payment rate of 2 cents per word. If your work is selected for inclusion in an anthology, you’ll receive 2 cents per word. This is an SFWA-qualifying market, too, so you can work towards your professional guild membership status with publication here.

Funny Times

The Funny Times is all about humor—it publishes original cartoons and funny stories of 500–700 words. Nothing’s off limits, as long as it’s humorous.
They only accept printed, mailed submissions, and pay $60 per published story.

Gettysburg Review

Gettysburg Review publishes a variety of fiction, essays, and poetry and accepts submissions between September and May every year. It doesn’t accept genre fiction—only literary fiction, though the editors prefer stories that are “off-beat, penetrating, and surprising.”
The journal publishes once a quarter and pays $25 per printed page for prose. There’s a $3 fee to submit online, but you can submit a hard copy by mail for free (or, well, the cost of a stamp).

Glimmertrain

Glimmertrain is one of the most respected literary magazines out there, and they love to publish new writers and unusual work. That includes flash fiction! They open to general submissions twice a year, and also have a variety of contests that run throughout the year, including a contest specifically for flash fiction.
Submitting regular fiction to Glimmertrain costs $2, and writers are paid on publication; the journal doesn’t specify how much, but it’s a professional market and may pay $500 or more per piece. Contest submissions often cost more, but awards can be up to several thousand dollars.

Journal of Compressed Literary Arts

The Journal of Compressed Literary Arts is produced by Matter Press and welcomes a wide range of super-short works. Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and artwork all have a place here, as long as they’re “compressed” in some way—what that means is up to you and the editors.
Accepted pieces earn $50. Only 1% of work is accepted—this is a super-competitive journal. Reading periods run from June 15–September 15 and December 15–March 15 every year, and work is published weekly.

Nanoism

Nanoism specializes in Twitter-length short fiction: all submissions have to be 140 characters or less. They also accept serials: linked segments or episodes that tell a bigger story. Literary fiction is preferred.
Nanoism pays $1.50 for stories and $5 for serials regardless of number of segments. You can submit up to once a week, and they publish an author bio with links to your website, Twitter, etc. to help promote your other work.

Nature Futures

Believe it or not, the highly respected international science journal Nature has a long-running science fiction column called “Futures.” It publishes book, TV, and movie reviews, criticism, and even runs a podcast. But best of all, it publishes sci-fi flash fiction.
Submissions should focus on hard science fiction—sci-fi that uses real scientific principles to construct fantastic or futuristic scenarios and plots, rather than using hand-waving to explain the future. Stories should be between 850–950 words. Nature pays $130 per published piece and is extremely selective.

New England Review

The New England Review accepts a range of literary-style submissions, including flash fiction, essays, and even art. They currently read submissions between September and May, although this may change due to submissions volume—check the website to see when they’re open. Literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are the most likely to be accepted.
You can choose whether to submit to the print journal or to the website, which publishes various forms of creative writing. It costs $3 to submit to the print journal and $2 to submit for the website, but published stories are paid $20 per page in print and $50 flat rate for the website.

Pedestal Magazine

The Pedestal Magazine accepts a quirky variety of work, preferring poetry and speculative fiction (preferably flash fiction). It has rolling submissions, so check in before sending your work; sometimes it’s open only to poetry, other times only to certain genres of fiction.
Only new, unpublished work will be considered. Accepted works are paid $40 on publication.

People’s Friend

The People’s Friend is a long-running UK short story publication that also encourages poetry and so-called “pocket novels.” Stories should be between 1,200 and 3,000 words long—so a bit longer than standard flash fiction, but still shorter than many short stories. They prefer upbeat, inspirational, and slightly traditional stories—no gore, erotica, or depressing subject matter. If you like writing sweet romances and uplifting inspirational stories, this is the market for you.
The People’s Friend doesn’t disclose its pay rates, but various writers suggest they’ve received anywhere from £100–300 for stories of 2,000 words or less. The magazine pays on acceptance, not publication, so you get paid right away—which is pretty rare!

Strange Horizons

Strange Horizons is one of the best markets for short speculative fiction. They don’t have a category specifically for flash fiction, but they prefer stories under 5,000 words and may welcome very well-crafted flash work. Look carefully at the editors’ guidelines and preferences, as certain sub-genres are more likely to be published than others.
Submissions open each week on Monday night and close when the editors get swamped, so always check the website before submitting.
Published pieces are paid 8 cents per word with a minimum payment of $60, and you get paid within 60 days of being accepted—which is awesome, and slightly unusual for the industry (you usually have to wait until some time after publication).

Vestal Review

Having been around since 2000, Vestal Review is the longest-running publication devoted exclusively to super-short stories. It publishes flash fiction of 500 words or less twice a year, both in print and online. It accepts a range of genres, but literary fiction is the most likely to be published.
Submissions are only accepted in February–May and August–November, and you can only submit two stories in any given reading period.
Vestal Review charges $2 per submission and pays $25 for each published story.

Beyond these, there are many, many other places to publish your flash fiction, but lots of those places don’t pay—you only get exposure for your work and a potential publication credit.
Don’t get me wrong, exposure is incredibly valuable, and it never hurts to have new people exposed to your work. But you may want to try the paying venues we’ve listed here before going to free markets, just on general principle.


Source:  Tckpublishing