Helon Habila, preeminent Nigerian author and winner of the Caine Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize [Africa Region], will be editing Cordite Books—a new crime and spy fiction imprint based in Lagos, Nigeria.
Cordite Books [ www.corditebooks.com ] is jointly owned by Parrésia Publishers Ltd [ www.parresia.com.ng ] and Mr. Habila will be opening its call for submissions for manuscripts of crime fiction from all across Africa. A first prize of a publishing contract and a $1,000 advance on royalties will be offered as well as $250 and $200 cash prizes for second and third place manuscripts.
Helon Habila, presently a professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University in Virginia, USA, possesses a 1995 degree in English Literature from the University of Jos, Nigeria. He moved to Lagos in 1999 to become the Stories Editor for Hints Magazine where he worked for a year before moving to Vanguard Newspaper, Nigeria’s fourth largest daily, as Arts Editor. In 2001, his short story, “Love Poems”, won the Caine Prize and he was invited by the British Council to become the first African Writing fellow at the University of East Anglia. His first novel, Waiting for an Angel, won the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Novel (Africa Region) in 2003. In 2007 his second novel, Measuring Time, was published. His third book, Oil on Water, was published by Hamish Hamilton in the UK and by Parrésia Books in Nigeria .
He is presently a DAAD Artist-in-Residence in Berlin, Germany.