20+ Ways To Help The #VoteDressedLikeAPrince Campaign

Kabosh!

We are in the last ten days of the #VoteDressedLikeAPrince campaign. I thank God for keeping us through the first two-thirds and I trust Him to take us to the end.

I am lost for words to express how humbled, amazed and thankful I am for all the love, care and affection you have show me in this especially trying time. It is true: Life’s dark moments have silver linings; you, are its gold.

Through out the week, people asked me how they can help make the campaign a success. After some thought, I decided to do a post on it, please add your own ideas and thoughts too. We are better because of you.

Permit me to share with you, 7 ways to help the ‘Dressed Like A Prince’ bid.

1,2. Read&Vote

This is basic but being human and all, we forget the basics sometimes. Your own votes are the start of making the campaign work. Ensure that you have voted with all devices/Sim cards/Ip addresses near you, including your neighbour’s Wi Fi.

Thank you.

3,4. Share & Re-share

After voting please go ahead to share. The easiest way is to click the Facebook and Twitter share buttons below the ‘Vote For Me’ banner.

Other ways to share include : Free/Bulk SMS, Word of Mouth,Flyers with the link on it, Blackberry Messenger, WhatsApp, Mailing lists, Instagram, Keek, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twoo, 2go, Badoo, Path, Linkedin, Reddit, Google+ etc.

If possible leave a personal note to convince people that it is not spam.
And if possible do some follow up so they know it is important. 😉

Special thanks to
http://www.twitter.com/@4eyedmonk
http://www.twitter.com/@indepthnaija
http://www.twitter.com/@zebbook
http://www.twitter.com/@IykeDexter
http://www.twitter.com/@Kweeneth

And all the other people that have been making it happen.

We Love You.

5,6. Review & Discuss.

Review the story. You can do this on your blog, on Twitter, or any of your Social Media Platforms. Reviews help create a buzz around a story. More buzz means more readers which means more votes.

Special thanks to http://www.twitter.com/@naitwt and http://www.twitter.com/@Omotayome for their reviews of Dressed Like A Prince.

You can also discuss it on Twitter, Facebook, Nairaland, NaijaStories etc

7,8. Blog/Reblog it.

Even if you don’t have the time to review ‘Dressed Like A Prince’ you can at least leave a word about it on your blog. Just a paragraph or two along with the link to the story goes a long way to help.

Special thanks to http://www.twitter.com/@sunkit and http://www.twitter.com/@persius5 and http://www.twitter.com/@newnaija for their support in this regard.

9. Campaign
This involves talking to groups and individuals that you know can help announce #VoteDressedLikeAPrince.

Such groups and individuals may include–but are not limited to– colleagues, classmates, neighbours, family members, church members, gym acquaintances, and exes.

You might also reach people online: Twitter followers, Facebook friends, Instagram fans etc.

Celebrities, Radio/On Air personalities can be a great help here.

As well as Facebook Groups, Alumni, Mailing lists etcetera.

10. Mobilise

Even if you get just your entire family’s devices to vote, it will be a step most welcome. Depending on your location and setting you might also mobilise your classmates, youth group, writing group, co-workers or fans.

All it takes to give them the message and take them through the steps. Thanks in advance.

You can support by using your time and talents to help reach more people with the ‘Dressed Like A Prince’ story.
For instance

11. Taking photographs that relate to to the story.

12. Drawings or art that depicts scenes in the story.

13. Graphics that do same, including DPs, Banners and cartoons.

14. Songs/Recorded readings of the story for sound cloud.

15. Jingles and Video Adverts put up on Youtube.

16. Modelling: Face of DLAP

17. Hosting: you can host a reading or a rally or a seminar near you.

18. Playlets: Short skits around the theme, filmed for Youtube.

19. Make souvenirs: T-shirts, Mugs, Biros, Key rings…

And whatever else your gifted mind comes up with. 🙂

20. Contribute
Lastly you can contribute by sponsoring a contest or sponsoring any of the supporting items listed above.

Special thanks to
http://www.twitter.com/@iudofa
Uncle Taiwo
Magic
The Akpans
Aunt Praise

And other anonymous donors for the support and contributions received so far. God bless and Keep you, more and more. Amen.

Plus, pray for us too. We need all the goodwill, good Karma, Best wishes, prophetic prayers and love bombing we can get. Thank you

If we left you out by mistake, please let us know… so we can fix that.

Thanks for reading, what other ways can you help the campaign? Let us know! 🙂
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Please read ‘Dressed Like A Prince’ here http://www.etisalatprize.com/dressed-like-a-prince

Vote under the story and give all the love you can. 🙂

Thank you.

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We Won! Our Story Made It To The ICCOM Nigeria Shortlist!

With gratitude and humility, I am very glad to announce that,

WE MADE THE ICCOM SHORT LIST!!!!

WHOOP! WHOOP!! WHOOP !!!

Well, what can I say? I am speechless. I thank God, and ICCOM Nigeria for the wonderful opportunity.

All 7 Stories on their short list will be up for voting by 9 am on Monday on their Facebook page.

Please ‘Like’ their page and support us to bring back the prize.

Thank you for supporting the Naija Writer.

Thank you for supporting my journey.

God bless you.

My Dear Mufutua, (A Most Robust Response)

1. #LongRead

2.This article contains Pidgin English, Broken English, Street English, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Ibibio and Urhobo.

3. To be read in your best Akpos voice, with your best Waffi accent.

My Dear Mufutua,

How you dey? How body? I know say you don enjoy sotay, hehe. No wahala, I happy for you. Make you dey enjoy beta tins wey dey dat side, in short, carry go!

As tins be, I for no bother to write dis long tori give you. After all, wetin self? Wetin dey for this earth? No be just to come, eat, work, die, go give account? Where me and you from sabi self? Wey I go come wan talk plenty for your matter? Abi na just dis yeye tin wey dem call Twitter? mbok, no be government work.

The tin be say dis tori don dey worry me tay. I don try hide am, try forget am, try sub-tweet am, still, the tori no gree me rest. Na im I say make I write am, at least, even if you no read am,

1. the thing go comot my mind.

2. Me go fit rest.

3. Other pipu dem, wey read fit get one or two tins for inside am, as our fathers talk, person no dey wey sabi every, na share and learn we all dey.

First of all, I wan yarn about the magic wey you do, as you Block and Unblock me so. Tuale. Congrats you hear? Just dey continue, your reward dey. Liver nor gree you make you block am keep am like that. Enjoy, just know say as bird fly for sky, im leg, dey look ground.

Second matter, I wan tell you say you no try. Me. And you. We dey for inside domot dey discuss matter, you talk say you no dey do, before I fit open my eye, you don submit your tori already.

Dat one never still do, as me self dey try tink wetin to write, you don start to campaign. Your babe dem don dey announce am for Facebook, cold and fear don dey catch me gididgba for heart. No be clear eye I take scramble submit. At least, make we see as e go be, na so I tell myself.

Next ting, your babe start to talk wetin me no fit understand. See ehn, dis world we dey, na just waka pass we be o! E no good make you dey take trouble follow people wey take beta mind follow you. Even Bible take am say : Person wey carry bad tin repay who gi’ am good tin, na so-so bad tin go dey follow am. And na true talk, if you carry bad tin pay back person wey do you good tin, na kasala you dey plant.

Finally, I wan make we talk about dis Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize matter. Onto say, the wahala don already reach international community dem. Pikin wey im mama born am for in front of CNN camera, na to open de mama leg well make camera man film am clearly as e dey commot.

Mufu, na me and you dey lament as nobody dey send writers. Airtel own na to dey throw Big Brother Africa party.

MTN own na to dey dash people private jet or do competition for pipu wey dey sing or dance.

Nobody send writers.

If dem mistakenly remember us, na so-so condition go follow the award.

If na Caine prize, you gat to dey published already. And no be all that sme-sme wey you dey do with Ani, na better publishing we dey talk, for obodo oyinbo magazine dem. Magazines like Granta, Guernica, Transitions etcetera.

If na LNG, you know na. First, as you go take find who go publish you na wahala. No be person tell Amu Nandi make she go self publish her poetry. On top say dey the top three for this year’s $100,000 (N16,500,000.00) short list, nobody fit give am book deal. A word is enough for a lagos bus driver. Owa!

if plenty condition no follow, then prize money go dey less than wetin de company dey share as free recharge card, dat kind $60 (N10,000.00), before VAT tins.

Otherwise, na state of origin sure pass. (I think I don tell you say I don see wife? Her name na Chimamara, she from Anambra. We go yarn later).

In short, for we ‘unpublished’ writers? Country no good.

Then Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize come show.

My own be say, make Baba God bless the Etisalat people wey tink about ‘unpublished’ writers.

Like say dem give this marketing job– sorry eh, competition, to another group of artists like ‘undiscovered’ artists, or ‘unrecorded’
Musicians, we for no cough.

No be say the prize dey perfect or wahala no full am. But at least, e don set leg for we side. If we no ki’ de Prize with our bad belle talk and paralogism dem.

First, first , dis go be the roughest £1000 wey the winner don ever make for im entire life, I tell you.

By the time e don comb 157 countries,

Communicate: Speak 1111+ languages,

Campaign : Beg, ask,solicit, bully, coerce pipu make dem vote.

Advertise: tweet, share to Facebbok, Whatsapp,BBM…

Mobilize: host rallies, do readings, do advocacy, do community literacy programs.

Invest: buy recharge card, buy phones for pipu wey wan vote no get phone, sponsor competitions dem to increase awareness, buy shacks for guys make their ear take clear first.

Pitch: explain the matter give Mama and Papa, say all this 24 hour waka na on top money wey no fit buy keke.

Connect: re-establish all the broken friendship and membership links with long lost cousins, exes, alumni, phone book contacts, unfriendly neighbours, snobbish cousins etcetera.

All, to find votes.

No be person go tell am, e go sabi for body.

Except if im hack am. For which I gats to pause say — Holy Ghost Fire!

Ehn-he, so no be say na pure water, indomie noodles or moi-moi to win this thing.

The competition no dey perfect. We no dey perfect. Life self no dey perfect.

Important tin be say, make we dey chop sugarcane, comot sugar, throwaway cane. Make we dey try look the beta tins wey we fit accomplish with the competition…

For where? You no gree.

You dey follow people wey no get literary destiny play with your life. You dey form elitist give people wey no sabi the difference between Munro and Morrison. You dey form hard man come dey carry last.

Mufu, I shame for you.

No be de tin wey me expect say you go do be dis o! I talk true. You wey at least you don win voting competition before, no be now wey you gon get followers small, dat time your followers no reach 200, yet you still win abi na hack you hack am?

Small pipu like us just dey warm up say we go dey dey dub your maps, at least at-all-at-all na im be winch. Na im you cross your entire answer sheet for the middle of exam, squeeze your paper, throway. Na wa! Mufu, why?

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Follow us to get the next cum concluding part of this letter in your mailbox or leave a comment to be contacted on Twitter.

Thank you for reading The Naija Writer.

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Please support my Dressed Like A Prince bid with a vote. Voting is free and easy.

Open: http://www.etisalatprize.com/dressed-like-a-prince

Read: Dressed Like A Prince

Vote: Click the ‘Vote For Me’ Banner below the story, wait for a tick.

Share: Facebook Twitter, BBM, WhatsApp etc.

Thank you for supporting literacy in Africa.

Thank you for supporting the Dressed Like A Prince campaign.

This Is How You Lose Him.

You are handicapped from the beginning. With your face shrouded in veils, all you have to keep his attention is the inadequacy of words. It is a pittance and you know it, but still you try. You try, to make your affection seen, heard, read, felt. You try to let your love shine through. You try, even though you fail, you fail in the act, never the heart.

He is the real thing. You are sure of this. You have seen every guy in the horrid guy book: the braggart, the brawler, the beggar, the sloppy, the crook. He is different, refreshingly so. You can read it in every line he writes, tweets, and in the ones he doesn’t. You have found genius. Real genius. The kind that isn’t aware of itself or its abilities, the kind that makes a smart publisher rich, yet….

The Igbo in you is livid, how in heaven’s name can we watch this raw gold get snapped up? Just thinking of the possibilities makes you grin, yeah, this is real raw talent right here. You want to sign him on yourself, but you aren’t a publisher, have never been one, and insecurity flaps its lead wings against your breast. You sigh, long and deep. There’s no winning these things is there?

Day and night the thought is awake stabbing your mind with pitchforks, prodding your head with skewers, you cave in. After all, publishers are made, not born. You begin to google then, little things first. Stuff like ‘ABCs of publishing’ How To Start A Publishing Firm’ ‘How To Spot Great Literary Talent’ ‘Basic Finance For Publishers’.

Of course you also come across the elegy to ‘The Last Publishing House In Nigeria’. You ignore that, failure is contagious.

All that changes when she appears.

From the minute you set eyes on her elegant well-tones curves, flawless make-up and cheek-brushing eyelashes, you know the game has changed. This is no longer about keeping his attention, winning his trust, becoming an over-night African Literature publisher or anything like that.

This will be a game of seduction, a dance of desire, a duel of passion and you, are unarmed. Your man will be taken, yes he will, just because she can.

You want to scream, to mark your territory, to put up a fight. You want to paste ‘Keep Off’ signs all over his handsome six foot frame. You want to make T-shirts for him, that Say I belong to____ and type in your name. Instead you watch in disbelieving silence as the dance of desire begins.

She calls, he answers. She teases, he responds. They lol, they lmao, they sigh, they do poetry duets. They waltz up and down your timeline, like a elitist ballet, you watch, like a zombie pawn. You ache like an arthritic joint. You see the handwriting scrawled on the wall– your time is up–but it doesn’t help break your fall.

You fall hard. Your heart bounces once, skids on the slippery floors of hope, then it shatters into a a shower of pink strips. That’s not all, soon, she comes along with her industrial roller and grinds your bleeding heart to dust. You want to shout. You want to beg, to ask for a little mercy. Your dry tongue cleaves to the roof of your mouth. You are ground to dust and a part of you ceases to exist.

Time stands still. Your agony isn’t something the world wants to forget. So, instead of feeling better or allowing your organic remnants rest, you are tossed instead, into the eye of the tsunami. A wall of solid seawater is crashing into your chaos… This time, you know–you are finished.

In the transient, fragile, final moments, between the surge and when you are swept away, one thought lingers,persists, stays: you gave your best, and you did it in good faith, and if this is what you get, let the waves, come, and let them be quick.

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Thank you for reading, please consider supporting my Etisalat Flash Fiction bid with a vote, voting is easy and free,

Open : http://www.etisalatprize.com/dressed-like-a-prince

Read: Dressed Like A Prince

Vote: Click the ‘Vote For Me’ banner below the story

Share: Share the link to Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, BBM, etc.

Thank you for supporting literacy in Africa,

Thank you for supporting the ‘Dressed Like A Prince Campaign’

🙂

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The Thing About Tusabi 2

It was a drizzle then the gates broke and a flood beat you from every side. You watched, helpless, as your name was dragged in the mire of convoluted minds and warped imaginations. You want to scream at them, your attackers, to tell them you were fighting for the cause of Improved Sponsorship For Unpublished Writers. No one paid you mind.

As the downpour worsened, betrayals followed. Some swift and painful, some slow and insidious, all, thrusts of a dagger under your scapula. You were bewildered with all the venom.

What was going on?

Hadn’t these people read the terms and conditions?

The prize was announced four months ago, why hadn’t anyone raised these concerns?

Wasn’t better sponsorship what we had all be asking for?

And wasn’t it true that the more writing contests, the merrier? Afterall what were judged contests but the votes of a few. And why can’t vote driven contests exist with judged?

The questions swirled in your head and the pain pummelled your heart.

You took many deep breaths, and counted back and forth from ten, then fifty, then a hundred, yet the anger boiled in your belly like oil in a cauldron.

Until you remembered, Tusabi was getting all the kicks she wanted. Already she had a spike in her blog traffic and contacts with top officials in the sponsoring body.

Her entry was still up by the way, and should this rather ugly gambit work and voting is discontinued, it could very well be declared the winner.

Or it could be aided by the internet technology skills of her geek admirers.
With the secret ballot the sponsors adopted it could very well be a ploy to get folks distracted and discouraged.

Guerilla warfare. Neutralise threats, confuse and sabotage the competition. Give them a false trail to follow. Make gains and votes elsewhere.

Fresh chills raced up your arms and you slump into the nearest armchair. The sunk chances of so many blind followers and their squandered opportunities cackle at you, goading you, spitting at your feet.

You bury your head in your cold hands mourning all that has been lost–aborted, never given a chance.

The platforms many writers would have built.

The healthy discussions and critique that would have flourished.

The impact of 480 ambassadors of Literature: sharing, convincing, assisting and advocating for reading.

New fans and readers that now remain unknown and unreached.

When you rise from there, you pick up your keypad and begin a letter to Mufutua.

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A sequel: Dear Mufutua, A Most Robust Response will here on or before Saturday. Let us know if you’d like to be notified when it is up.

Day 6 : The Thing About Tusabi

When you heard about the Flash Fiction Contest you were thrilled. At last there would be something continental to support the unknown/unpublished writer. You had little experience with stories less than 300 words, but what good is a writer–a human– if they can’t learn?

Self education began at once.

Read read read . You combed the internet for stories and manuals.
Some were amazing like: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. Some were bleh like ‘Jumping Through the Window at Dawn.’ You persevered. This was your chance, all you needed were 300 words or less.

You read the manuals and spent hours meditating on their edicts: ‘Bury the ending in the middle’ ‘Don’t force a twist’ ‘Begin the story as close to the end as possible’ ‘Make sure your story has a beginning, middle, and ending’.
As part of your warm up, you open a Flash fiction category on your blog and try writing some stories too. Some are ‘nice’, some ‘vague’ but they are read and you are getting better. What more could you want?

The D-Day arrives unannounced. Thankfully, it comes with a thirty day allowance. You have an entire month to write that one story that will knock everyone’s boots off.

Then you read the voting guidelines and freeze like a pillar of rock. It dawns on you as your belly sinks between your rocky feet, that there’s no way you have a chance in this.

You feel still born, dead before you have seen your first morn. What if Japh applies with this tens of thousands of followers or Linda, with her hundreds of thousands? The thought smarts and disappointment floods your soul. Another wild squirrel chase. Another case of dreams smashed to dust.

Then you remember who you are, who you have always been. You are a writer. Unknown yes, unpublished maybe but you are a writer. And writers write, just like fish swim, and sugar sweetens. You have nothing to lose after all. There are no reading fees, no submission fees, no required publishing credits.

You weigh the options with care and decide there’s nothing to lose. Cowards die many times before their death, you aren’t one. So you start looking for the ‘perfect story’ to send.
You write about five, your friends read and love them. Which to send becomes a problem you sleep and wake up with, for a fortnight.

Then you see Tusabi already canvassing for votes for her friend on Facebook. Before you have even entered, you feel sunk. Like the relay race runner picking up a dropped baton, you hurry and scurry to at least get your entry in.

A panic of last moment tweaks has you spelling trickle and phones wrong. You want to blame home trouble or Tusabi or anything really. But it its too late and it wouldn’t change anything.

Your heart drums a reggae under your cloak of anonymity, who will vote for me? What was I thinking? Is this trouble worth it?

Then you remember all the days you spent asking companies to take an interest in the unknown writers. You imagine that publicity and readers can only be a good thing. You rationalise that one missed 100% of the shots one doesn’t take. You think of all the benefits of vote driven contests and relax. This is a win win.

Even so, you understand the risks: being passed over for a poorly written, higher voted story, being misunderstood as begging not promoting, working like a donkey and having nothing to show at the end. The thoughts send jiggles spinning round your sides. You inhale as deep as you can and let the air out like released balloon.

Voting begins and all is well. Campaign teams form, Twelebs bandy. endorsements, you get your entire family to vote. You are doing great, so it seems, until Tusabi strikes again.

This time it is a totally shocking string of allegations, self-righteous dissociation, and flagellation for the contest. The sponsors can do no right. SHE can! And they had better listen to her. Many other writers chirp in. You read and are shocked, hurt, unhappy and appalled.

For one, Tusabi has an entry in the contest! She was lobbying for her friends and you had no clue … until now. Grappling the overt disdain and ridicule heaped on the prize sponsors by a fellow entrant is numbing.

In a flash, you see the backlash, hundreds (thousands) of writing contest proposals shredded in companies across Africa.

“No, we can’t do anything for that ungrateful lot.”

“Please, the last company that tried that got dressed down and mauled. Schedule a Big Brother Welcome Party instead.”

“Shred this. Quickly.”

And in that instant, your entry campaign paled compared to the consequences of Tusabi’s attack. Something had to be done; someone had to write a rejoinder. Surely, the other writers that entered the contest after reading the terms and conditions would speak out before this attack became the canon on the contest. Surely, they would all see that despite the imperfections in the contest, there were good aspects too. They would realise that we have more to gain than to lose by allowing more writers to get read than sticking our ‘elitist’ heads in the sand.

You watched and waited for days; it became clear that no one was writing any rejoinder. Tusabi’s post was spreading like the Black plague by now. It had been read in at least thirty countries and shared by over 100 people.

Your displeasure overflowed it’s banks. No. Never. You weren’t going to sit back and watch this happen.

Yes, you were in the contest. Yes, you were liable to be flayed for seeking favour. Yes, it might backfire, a little or a lot.

But heck, at what cost? If one contestant can ridicule the prize and get publicity, praise, followers and ‘front end’ contacts in the sponsor’s management, what did you have to lose?

Besides, how would you live yourself, if in the end you find that you didn’t get enough votes, didn’t make it into the less than 1% that is 3/480 and was muted to boot?

You knew the answer instantly.
In five minutes you wrote and published ‘God Bless The Sponsors’ shared it to your friends and DLAP team and felt a boulder roll off your chest. Relief flooded your soul– a fresh wind from heaven.

You didn’t know backlash was coming, if only ….

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The introduction.
Check for the next part tomorrow.

Day 5: Facing Book and other stories.

Dear DLAP team,

Hello there, I know you are you are waiting for today’s gist so I’ll just give it to you.

Today (and yesterday) has been crazy. On both days I had exams in two different cities four hours apart. Reading, revising, promoting and blogging have been a few of the balls this amateur juggler is throwing in the air.

By grace, the exams have come and gone.

And there were some really hilarious moments along the way today.

1. A doctor told me the only Facebook account he had was burying his face in his books.

2. Another doctor told me that he had received many flash fiction vote requests from people he doesn’t know via inbox. (Hehe, them go de form elitist meanwhile………..)

3. A lady’s glasses nigh fell off her face when I made my ‘handshake pitch’ (yes they exist just like the elevator pitch, just shorter and more friendly)

And there is still work to do:

1. We are still begging blog readers from India, China, USA to reach us. Hey, this is your chance to make history.

2. We need people to join the team and help share the word.

3. We need a face of DLAP

4. We need a jingle.

5. We need a reading

6. We need people with clout on other social media.

7. We need bright publicity ideas.

Lucky Grace, all she needed was new clothes… Hehe.

But

By grace we still press on.

We don’t finish when we are tired.

We finish when we are done.

Thank you

For your phenomenal support.

Let’s keep doing this,

God bless you.

Amen.