By Ibrahim Ramala —
Dr Emman Shehu, the President of Abuja Writers’ Forum (AWF) has appealed to the Federal Government for grants to writers and publisher to boost the literary sector. Shehu made the call in an interview with newsmen at the sidelines of the AWF’s guest writer session on Saturday in Abuja.
“Th ere is absolute need for publishing grants so that writers and people, who have publishing houses, can, go and get some grants to help in the production of books. “Th ere should also be marketing grant to marketers of literary works; this is because it is not everybody that can have his books on the school syllabus. “Th is is also because books can only sell faster if they are in school syllabus. Th us, there is a stiff competition among books to be in school syllabus.
“So, therefore, government need to seriously address the gap that exist in the structure of publishing books and the book industry in Nigeria,” Shehu said. On the AWF guest writer session, he said it was a monthly activity guest writers coming from other parts of the country to participate and showcase their work. He explained that with grants from the Federal Government, the activities of the forum could be taken to the grassroots to also encourage writers from all nooks and crannies of the country.
Shehu maintained that the forum was an intervention to help people, who were interested in writing, but do not know how to write. “And also help publish writers, who do not have platform to push their works out. “We are hoping to have stakeholders that will invest in what we are doing so we can even do more through their interventions,” Shehu said. Newsmen report that AWF was founded nine years ago with the aim to help and sharpen the skills of writers and connect them to publishers in the country to bring out educative works.