Ankara Press, a fresh new voice publishing romantic fiction for the African market, is looking for writers. The press is devoted to publishing easy-to-read, purse-size books with African settings, storylines and characters.
Need for African Romance
Women of all ages have always enjoyed romance. They ask for it in their movies, their music, from their lover and in their books. But in Nigeria and indeed, much of Africa, they have had to find it in the pages of Western series like Mills and Boon, Silhouette and other Harlequin titles. It is time that the continent’s rising consumer class gets romances that reflect the complexity of their modern lives.
However, it is not enough to recreate these romances and relocate them to Africa. Many of them rely on dangerous notions of male dominance, control and manipulation that have done great harm to women all over the world. In many cases, women tolerate abusive situations because they wrongly believe that this is what romance should look like
Today’s African woman deserves a romance that reflects the full richness of her life. We want to showcase the modern African woman in all her strength and complexity while giving her the tools to shape her own destiny. In our stories, independent, capable women meet handsome, charming men who will respect their choices.
Seeking new writers
Ankara Press seeking strong, original voices who can tell fast-paced and engaging stories. We want scenarios that discard dangerous notions of male dominance, control and manipulation. Above all, we want writers who will allow African women to see the best version of themselves in print.
The novels should be fast-paced and entertaining. They can feature international locales, but a real African city should be where the primary story takes place. The story should focus on the development of a romantic relationship while the heroine struggles to realize her ambitions.
What we are looking for
The main character should be an African woman between 20-30 years old who comes from a middle or lower-middle class background, and who because of her intelligence, ambition and hard work has a bright future ahead of her. Her career is important to her and is central to her identity.
She must be realistic - with both good and bad qualities - but not so complex that the reader won‘t be able to relate to her. The heroine should be wholesome, likeable, assertive and ambitious. She should not be shown to be helpless, or wholly dependent on anyone. Even when she finds herself in situations beyond her control, she should always have an optimistic and proactive attitude.
The heroine’s love interest should be an African man. He is attractive and successful in his own field. While standard careers such as doctors, lawyers and businessmen are welcome, alternative careers such as mechanics, carpenters, taxi drivers and artists should be explored. He should be sensitive and realistic without being domineering, arrogant, and dismissive. Above all, he should be likable.
He and the heroine should have something in common beyond their physical attraction. While they may have differences which may be the source of the story’s conflict, they should always remain respectful of each other.
No matter what else goes on, the novels should end on a positive note. The heroine should be or about to be in a promising love relationship, but not by giving up her ambitions or her values.
For more information, contact Chinelo Onwualu at: AnkaraSubmissions@gmail.com.
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