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Friday, December 8, 2023

Chimamanda’s Writing Workshop Kicks off in Awka



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After ten years in Lagos, the highly acclaimed Purple Hibiscus Creative Writing Workshop hosted by multiple prize-winning novelist and public intellectual, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has moved to Awka, Anambra State, Adichie’s home state.

Almost reminiscent of Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Return of the Native,’ Adichie’s choice to move her workshop to Awka this year in order to give her home state a feel of it has won the applause of the emerging cultural community in Anambra State that had longed for her identification with her roots for years.

The Workshop which enjoys the support of the Government of Anambra State opened on December 9, 2019 with participants drawn from Nigeria, Kenya Botswana and other African countries will be facilitated by Adichie alongside award-winning Zimbabwean writer, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, renowned author and Director of Ake Literary Festival, Lola Shoneyin and novelist Eghosa Imasuen of Narrative Landscape Press.

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Participants in the Workshop were carefully selected from the short stories they submitted online on or before November 6 this year. They are assigned a wide range of reading and daily writing exercises with the objective of improving their writing craft and infusing their storytelling with different perspectives.

The Workshop will last for five days and end with a literary evening on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Agulu.

Previous editions of the workshop had been facilitated by Adichie alongside award-winning American novelist, Dave Eggers, the late celebrated Kenyan writer, Binyavanga Wainaina, the National Librarian of Norway Aslak Myhre, NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature winner, Chika Unigwe and the Poet laureate of Scotland, Jackie Kay

Speaking on the workshop, Adichie said “Lagos has been a wonderful and hospitable home for my writing workshop these past ten years. But I now want from time to time to move the venue to different places and it’s not surprising that I want to start with my own beloved home state of Anambra.”

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It has to be remembered that the government of Anambra State under Governor Willie Obiano has been receptive to writers and other workers in symbol from inception. Under Obiano’s watch, Anambra is fast becoming the new destination for cultural tourism. Two editions of Return to Idoto, a poetry festival in honour of late Christopher Okigbo, readings by renowned authors, Prof Okey Ndibe and Rudolf Ogochukwu Okonkwo and evening of poetry known as a Flutter in the Woods organized by Under African Skies, have all taken place in Awka, the state capital in recent years.

And quite recently, Governor Obiano made history when he allowed the poet James Eze, to read a poem from his new collection titled ‘dispossessed’ to a full session of his cabinet.

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