Renowned writer, Chimamanda Adichie, has shortlisted 20 aspiring young writers to brainstorm together and share ideas on how to hone their skills.
The writer says this forms part of efforts of the 2019 edition of Purple Hibiscus Writing Workshop for young Nigerian writers in Lagos, southwestern Nigeria.
Adichie who said this in a statement, noted that thousands of bright minds applied for the programme.
She also indentified five writers, who emerged at a previous workshop, as promising voices in Nigerian fiction. They are Chukwuebuka Ibeh, Adachioma Ezeano, Roy Udeh-Ubaka, Ope Adedeji, and Ngozi John.
The statement read; “Every year, I organise a writing workshop, Purple Hibiscus Writing Workshop in Lagos. Thousands of people apply, many of them talented. But we have room for only twenty.
”In choosing the twenty, I look not only for good writing but also for courage and for what I like to call heart. We spend ten days in a small hotel, around a large table, talking and laughing, reading stories from laptops and phone screens. We disagree and agree. We argue and explain.
”We talk about popular culture and politics. We break for lunch in the hotel restaurant, and pile our plates with rice and yams and plantains and vegetables. We take pictures. I ask about the poets they like and I ask about their love lives. We become, even if only briefly, a family.”
“This year, the tenth of the workshop, my friend Dave Eggers was kind enough to come and co-teach and to give these young writers a chance to have their first major publication. I love the confidence, the clear-eyed honesty, and the beauty, of these stories.
She added that a new era in the literary arts has been birthed, and it looks quite promising.
“In the early 1960s, with European colonialism ending all over Africa, Nigeria was at the center of a new African literary renaissance. But cultural production dipped with the military dictatorships of the 1990s, when little fiction was published. Today there is another renaissance, and it feels to me more resilient, more diverse, and with less of an obligation to overt politics. The young writers I have met at my workshops—like Ope, Roy, Adachioma, Chukwuebuka, and Ngozi, make it clear that our storytellers are here to stay.”