Florence Onyango, who was awarded one of three All About Writing courses last year, recently completed her final module. She told us a bit about her experience.
All About Writing, run by veteran writers Jo-Anne Richards and Richard Beynon, is a Short Story Day Africa Prize sponsor. Each year, All About Writing awards three online creative writing courses to entrants of the prize. In the past, the courses were awarded to emerging writers on the long list. This year, all entrants to the prize will be considered for the 20 Week Online Creative Writing Courses.
So who are the two Richards behind All About Writing? Jo-Anne Richards is well-published with her short fiction, novels and news pieces published both in Africa and abroad. She has written five novels and in particular, her 1st offering The Innocence of Roast Chicken (1996) is considered to be a modern South African classic.
Richard Beynon is an award-winning film and television scriptwriter, writing for and heading up the writing teams of many of country’s most popular soaps, dramas and comedies. These include S’gudi snaysi, Going Up, Soul City, Isidingo and Scandal to name a few. He has lectured on writing for film and television at Wits University.
With All About Writing the two of them put their heads and years of experience together towards helping writers. All About Writing has a range of affordable online courses, specialised workshops and international writers' retreats aimed at nurturing writers of all levels and styles.
Siyanda Mohutsiwa (@siyandawrites) many of you may know from the sensational hashtag she started in 2015, #IfAfricaWasABar, that had the social media sphere, laughing, reminiscing and chipping in about which barfly character each African country personified. She is currently at the prestigious Iowa's Writers' Workshop but her talent for words was already apparent in the wry realism and vibrancy of her Water story "And Then We Disappeared Into Some Guy’s Car."
Another selected writer was Dayo Ntwari who is becoming well known for his imaginative Afrofuturist sci-fi stories. His entry, "Mother's Love", was so different from the other Water submissions, we had to sit up and take notice....
Florence Onyango, a scriptwriter and media maven took the Online Creative Writing course which she describes as "a moment when the stars aligned." She was a bit intimidated at the thought of sharing her work with other writers but felt put at ease by the course facilitators. "There was a lot of effort, expertise and harmony in putting the modules together that made the course feel seamless. What I valued the most were the feedback and personal exercises they gave us in every module, that eased me into the habit of writing," Florence comments.
As the judges saw in "Nyar Nyam", her talent was clear but she adds the All About Writing course helped her "recognise her strengths and what she needed to work on."
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Many thanks to All About Writing for their continued support of Short Story Day Africa, these upcoming writers and for sponsoring the courses.
Visit their site for writing tips and secrets as well as ongoing courses to take your writing to the next level.