Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Best of the ICFW Archives: New Writers in Kenya

By LeAnne Hardy

Morrice Okeh and a friend picked me up at the airport. I met Morrice last year at the Litt-World conference for majority-world Christian writers and publishers.  When he heard about the writing workshop I did in Nairobi in April 2008 to produce stories for children affected by violence, he begged me to come to Kisumu where the violence was at its worst.

For an hour we drove east from Kisumu on a narrow, paved road with no shoulders, to the town of Awasi.  There I met for a week with fifteen students  to study plot, character development, and the use of dialog and the senses to develop scenes.  One was a widow with ten children, another an orphan with a seven-year-old daughter. 

Working in small groups
A pre-school teacher proved to be a gifted storyteller.  Two of the young people were the most effective writers.  Tracy wrote about teens bringing about reconciliation in their divided school.  Charlton wrote a rich account of the horror of fleeing a burning house and the joy of finding the character’s mother was alive and looking for him. The group has aspirations of printing their stories locally to circulate among their friends.  I left my postal address and e-mail and hope they will stay in touch, but Facebook from a cell phone is less than ideal for editing.

Read more at the following link:

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