Kofi Anyidoho Reads Tonight on the Ghana Voices Series

The Writers Project of Ghana, together with the Goethe Institute, will host the world-renowned poet and academic, Kofi Anyidoho, on this month’s Ghana Voices Series, a monthly book reading series organised by the Writers Project of Ghana.

Kofi Anyidoho is an accomplished poet of international repute. The inaugural Kwame Nkrumah chair of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Professor Kofi Anyidoho has won many awards for his poetry and academic work.

Prof Anyidoho has impacted many Ghanaian poets and students, directly and indirectly, through his semester Creative Writing class at the Department of English at the University of Ghana.

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The venue as usual is the Goethe Institute (near NAFTI at East Cantonments) and it’s about a few minutes away to the start of the programme at 7PM.

Go to this amazing reading for an opportunity of a lifetime to interact with Kofi Anyidoho.

Admittance is free.

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Malaka Grant is Author of the Month at Ghana Voices Series

The Writers Project of Ghana and the Goethe Institute present Ghanaian-American writer, Malaka Grant, as guest writer for the regular monthly reading series, Ghana Voices Series. The event comes off at the Goethe Institute in Cantonments, Accra (near NAFTI) on 27 November, 2013 from 7 PM – 8 PM.

Malaka’s first novel, The Daughters of Swallows (CreateSpace, 2013), is a fictional account of three women in Ghana who struggle with desire, ability, and promise in their lives. The author wrote this novel with the intention to “spark conversation and provoke thought, and… have people look at African women and their experiences in a wider [focus]…”.

The reading is the last for the calendar year and will return next year in March 2014. From all indications, it is also the last free, public book reading you will get in Ghana for 2013. The event starts on time so please endeavour to be there on time. The novel, The Daughters of Swallows will be available for sale at the reading as well. It is also available on amazon.

Malaka Grant is author of Daughters of Swallows

Malaka Grant is author of Daughters of Swallows

 

Jojo Cobbinah Reads at Ghana Voices Series

Writers Project of Ghana and the Goethe Institute are pleased to announce the acclaimed travel writer and novelist, Jojo Cobbinah, as writer of the month on Ghana Voices Series. The reading will take place at the Goethe Institute at Cantonments, Accra on 30 October, 2013, from 7 PM – 8 PM. Each reading will be followed by an interaction with the author.

The reading a free public reading event.

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Jojo Cobbinah at Citi FM. Photo Credit: WPG

Jojo Cobbinah at Citi FM. Photo Credit: WPG

Jojo Cobbinah was born in Bogoso in 1948. After schooling in Tarkwa and Takoradi, he went on to study at the universities of Cape Coast, Abidjan and Dijon. Moving to Germany in 1973, he settled in the Rhein-Main Region, mastered the German language, and began working as a teacher, translator, and journalist.

In 1993, on appointment as translator at Mannesmann’s in Frankfurt, he started his writing career with the first and only travel guide on Ghana written in German, which is now in its eleventh edition. The German chapter of UNESCO acclaimed this book as the best and most profound on any African country. Jojo went on to write further guidebooks on Senegal-Gambia and Madeira and also wrote a cookbook on West African food.

Jojo chanced on the life-story of Dr. Anton Wilhelm Amo, the first African to have lived, studied and lectured in Europe (1706-1749). Fascinated, Jojo went on to research the story, and wrapped up the results of his work in an extensive novel, Dr Amo’s Lonely Planet (Peter Meyer Verlag, Frankfurt (2013)). Dr Amo’s Lonely Planet is available on Amazon.

After almost four decades in Germany, Jojo Cobbinah, now on retirement, has resettled in Ghana. He still keeps close links to Germany and also continues to write regularly for the African Courier, an international magazine published in Heidelberg, Germany. He has three adult children.

Three Ghanaians Make Golden Baobab Prize 2013

The Golden Baobab Prize announced its longlist for the 2013 Prize and we at Creative Writing Ghana are quite elated to see three Ghanaians in the list.

Below, we provide a brief on those three Ghanaians on the list. They are all female. So let us get right on it.

For the Early Chapter Book Prize:

KWAME GETS A JOB by Sedem Abla Agbolosu (Ghana)

Kwame gets a job is a story about a crafty young boy who tries to avoid chores by hiding out in town. He ends up hiding in Mr. Koomson’s electrical store and before long, Kwame actually finds himself working! Does Kwame find yet another way to avoid work or does he lay down his bag of tricks and decide to find out exactly what hard work means?  

Sedem Agbolosu is a twenty two year final year student of the University of Ghana, Legon, studying English and Archaeology. She resides with her family in Accra, Ghana. She enjoys reading and writing short stories and poetry and also tutors young children.

For Rising Writer Prize:

SONGS OF THE GODS by Jennifer Sarfo (Ghana)

  Adu is a young boy who’s had nothing but loneliness and silence to play with since infancy. As a teenager, his dream is to associate with the other children in the village but the harder he tries to befriend them, the further they draw from him. One sacred day, Adu is ordered by his mother to go and fetch firewood. Little does he know that this little journey would change his life forever.

Jennifer Sarfo was born in Kumasi. She is a former student of International Community School where she had her A level education. Jennifer is from Akyawkrom in the Ejisu Duaben district. She comes from a family of six who all live in Ayeduase in Kumasi.

THE BUSTING OF THE GREEDY GANGSTER by Asantewa Owusu-Darko (Ghana)

Agents, Kojo and Maya of the Kiddie Secret Service Agency{KSSA} have been assigned a very difficult task. They must save the Governor before he falls into the clutches of a band of greedy gangsters who are bent on taking control of the oil concessions that have been discovered in the state.  Teaming up with them is the Governor’s twins, Nana Aba and Nana Krampa. Will they be able to save the Governor from the hands of the greedy gangster Densu-Mantey? Or will these Gangsters with the aid of the KSSA mole Pius succeed in their devious plans?

Asantewa Owusu-Darko is a 16 year old former  student of Achimota school. Asantewa recently received a scholarship to do a two year A level programme  at the  African Leadership Academy in South Africa.  Writing has always been part of her life and she enjoys all genre of writing, from poetry to fiction, songwriting and even blogging. She also hopes to venture into screenwriting someday . Asantewa believes in the power of writing as a tool for development and she aspires to be a media entrepreneur and one of the inspirational leaders who will take up the mantle to transform Africa .

Please see the complete longlist on the Golden Baobab website. We wish them all the best.

Interview with Golden Baobab

This interview was meant to appear at about the time when the call for submission to the Golden Baobab Prize was announced for 2013. Albeit we were aware of the busy schedule of Deborah Ahenkorah, we still sent her our question. We hope you enjoy it.

1. Golden Baobab is half a decade old almost, what has been the experience so far?

It’s amazing how much we’ve grown in 5 years! Golden Baobab began as the BaobabLiterature Prize in 2008. Given that this year is the fifth year in which the prize is being organized, it’s actually more accurate to say that the Golden Baobab Prize is 5 years old. The prize was being run independently by Deborah Ahenkorah, Co-founder and Executive Director of Golden Baobab, until 2012, when she managed to build Golden Baobab, the organization which runs the prize.

2. You currently work from Ghana, do you have plans of setting up physical offices in other African countries?

As yet, there are no plans of setting up physical offices in other African countries but the idea has not been dismissed altogether. As Golden Baobab expands its work, we will definitely develop partnerships in different African countries with various organizationswho share a similar vision with us. This will ensure that we have key contact persons in these countries who will assist Golden Baobab to achieve its mission to inspire the creation, ensure the production and facilitate the distribution of enthralling, high quality, culturally relevant literary content by African writers and illustrators for African children. We have already started building these partnerships and it’s wonderful to see how many people share in our passion and are willing and able to contribute their two-cents toseeing it come to fruition.

3. You announced the fifth edition of the Golden Baobab Prize in April 2013, what are your expectations?

The Golden Baobab Prize has done incredibly well in the past and this year’s prize is no different. We received 180 stories from 13 countries. Granted, the number of submissions we received this year was lower than we had hoped, but we attribute that to the redesigned prize categories which ask for lengthier stories with an emphasis on content that inspires the imaginations of African children. We know that African writers who weren’t able to submit their stories for this year’s prize are busy writing great stories for next year! We are pleased to say that this year’s entries bring the total number of submissions to the Golden Baobab Prize over the past 5 years to a little over a 1,000 stories.

4. We noticed, from the flyer we have seen, that there are two new categories i.e. Best Picture Book Manuscript and Best Early Chapter Manuscript. What happened to the traditional Junior and Senior Categories?

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The Golden Baobab Prize is moving in a slightly new direction where we have placed a greater emphasis on content that will inspire the imaginations of African children. In order to achieve this, our prize categories needed to change to reflect our vision of a world filled with wonder and possibility, one children’s story at a time. We believe that by fuelling the imaginations of African children at younger ages, we will make a greater impact on them, in that they will develop a love for reading early on in life and grow up with it.

5. You introduced a new program called the Golden Baobab Prize Search Hero Program in June. Can you tell us what it’s about?

When we launched the 2013 Prize in April, we wondered about the ways we could reach out to some new audiences and we thought: Why don’t we get people who share in our passion to help get the word out? So that’s what we did and we decided to call them our Search Heroes! These Search Heroes were competitively selected individuals from various countries who provided local search support for the 2013 Golden Baobab Prizeand they all did an amazing job! One of them, Nana Yaw Sarpong is one of your own. He was our Search Hero from Ghana. The others are Aleya Kassam from Kenya, Lynn Fester from South Africa, Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed from Nigeria and Allieu Kamara from Sierra Leone. We’re going to make this program bigger and better next year so watch out for who the new Search Heroes will be!

7. So once you receive the stories, what’s the next process?

Once we’ve received the stories, we begin the evaluation process which we are particularly proud of because of how thorough it is. The evaluation process is in two parts; the reading session and the judging session. The reading session lasts for approximately 8 weeks and this is the period where the stories are read and scored by the diverse and dedicated members of our reading team. At the start of the reading session the prize coordinator sends an introductory video, introducing herself to the reading team and letting them know what to expect during the reading process. The readers also receive the Golden Baobab Evaluation Handbook, which guides them to score the stories. Each story is read by at most three readers and each reader gives the stories scores. As stories receive their first and second reads, the lowest scoring stories are dropped. The scores from the stories are then averaged and each story is given a single score. Of the averaged scores, the top scoring stories are announced as the longlist. These stories are then sent to the judges who read them and select the winning stories.

8. In the past year, your organization focused more on illustration for children with many workshops (Paul Zelinsky was in Ghana for one of your events), why this development? Is it deliberate? Should we expect more?

The focus on illustration is certainly here to stay. We are actually launching an Illustrator Prize later this year, so that’s something exciting to look out for! Illustrations are the backbone of a majority of children’s book as they inspire evocative visual images that stir a child’s imaginations. We realized that to truly inspire the imaginations of children, thewonderful stories we receive would have to be accompanied by beautiful illustrations that children can fall in love with. As Golden Baobab moves into a production year with our new publishing arm, we will be turning some of the stories we have received into booksand we would love to discover illustrators we can work with to create the type ofbeautiful books that children will spot and immediately want to own

Any last thoughts?

Our vision to see African children reading culturally relevant books will not be materialized if we do not turn the manuscripts into books and that is exactly what the publishing arm is set up for. This endeavour is a huge investment and we would invite corporate bodies to partner with us to make bring this into fruition.

Finally, we would like to thank our partners, supporters and friends who have been with us throughout the years. We are very grateful.

 

Writer for the Month at Ghana Voices Series – Boakyewaa Glover

The Ghana Voices Series is a monthly book reading series organised by the Writers Project of Ghana, in partnership with the Goethe Institute Accra. The series is always on the last Wednesday of each month (March – November), from 7 – 8 PM at the premises of the Goethe Institute, Cantonments Accra (adjacent NAFTI). It is a free event.

For May, the reading is scheduled for 29 May 2013. We received the following release from Writers Project.

The Writers Project of Ghana is happy to present as writer for the month of May, Ghanaian writer and organisational psychologist, Boakyewaa Glover.

Boakyewaa studied psychology both for her first degree at the University of Ghana and her graduate degree at New York University.

Boakyewaa Glover has worked as an organizational psychologist/consultant for a number of consulting firms in New York, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she was a news anchor for TV3 Network in Accra and a presenter for the show Smash TV on Metro TV, Accra.

Boakyewaa’s passion and love for writing has grown steadily from when she started writing at age 6. Her novel, Circles, was published in 2009. Boakyewaa is also the author of several other novels and short stories including Unspoken Words, published by StoryTime Publishing in 2009.

Boakyewaa Glover has two new books slated for publication later this year.

Boakyewaa also maintains a blog of short stories, articles, poetry and other content such as movie reviews. Beyond writing, Boakyewaa has three other passions: her dedication and commitment to her family and God, her avid interest in psychology, and entertainment – particularly movies, TV, music and books.

Boakyewaa Glover is currently a Change Management Manager with Newmont Ghana Gold Limited.

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