South African Poet Phillippa Ya de Villiers Reads on the Ghana Voices Series

The Writers Project of Ghana presents Phillippa Yaa de Villiers as author for the month of April on the Ghana Voices Series at the Goethe Institut, Cantonments.

The hour reading with de Villiers will take place Wednesday, 29th April 2015, at the serene atmosphere at the Goethe Institut, from 7PM. The reading is a free event, open to the public and will feature a series of readings and performances from de Villiers.

Speaking on the flagship radio literary show on Sunday, 26th April, Martin Egblewogbe, host of the Writers Project on Citi FM, indicated that the Ghana Voices Series, which is mainly an event for novelists and short story writers, was “featuring a major poet for the first time since the reading series began some five years ago”.

Phillippa (left) with Ghanaian poet Delalorm Semabia Credit: Writers Project of Ghana

Phillippa (left) with Ghanaian poet Delalorm Semabia
Credit: Writers Project of Ghana

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Golden Baobab Shortlist Announced – No Ghanaians

180 stories were submitted to this year’s Golden Baobab Prizes. Of these, 25 made it onto the longlist (which included some Ghanaians) and eight to the shortlist. The 8 shortlisted stories are:

The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books

The Princess with a Golden Voice by Philip Begho (Nigeria)

The Little Hippo by Liza Esterhuyse (South Africa)

Grandma Mimo’s Breakfast by Carol Gachiengo (Kenya)

The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books

Seven by Sabina Mutangadura (Zimbabwe)

Rhino by Richard Street (South Africa)

What’s going on at 179 Jabulani Street? by Karen Hurt (South Africa)

The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers

The Little Secret by Fego Martins Ahia (Nigeria)

Pieces of Africa by Kanengo Rebecca Diallo (Tanzania)

Chair of judges for the Picture Book Prize, Zetta Elliott, whose first picture book, Bird, won the Honor Award in Lee and Low Books’ New Voices Contest, commented on the shortlist saying, “I’m very impressed with the range and originality of the stories. This year’s shortlist suggests that there are plenty of emerging authors who take seriously the task of nourishing the imagination of African children. These stories have magic, mystery, and important lessons about the value of community. They confirm what we already know: Africa’s literary landscape is rich and diverse!”

The Golden Baobab Prizes, now in its fifth year, were set up to find the very best writers of African children’s literature. This year’s shortlist suggests that the judges; Bernardine Evaristo, Esi-Sutherland-Addy, Nonikiwe Mashologu, Zetta Elliott, Annette Hansen and Osayimwense Osa, all have varying ideas about what constitutes good fiction for children. This has ensured a very diverse 2013 shortlist.

Osayimwense Osa, founding author of the Journal of African Children’s and Youth Literature (JACYL), is a firm believer in the power of literature. He says, “It transform the world from confusion and violence to peace is immense and so it is wise to get children reading in their formative years. They must have access to literature which is in touch with social functions, individual lives, and world realities and some of the stories in the shortlist do just that.”

The shortlist comes out after over 8 weeks of the rigorous Golden Baobab Prizes evaluation process. It is evident that African writers are passionate about creating beautiful stories to ignite the imaginations of African children everywhere. The winners of the 2013 prizes will be announced on 13 November.

About the Golden Baobab Prizes

The Golden Baobab Prizes for literature was established in July 2008 to inspire the creation of enthralling African children’s stories by gifted African writers. The Prizes invite entries of unpublished stories written by African citizens irrespective of age, race, or country of origin. The Prizes are organized by Golden Baobab, a Ghana-based pan African social enterprise dedicated to supporting African writers and illustrators to create winning African children’s books. The organization’s Advisory Board includes renowned authors Ama Ata Aidoo, Patrice Nganang, Jay Heale and Maya Ajmera. Golden Baobab is proudly supported by Echoing Green, Reach for Change, The Global Fund for Children and The African Library Project.

For further information, photos or to arrange interviews, please contact: Nanama B. Acheampong via

Tel: +233302 265215



Yari Yari Ntoaso Confab Kicks Off Today in Accra – Programme Line-up

The Yari Yari Ntoaso: Continuing the Dialogue kicks off today at the College of Surgeons, No. 54 Independence Avenue, Ridge, in less than an hour. The conference is bringing together women writers of African descent, writing organisations among others to deliberate on chosen topics.

As you would notice, the topics are very interesting, and the 4-day conference is interlaced with workshops for writers of all categories. It is a free, open event as long as you register. We understand, as Ghanaian Book Blogger and an organiser of the conference Kinna Likimani reveals in her post this morning that, the American scholar, author and political Activist, Angela Davis, will be speaking at the Opening Plenary at the conference.

Creative Writing Ghana received a copy of the programme line-up. Below, we publish the complete list.

Thursday, 16 MAY
10:00am-4:30:  Registration
10:00am-4:30pm:  Book Tables & Vendors
10:30-11:00:  Welcome & Orientation
Welcome from representatives of the conference sponsors and collaborating organizations
11:00-1:00pm:  Master Translation Class. This class is first-come, first-served; please arrive a few minutes early.  Led by Wangui wa Goro (Kenya)
1:00-3:00pm:  Performance Art Workshops Workshops are first-come, first-served; please  arrive a few minutes early. Led by Gabrielle Civil (USA/Haiti) and Wura-Natasha Ogunji (Nigeria/USA)
3:15-4:30pm – Identity & Creativity
How authors’ and characters’ identities affect the creative process.
Gladys Francis (Guadeloupe); Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro (Puerto Rico); Mamle Kabu (Ghana);
Cheryl Sterling (USA); Helen Yitah (Ghana)
4:45-6:15pm – Opening Plenary
Greetings from representatives of The Republic of Ghana & Conference Organizers
Plenary Speakers: Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana), Sapphire (USA), Angela Davis (USA),
Rosamond S. King (The Gambia/Trinidad & Tobago/USA)
6:30-8:00pm – Opening Reception Sponsored by NYU Accra
8:00-9:00pm – Open Mike
Friday, 17 MAY
9:00am-5:00pm:  Registration
9:00am-5:00pm:  Book Tables & Vendors
9:30-11:00am:  Roundtable: Getting the Work out (for emerging authors)
Writers, editors, and administrators discuss the many venues through which emerging authors can put their work in front of readers.
Doreen Baingana (Uganda); Latasha N Nevada Diggs (USA); Kadija George (Sierra Leone/UK);
Nana Ayebia Clarke (Ghana/UK); Writers’ Project of Ghana representative
Moderator: Tara Betts (USA)
11:00am-12:15pm:  Ghanaian Writers & Scholars in Conversation
Authors and scholars discuss their work and the current literary scenes in Ghana.
Amma Darko (Ghana); Faith Ben-Daniels (Ghana); Ruby Yayra Goka (Ghana); Famia Nkansa
(Ghana), Naana Opoku-Agyemang (Ghana)
Moderator: Ghana Association of Writers representative
12:15-1:30pm – Lunch – Visit the book tables and vendors, and network!
1:30-1:45pm – Author Portrait Slide Show Presentation: “Her Word as Witness: Women
Writers of the African Diaspora” – African Premiere!
Laylah Amatullah Barrayn (USA)
2:00-3:15pm: African & Diaspora Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Now & in the Future
Deborah Ahenkorah (Ghana), Ayo Ayoola-Amele (Ghana); Akachi Ezeigbo (Nigeria), Michelle
Martin & Rachelle Washington (USA), Esi Sutherland-Addy (Ghana)
3:30-4:45pm:  Authors & Action
How authors respond to environmental and man-made disasters.
Angelique Nixon (Bahamas/USA); Tess Onwueme (Nigeria); Hermine Pinson (USA); Eintou Pearl
Springer (Trinidad & Tobago); Dzodzi Tsikata (Ghana)
Moderator:  Ira Dworkin (USA/Egypt)
5:00-6:30pm: Tribute to the Life, Writing, & Activism of Jayne Cortez (1934-2012)
7-8:30:  Pan-African Writers Association and Ghana Association of Writers Reception, Reading
At PAWA House; address: Roman Road, Roman Ridge, Accra
Hosted by PAWA Secretary General Atukwei Okai, Featuring Natalia Molebatsi, Angelique V.
Nixon, Hermine Pinson, & Ghanaian authors TBA
Saturday, 18 MAY

8:45am-5:00pm:  Registration
9:00am-5:00pm:  Book Tables & Vendors
9:00-10:45am:  Screening of Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years – 1984-1992 – African Premiere!
Discussants: Gina Dent (USA) & Olumide Popoola (Nigeria/Germany/UK)
9:00-10:30am:  Children’s Storytime (boys and girls welcome!)
Ayo Ayoola-Amele (Ghana); Ruby Yayra Goka (Ghana); Akachi Ezeigbo (Nigeria); Eintou Pearl
Springer (Trinidad & Tobago); Elizabeth-Irene Baitie (Ghana)
9:00-10:30am:  Writing Workshop for Youth (young men and young women ages 13-19 welcome!) Workshops are first-come, first-served; please arrive a few minutes early.
Poetry workshop led by Natalia Molebatsi (South Africa); Fiction workshop led by Deborah Ahenkorah (Ghana)
11:00am-12:15pm:  The Creative Process Writers discuss craft and the creative process in written and oral literature.
Camille Dungy (USA); Rashidah Ismaili (Benin/USA); Natalia Molebatsi (South Africa); Monica Arac de Nyeko (Uganda/Ghana); Wanguri wa Goro (Kenya)
Moderator: Madhu H. Kaza (India/USA)
12:15-1:45: Lunch – Visit the book table and vendors, and network!
2:00-3:15pm: Writing Sexuality
Samiya Bashir (Somalia/USA); Virginia Phiri (Zimbabwe); Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah (Ghana); Lola Shoneyin (Nigeria); Anita Cobbinah (Ghana)
Moderator: Kuukua Dzigbordi Yomekpe (Ghana) 
3:30-4:45:  Youth Open Mike
Writers under 20, whether or not they attended the workshop, are invited to read short pieces – everyone else, cheer them on!
5:00pm-6:30pm:  Writing Through the Body: Performance Art
Gabrielle Civil (USA/Haiti); Rosamond S. King (USA/Trinidad/The Gambia); Wura-Natasha Ogunji
6:00-7:30 SABLE Reading
Hosted by SABLE Editor Kadija George & Featuring Nana Akosua, Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro,
Khadija Ibrahim, Mamle Kabu, Lola Shoneyin, & Dorothea Smartt
Sunday, 19 MAY
9:30am-1:00pm:  Registration
9:30am-6:00pm:  Book Tables & Vendors
10:00-11:15am – Configuring the Past & the Future
Zetta Elliott (Canada/USA); Lucía Charún-Illescas (Peru/Germany); Gina Athena Ulysse (Haiti/USA), Ishraga Mustafa Hamid (Sudan/Austria)
Moderator:  Dorothy Randall Tsuruta (USA)
11:30am-1:00pm – New Venues, New Audiences; Literature and Technology.
These speakers discuss editing, publishing, distribution, and the use of other media to network and communicate.
Joanne Braxton (USA); Khadija Ibrahiim (UK); Fungai Machirori (Zimbabwe); Wana Udobang
Moderator: Jason King (USA)
1:00-2:00pm – Lunch – Visit the book table and vendors, and network!
2:15-3:30 – Continuing the Dialogue: Keeping Our Work in the World.
Editors and arts administrators discuss the logistics of keeping women’s writing available.
Janet Badjan Young (The Gambia); Bibi Bakare-Yusuf (Nigeria); Margaret Busby (Ghana/UK);
Roshnie Moonsammy (South Africa); Ghana Writers Association representative
Moderator: Maureen Ngozi Eke (Nigeria/USA)
3:45-5:00pm – Closing Plenary
Doreen Baingana (Uganda); Tess Onwueme (Nigeria); Véronique Tadjo (Cote d’Ivoire); Évelyne
Trouillot (Haiti); María Teresa Fernández de la Vega (Spain)

Closing remarks by OWWA members Rashidah Ismaili & Rosamond S. King
5:00-6:15 – Closing Reception


WPG Book Discussion Club Picks Bessie Head’s A Question of Power

The Writers Project of Ghana (WPG) Book Discussion Club, a monthly book club, has selected the novel A Question of Power by South African writer, Bessie Head, as the book for their May discussion at the University of Ghana campus. The discussion is scheduled for Tuesday, 28 May 2013, from 6.00 PM to 7.00 PM.

Information available to Creative Writing Ghana indicates that the WPG is in the final stages of holding discussions on social media platforms on books selected by the Book Discussion Club. The discussion will start with Twitter most likely this month, ahead of the main discussion on 28 May. The official Twitter account of WPG – @writersPG – as well as the hashtag #wpgbookclub, will be used to coordinate the discussion. We expect the group to announce a date for discussion on the novel so be on the look out.

The Book Discussion Club is a closed event because of its nature; however, it is open to all readers to join the discussion at the Legon campus of the University of Ghana. Earlier this year, the Book Discussion Club launched an initiative to use Skype (add wpgbookclub) as an additional tool in order to expand the discussion to online platforms and to reach readers who would wish to participate, but cannot be physically present.

To join the discussion of A Questions of Power, email the coordinator: . You can pick up copies of the novel at the University of Ghana bookshop or on Amazon and join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #wpgbookclub or tweet your thoughts and comments at the WPG account @writersPG .