IMG-20160708-WA0000It is:

I. Twenty-three writer-people googling each other before they arrive for ten days of reading and writing at a beautiful waterside hotel in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.

II. Emails of short stories, of creative non-fiction pieces, of links to Wikipedia pages.

III. Reading.

IV.  An excellent reception from Okey Adichie — the man with the warmest smile; making Kenechi Uzor’s acquaintance, sharing a hug with Enajite Emuyufuaye.

V. Meeting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for the first time. Reminding yourself to breathe. Hearing you’re in a safe space, amongst kin, within your tribe. Unbuckling your shield. Viewing the humanity of fellow tribe folks. Taking first notes: It isn’t unusual to feel self-doubt. Writing comes from a flawed place.

VI. Writing exercises.

VII. Being charged by Aslak Sira Myhre to affect his life through your writing, to affect the world, to tell your truth, to go where it hurts, to go where it matters. Taking second notes: What isn’t written isn’t part of the world. Normal is good enough.

VIII. Writing exercises. Emails. Writing exercises. Emails. Reading. Reading. Reading.

IX. Making friends. Debating Michael Okpanachi over cigarettes. Listening to Umar Turaki talk film. Realizing Ifeoluwa     Nihinola has an editor’s eye and Ama Diaka should make audiobooks.

X. Emails. Reading. Reading. Reading.

XI. Lectures from prolific writer-man Binyavanga Wainana. A study into the work of Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu. Short stories on gender and sexuality inspired by Mutu’s otherworldly collages.

XII. Emails. Reading. Emails. Reading. Emails.

XIII. Taking more notes: Trust your reader. Refrain from creating self-congratulatory pieces. Read the classics. Know the rules, then you can break them. Animate your stories.

XIV. Karaoke with the tribe. Laughter. Dance. Beer.

XV. Taking a nap while the tribe goes hyper-creative and makes a short film.

XVI. Pep talk from Kenechi Uzor on the business of writing.

XVII. A chatter on speculative fiction. Mazi Chiagozie Nwonu making a case for African sci-fi, for Afrofuturism. Taking side notes: Science fiction ignites creativity in its consumers. The science is mere the props. Stories are inevitably about the workings of our collective humanity.

XVIII. Writing exercises.

XIX. Singing the birthday song to Nneoma Ike-Njoku. Selfies, no… usfies with Chinaza Ezeoke, Chika Onwuasoanya, Chinaza Attamah, Ifeoluwa Nihinlola, Umar Turaki, Funmi Unuajefe, Aishat Abiri, Chioma Okolo, Chisom Sunny-Eduputa, Akintunde Aiki, Pamela Naaki Tetteh, Ige Abimbola, Lesley Agams, Miracle Adebayo, Ama Diaka, Aoiri Obaigbo, Kunle Ologunro, Fatima Mohammed, Grace Saleh, Munachim Amah.

XX. Emails. Reading. Reading. Reading.

XXI. Two Eghosa Imaseun classes. Perfecting dialogue. Uncovering the not-so-obvious mistakes in fiction writing. Rewriting the prologue to the Da Vinci Code. A lesson on how to submit one’s manuscript.

XXII. Emails. Writing exercises.

XXII. A discourse on the possibility of an MFA program in an African university. Quizzing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on her American election story. Taking notes: Research is the backbone of fiction writing. The more dramatic your story is, the less dramatic the language should be.

XXIV. A grand literary evening at the Oriental Hotels, Victoria Island. An Efe-Paul Azino performance. A treasured certificate. An after-party with the tribe. Pictures. Autographs. Photo-bombs. A private movie screening of the tribe’s ingenuity, then of Umar Turaki’s production. An after-after party.

XXV. Farewells that only mean the birth of lifetime friendships. Story ideas. Essay ideas. Film ideas. A learning-space one is grateful for. The evaporation of uncertainty. A newness and a solemn resolve: My normal is good enough.





About the Author:

Sinking (8)

Nnamdi Anyadu grew up in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria. He is a reader and film enthusiast who writes short fiction and poetry. Someday soon, he hopes to travel the world, for now he is content with traveling around his country. @The_Africanist 


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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

11 Responses to “What the Farafina Creative Writing Workshop Is | by Nnamdi Anyadu” Subscribe

  1. Mariam Sule 2016/07/11 at 2:31 am #


  2. Aisha 2016/07/11 at 5:16 am #

    Writing comes from a flawed place and this is just beautiful!

  3. Mikeinioluwa 2016/07/11 at 5:56 am #

    This is very beautiful and emotional. I will surely be part of this one day.

  4. Chika jones 2016/07/11 at 7:16 am #

    Well put man. Very well put

  5. Chinaza 2016/07/11 at 9:35 am #

    Aww! Brings back nostalgic memories. Good. But nostalgic

  6. Munachim 2016/07/11 at 10:43 am #

    This is so beautifully and carefully written, Nnamdi. It resurrects the details of those 10 days. I miss every single moment.

  7. Akintunde 2016/07/11 at 1:45 pm #

    Writing comes from a flawed place. Normal is good enough. Thanks Nnamdi.

  8. Seyifunmi 2016/07/11 at 2:41 pm #

    Kelv, you know I don’t like you but your works and literary spirit is excellently ‘superb’ for want of a better word.

    Soar Brother, Cheers!

  9. Elizabeth 2016/07/12 at 12:25 am #

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Nice!

  10. Olakunle 2016/07/12 at 6:00 am #

    This is so beautiful. Brings back too many memories.

  11. Joshua Oyenigbehin 2016/07/17 at 1:55 pm #

    This is write-up is precise and complicated at the same time, i only wish i was there to experience the heat firsthand. Thanks all the same.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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