The Single Story Foundation (TSSF) journal has released its first issue. Founded by Murewa Olubela, the journal is a nonprofit that provides storytelling opportunities for Africans at home and in diaspora and publishes fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and essays. Its Executive Board includes Chris Abani, Taiye Selasi, Chika Unigwe, Okey Ndibe, and Murewa Olubela.
This issue has Tiah Beautement as Managing Editor, Tolu Daniel as Non-fiction Editor, and Genna Gardini as Poetry Editor. Its cover art is by Aisha Jemila and its design and layout is by Murewa Olubela.
There is fiction: “Moon Secrets” by Lauri Kubuitsile, “Green Shirt” by Timi Odueso, “Valentine’s Day” by Torinmo Salau, “The Monkey in the Middle” by Rešoketšwe Manenzhe, and “Things Yet Not Au Fait” by C.J. Nelson.
There is poetry: “Dancing” by Efe Ogufere, “Refined Products” by Ahmad Holderness, “Ask Me About Love” by Taiye Ojo, “Splitting Image” by Fahima Hersi, “Spring” by Athol Williams, “When You Say Akata” by Helen Nde, and “Foreigner” by Muwanwu Sikhitha.
And there is nonfiction: “Amuse Bouche” by O.J. Nwankwo, “My Country is a Crying Child” by Ané Breytenbach, “Grandpa’s Cupboard” by Ifeanyichukwu Eze, and “Roots” by Carey Baraka.
Here is Tiah Beautement’s Editor’s Note.
Over the years, The Single Story Foundation has firmly stood alongside other organisations that are embracing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s call to allow writers connected to the African continent to tell the stories they want to tell. Brittle Paper, Jalada, Short Story Day Africa, and The Kalahari Review are only a few of the many rich storytelling outlets that celebrate the diversity and breadth of tales that stem from an incredibly complex and varied
continent of over fifty countries.
Yet, despite the wealth of African publications, there never seems to be enough opportunities to accommodate the exploding literary culture that is sweeping the African landscape and diaspora. Thus The Single Story Foundation decided to add two new opportunities into the literary mix, one being an annual online literary journal that would showcase established writers, such as Athol Williams and Lauri Kubuitsile, alongside less experienced writers.
For the first edition of The Single Story Foundation’s online journal, no topic was selected or genre mandated. We simply requested that writers send us their best. The editors for this journal, Tolu Daniel (non-fiction), Genna Gardini (poetry), and I all agreed we’d rather publish less content and have the opportunity to work with writers, than publish numerous submissions and only copy edit the pieces. There was a cost to this decision: with over two hundred submissions, we found ourselves in the awkward position of having to reject quality work.
The positive side of our decision to publish less, however, was that it
provides time and space for both editors and writers to benefit. Yes, with the established writers, such as Athol Williams and Lauri Kubuitsile, very little editing input was required. But with the less experienced, we had the opportunity to open a literary dialogue, much like what is employed via Writivism, and workshopped the pieces. These encounters do not only benefit the writers. As
the writing is exchanged back and forth, the editors, too, learn and expand their ears. On behalf for the TSSF team, we hope you enjoy the results of this endeavour.
Tiah Marie Beautement
Read or download the issue HERE.