Celebrating East African Writing!
|Invitation to Writing Workshop: LIFE SKILLS SERIES for children and early teens
Please apply to attend this workshop:
Workshop Leader: Muthoni Garland
Saturdays – 2nd, 9th and 16th November
Time – 10am to 2pm
Cost – Ksh 3,000/ in total (4 scholarships available), payable on first day of workshop
Tea and small bites will be supplied.
Places – Maximum of 18
To apply and book your place, send an email with a short bio, and a 500 word sample of your writing by 30th October to email@example.com
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Storymoja invites manuscripts for our Life Skills Series based on the guidelines below.
1. Story must be 20,000 to 60,000 words sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Story can be fiction or non-fiction
3. Story must be age-appropriate. Core target age should be written on the first page below the title.
4. Format – double spaced, font can be Calibri, Roman Times or Arial. Must include a title, author name, page and date on every page, preferably as a header. Ask a friend to proofread before you send!
5. Even if fictive, make the settings seem real, and recognizable. Do not be afraid of the local.
6. Use lots of internal speech so that the reader has insights into the hero’s/heroine’s journey of self-discovery.
7. Story must be in English or Kiswahili, though you may pepper in a few Sheng words or short phrases that readers can understand in context
8. Story can be in any genre – literary, mystery, adventure, real life, science fiction
9. But the characters in the story must be believable /real. The heroine/hero must come across as a native of East Africa, not an impersonation.
10. Show, don’t tell. Events should happen in real time and as much as possible, use lots of action and dialogue to tell the story – not , flashbacks and summaries. Make the dialogue sound like its coming out of the mouths of East Africans. We like internal dialogue.
11. Coincidences can only happen on first page. No new characters (angels) after the halfway point. Especially avoid characters who magically appear to resolve the conflict.
12. Story should have a central conflict that explores one of these themes.
|Relationships – boy/girl||Peer pressure||Self-management|
|Family||Social status||Health – particularly HIV/AIDs, Diabetes, Mental health|
|Neighbourhood/Community||Age discrimination||Ethics /Morality|
|Identity – tribe/race/personal||Environment||Coming of age|
|Gender discrimination||Self-belief||Resources – natural or man-made|
|Wealth creation/management||Role models||Culture|
13. In dealing and resolving the story conflict, the characters must grapple with some of the life-skills below. Note that the central character must learn or realize importance of a critical life skill in the course of the story e.g. if they are irresponsible, then the experiences they go through in the story should lead them to display responsibility. These life skill issues are not in any particular order.
|Responsibility||Empathy /generosity /caring|
|Creative thinking/independent thought||Critical thinking|
|Decision making /coping with choices||Focus|
|Problem solving||Practical skills|
|Perseverance /diligence||Time management|
|Managing money||Love –healthy and unhealthy|
|Humour /ability to laugh at oneself||Integrity|
|Coping with emotions/emotional development||Self-awareness/ self-monitoring /emotional intelligence|
14. The central character (hero/heroine) of the story:
a. Must be between 13 years and 18 years
b. Must want something or something to happen very badly
c. Must act, set things in motion within the story (not things always happening to him/her!)
d. Must suffer internal (emotional) and external consequences for those actions
e. Must be the key person that resolves the conflict
f. Must live!
g. Must experience a change (epiphany), that is, learn from having been on the story journey
15. Every chapter should end with a cliff hanger, no matter how minor
16. The life skill learning should be self-evident once the reader is done with the story. Avoid explaining the ‘moral’ or ‘life-skill’ of the story – manifest it in what they say and do and thus allow the reader to conclude what itis.
17. Feel free to use humour, to scale big or small (community dealing with locust invasion or teenager dealing with pimple during the BIG date)
18. Be creative!
Once Storymoja formally accepts a manuscript for publishing, we will edit, title, proof, design, print, promote and distribute the work at our discretion and cost. Attendance at the workshop does not guarantee that we will accept the manuscript for publication. However, it makes it more likely.
As part of the publishing process, we will work closely with the author and expect full cooperation during the editing and promotion of the book. We want authors to succeed.