For a first meet-up, The Karakana Creative Writing Dialogue on 29th Jan, 2019 at the Kenya National Theatre was immensely successful and challenging. The panelists were professionals well versed on matters of creative writing, poetry, blogging and publishing. Kingwa Kamenchu – Author. (Madam President) Mutendei Akhaya – Writer/blogger Gabriel Dinda – CEO, Writers Guild Kenya […]
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Author: Charles Chanchori Reviewer: Dennis Peters Available at: Chanchori Reading Charles Chanchori’s, Zoo was reliving a dreaded time in my life through almost similar experiences. Zoo takes the setting of an ordinary Kenyan primary school with the story revolving around Safari, the main character and narrator. He goes through a rough time; from being bullied to […]
BOOK REVIEW: UNFIT FOR SOCIETY AUTHOR: MUNIRA HUSSEIN REVIEWER: VERA OMWOCHA For a copy, contact +254 706 503 781 Price: Ksh. 700 “Until you break the code set by the society, you will never have a life to call your own.” So believes the author of this anthology of seven stories, Munira Hussein. Pitting the […]
Title: Shoreline Author: Jacob Aliet Reviewer: Vera Omwocha Price: Ksh. 1,000 When Nyakongo, a towering giant of a man goes fishing under the shadowy cover of the thick reed and papyrus vegetation, he steps on a sharp object on the bottom of the lake. The leg later swells and becomes painfully unbearable. It is while […]
AUTHOR: MOKAYA OMWERI REVIEWER: VERA OMWOCHA PRICE: KSH 1,000 AVAILABLE AT: Amazon 0723132826; firstname.lastname@example.org. A highly private and memoir – is – the – last -thing -I – can- write kind of person, I have a lot of respect. I respect people who can share their stories. People who can serve their life in a […]
Q. How do you acquire books? Do you have a budget? Some I have been gifted, borrowed or bought on impulse. I’ve never had a budget for books. Q. How do you select which books to buy? I read any kinds of books,as long as they fascinate my mind. I am more inclined to books […]
When Pastor Stephen Kumalo receives a letter from Reverend Msimangu in Johannesburg, he sets out to the big city to save his sister, Getrude, who is ill. Kumalo’s son, Absalom, went to the city to look for his aunt not to be seen or heard of again. On arrival, the cold streets of Johannesburg greet […]
Q. How do you acquire books? Do you have a budget? I’ve bought half of my books. The other half I get as gifts, borrowing from libraries and friends. Q. How do you select which books to buy? I read anything that revolves around people. I have a soft spot for books on spirituality, women, […]
For a first meet-up, The Karakana Creative Writing Dialogue on 29th Jan, 2019 at the Kenya National Theatre was immensely successful and challenging. The panelists were professionals well versed on matters of creative writing, poetry, blogging and publishing.
Kingwa Kamenchu – Author. (Madam President)
Mutendei Akhaya – Writer/blogger
Gabriel Dinda – CEO, Writers Guild Kenya
Chris Mukasa – Fatuma’s Voice
Moderator: Stephen Nderitu
Here are a few lessons I took home;
Find your voice. Discover why you are a writer. Discover your vision as a writer.
How do you price your work? We are here to make money. Be very deliberate about it.
Don’t just write about what you care about if you want to earn. Start with what you can.
Ways to make money as a writer: Training writers, holding seminars, Copywriting, film industry. Be a book/writerpreneur. Look around you.
The things you want to do cost a lot of money. Make the money then do what you love.
- Know who you’re writing for
Find your tribe. Appeal and pitch to the right audience. Think about your end user.
- Invest in your work
You have to be good at it; no other way out.
- Solve a problem
That’s what you are here for.
- Be audacious
No one cares about your talent. Push your writing. Creative writing is about creative thinking.
- Be professional
Have a team – If you can, have a marketer, photographer etc. If you can’t afford it, you have to be all that.
- Challenge yourself
Every month, go out and do something to brag about. Write out of you comfort zone.
- Are Kenyans readers?
“I don’t care; it doesn’t matter. I’m gonna create a product and sell it to you.”
- Modesty doesn’t work
Break away from historical injustices – education system – that tells you you can’t be good enough; that shattered your self-esteem.
Discover your voice; all that is hidden inside and bring it out.
- Do not apologize for being a writer
We are so unconfident about our products (books). Proudly say, ‘I am a writer’ – even to those who ask, ‘what else do you do?’
Don’t apologize for who you are/what you do.
You’re only an artist when you are creating. After that, you are a businessperson. Understand the business. Attend entrepreneurship sessions. Make noise about your writing. (Refer to no. 6)
Don’t work alone. Attend literary events. Join writing and reading clubs.
- Trust your writing journey
Be patient. Don’t beat yourself too much.
- We are the solutions we are looking for
“As creative’s, we need to be on the frontline. Learn the business. Do what it takes. Let’s run our show. We need to understand ourselves as an industry.”
Karakana Initiative is an artist-run social enterprise that provides news, updates, forums, resources, and solutions for Kenya’s creative industry.
Check out for more https://www.karakanaonline.org/