Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Invitation to the Caine Prize Workshop 2014


Dear Nkiacha Atemnkeng,
I’m emailing you on behalf of the Caine Prize for African Writing to invite you to the 2014 workshop, which will be held at Leopard's Rock Hotel in Zimbabwe, from 21 March - 2 April.

All your travel, accommodation costs and living expenses will be paid by the Caine Prize. 

Participants will be expected each to complete a short story during the Workshop, which will be published in the Caine Prize anthology later in the year.  There will be readings and discussion of work in progress each evening, and two workshop-experienced writers, will be available for one-to-one consultation.  You may come with the outline of a story to work on, or simply with an idea.  But experience has shown that the participants who gain most from our workshops are not those who come with a completed first draft – it is much better to allow the work to evolve through the workshop process. 

I will send you further details soon, but first wanted to find out whether or not you will be able to attend.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best,
Jenny

Jenny Casswell
Account Manager
Raitt Orr & Associates
CAN Mezzanine
49-51 East Road
Old Street
London N1 6AH
+44(0) 20 7250 8296

Dear Jenny Casswell. First and foremost, thank you for making my day today and my week. The other day a taxi rolled over my left foot on my way to work. It hurt! But the leg didn't break. Today our resident president had to visit the economic capital, Douala and he had to land at the Douala Airport. As a result, the surrounding area had to be sealed off cars, so that means security officers made us disembark our taxi and I had to walk a long, long way to get to the airport. I started working when i was already tired! So that may probably give you an idea of how happy, honoured and humbled I am to receive this email from you. (In fact, when I saw your email, I screamed and switched off the Tupac I was listening to.)

I want to thank you, Lizzy and the whole Caine Prize workshop team for this wonderful opportunity. Yes, I will attend the Caine prize workshop in the land of my role model, NoViolet Bulawayo, lovely coincidence. My company's regulations state that a worker can take a month's leave after working for one year but inform them two months in advance. I have worked for eleven months without taking any leave and we're four months away from the workshop. Perfect. I will be there. Needless to say, the short story's already a zygote (in my brain anyway not my womb since I'm a man.) I'm not coming with any draft. I will write my story at the workshop. Thank you for this great opportunity. I'll be patiently waiting for any further emails. I wish you good night and dreamy dreams. Nkiacha Atemnkeng


Dear Nkiacha Atemnkeng,
This has to be the best response to an invitation I have ever received – thank you. I’m so glad you are able to make it.
I will be in touch with further information very soon.
Best,
Jenny
Jenny Casswell
Account Manager
Raitt Orr & Associates
CAN Mezzanine
49-51 East Road
Old Street
London N1 6AH
+44(0) 20 7250 8296


Animateurs
Henrietta Rose-Innes (South Africa)
Nii Parkes (Ghana)

Workshop Participants
Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone) Couldn't attend
Elnathan John (Nigeria) 
Abubakar Ibrahim (Nigeria)
Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria)
Bryony Rheam (Zimbabwe)
Bella Zvinemazuva (Zimbabwe)
Philani Nyoni (Zimbabwe) 
Lawrence Hoba (Zimbabwe)
Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende (Zimbabwe)
Clifton Gachagua (Kenya)
Nkiacha Atemnkeng (Cameroon) Couldn't attend
Martin Egblewogbe (Ghana)
Abdul Adan (Somalia)