Storytime gets people talking

storytimeStorytime, a new free African fiction ezine, in collaboration with BWAZ, held a joint literary discussion on internet and digital publishing, performance poetry, and co-joining creative writing and journalism, at the BWAZ Head Office in Harare on September 20, 2009.

About twenty aspiring authors and poets attended the workshop which was facilitated by 2008 Baobab Prize winning Zimbabwean author and Editor-in-Chief of Storytime, Ivor W Hartmann, journalist and poet Fungai Machirori, writer David Mungoshi and poet Tinashe Muchuri. Putting weight to the discussion was the presence of acclaimed writer Memory Chirere.

With reference to Storytime, a blog he created in 2007, Hartmann noted that publishing on the internet made him discover that although it promotes international exposure, internet publishing limited him from reaching out to the majority of his countrymen. He said internet access in Africa was miserably still limited, and this is the gap which paper publishing industry chips in to bridge and complement cyberspace. With the rising cost of print publishing, it means not many people will not be able to read African stories published on the internet.

Fungai Rufaro Machirori said the marriage between creative writing and journalism was sometimes inevitable.

Journalism is a much more disciplined profession. There are deadlines to be adhered to, editorial policy to observe and so forth. The same discipline is applicable in our creative writing. One can set deadlines for himself and decide which proper point of view to take, she said.

Giving examples of published creative writers who are also columnists for newspapers, Machirori said journalism gave a writer motivation and some more space to grow. She urged the gathered budding writers to consider exploring the creative side of journalism.

Tinashe Muchuri stressed the importance of pre-performance preparations and said those preparations included facial and breathing exercises. He later gave a performance of one his Shona poems which got everyone laughing.

David Mungoshi who will be in Accra, Ghana, in November this year for the 20th Anniversary of the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA), strongly urged the budding writers to do some research before they put pen to paper. He also gave a preview of his paper.

Post published in: Arts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *