threesixtyGh believes in the power which resides with the art of writing. For us we want to tell stories about Ghana in a different way. We want to rely on the power of writing to engage and to enlighten the youth of this country. In July 2015 we successfully organized the first #360WritersChallenge for tertiary students. The competition which saw about 60 students from 5 different tertiary institutions showed the numerous talent of the nation when it comes to creative writing. At the end of the competition, Michael Agyapong, Samuel Owusu Achiaw and Leslie Akplah, all medical students from KNUST, emerged as first, second and third place winners respectively. Four months after they won the #360WritersChallenge, they were invited by Mr. David Dankwa Apawu to serve as guest scholars during a creative writing class at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. Mr. Dankwa was one of our judges for the #360WritersChallenge. He is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Languages at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Accra. He is a literary critic, artist, and instructor of creative writing. Dedicated to creative, enthusiastic, and dynamic teaching as a means of creating and nurturing a lifelong love of knowledge in learners.
The three winners were invited to share with over 150 students their creative writing processes and experience writing their winning stories for the #360WritersChallenge. Unfortunately, Samuel Achiaw was not able to attend due to a hectic semester. In attendance was Michael Agyapong and Leslie Akplah.
The class was divided into two sessions, the morning and evening sessions. Rita Kusi, Managing Director of threesixtyGh was also present to share with students the mission and vision of threesixtyGh and its place in shaping the future of this country and Africa at large supported by Nathaniel Alpha, Content Manger at threesixtyGh. After Mr. Dankwa had welcomed the visiting scholars, Michael began with his perspective on creative writing followed by excerpts from his award winning story Baba the Baboon.
Michael Uses a Story Telling Approach to Discuss Creative Writing
Michael shared with students the official reasons why he entered the #360WritersChallenge. He spoke about his perception of the creative writing process. Defining what creativity was and the blog he used as a launchpad for his writing activities; www.eyestouchedbydew.wordpress.com. He made mention that the first process in writing is to conceive an idea, relating it to his story. Second step was to develop the idea, where he told students to dwell on their ideas till a mental picture is formed. He encourage them to start writing and rewrite, which is the third and fourth step respectively. The six stage is to get feedback, and final stage being to keep writing. He ended with a quote from Creo Concepts “they say there is nothing new under the sun, so we went beyond it”.
Leslie Uses Humor and Real Life Situations to Discuss Creative Writing
Leslie started his session on a humorous note, he told students about how he informed his dad that he will be speaking at GIJ, only for his dad to ask him if they should fry Kelewele for him. After his introduction he shared his perspective on creative writing. He made students understand that the creative writing piece must be original and self expressive. He showed students what qualifies to be a creative writing piece and what doesn’t. He added how he discovered creative writing and why he continues to write. He spoke about his story “Just One Man” a story which won him third place in the #360WritersChallenge. He shared some critical tips on writing, which involved how to get original ideas, how to share one’s work and 10 steps to becoming a better writer. He wrapped up with an excerpt from his story.
Overall the lecture series were very informative and held the attention of students who are embarking on the journey to creative writing. Click on the links below to read the winning pieces from the #360WritersChallenge.
1st Place “Baba The Baboon“
2nd Place “The Sword In The Stone“
3rd Place “Just One Man“
Author: Nathaniel Alpha, Content Manager threesixtyGh