So, things have been quite slow to kick off this year in WriterLand. Of course, this has lots to do with me spending a chunk of January through May trying to get my other lives in order. By the time I turned my beam back to writing, of course June had already caught up with me and I had less than six months to make something of the year. Here’s what I managed to pull.
So I opened the writing year with battling eleven other wordsmiths for a cash prize of N200,000 at The Naked Convos’ The Writer Season IV. Four weeks of writing 1000-word stories, fresh theme each week. It was weird and asked a lot of me, but the reward was fruitful.
August saw me plunge back into finishing up some short stories I had lying around in my drive. Sent out a few. I also had my story from Mothership Zeta’s first issue, “Places”, become Hugo-eligible. I have a Hugo-eligible story, folks. Cue screaming and random pant-less running around.
Lightspeed’s POC Destroy Science Fiction also came in the mail. I opened up the page with my personal essay, “This is What Happens To Us” and laid it out on my work desk for a week. To all coworkers who came by, I’d say: Look, I got published in Lightspeed, fam.
In early September, I started a 10-week fiction course at Gotham Writers Workshop. Renee Dodd, my instructor, was a patient and wonderful guide through all the elements of fiction we studied. The experience got me thinking about how little these opportunities are available to Nigerians (and Africans in general). So when I completed the workshop, armed with new knowledge, I discussed with Chisom Ojukwu (my co-curator at WordsAreWork) and decided to do just that: bring fiction classes to budding writers in Nigeria and beyond.
The WAW Fiction Masterclass
So, teaming up with Goethe-Institut and a couple of other partners, we launched the inaugural WAW Fiction Masterclass in late September. It was a free one-day fiction masterclass with 20 participants, focused on character building and revelation. It turned out to be a huge success, so huge that a couple of the participants felt compelled to gush about it here, here and here.
Reads, pubs and affiliated stuff.
In-between all this, I managed to narrate a story at Escape Pod: “Budo” written by Tade Thompson. Also, two flash stories of mine were reprinted in the inaugural version of SSSMag: “The Izobo Raid” and “Oversight“. I also read a good number of books and consumed loads and loads of short stories from all over the great interwebs.
I have an urban fantasy story coming out in Omenana soon, as well as a story in a horror anthology soon to be released by The Naked Convos. I’m also expecting good word from a couple of US markets, so fingers crossed. I’ll be keeping y’all updated on these happenings.
I’m also getting prepared for NaNoWriMo; I’m participating this year and hope to make something of the experience. I’m currently laying down the groundwork for the novel I’m going to be writing next month, so that’s something. Again, fingers crossed.
Lastly, I’m currently working on three short stories. First one is an urban fantasy about a professional wizard’s apprentice’s journey in Lagos, alongside his wizardry teacher and an NYSC youth corper serving with the wizard. I hope for this to become a short-story-length series, so I’m currently working on the first story in the manner of a pilot. The next is a story I’ve completed about what football (soccer) might look like in the future, and a physically challenged player’s struggle with fitting into a new league. It’s currently in the drawers, awaiting revision. The third is a science fiction story featuring corrupted robot police, political, racial and tribal tensions, and the cost of post-crisis residual prejudices.
They’re all exciting projects, and I hope for the best for them.
Until next time folks, I’ll be over here, overdosing on coffee and jamming Jon Bellion.