There is a school of thought that says writing, acting and some other creative expressions are God-given abilities that can be allowed to play out whether they are well-honed or not.
Ghanaian author, poet and playwright, Hajara Lydia (HL) Daniel is, however, convinced that such innate resources could be polished and better presented through relevant training.
That is why she has set up the Creative Writing Academy (CWA) at Roman Ridge in Accra to encourage writers to reach their full potential.
The Saltpond-born HL Daniel graduated with a Degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing at the University of York in the United Kingdom (UK).
After spending over 30 years in the UK, she moved back to Ghana in September 2016.
Her books and plays include ‘Passage of Love’, ‘Kofi-Growing Pains’, ‘Kookua’ and ‘The Akans’.
“I began writing at the age of five and have always been passionate about reading and writing,” says the CWA founder who is bursting to kick things off with writing workshops from April 20 - 22. Areas of writing to be tackled by the academy include fiction, poetry, non-fiction, playwriting and writing for the media.
“Participants will be introduced to the skills of short fiction writing through in-class exercises, interactions and exploration of a varied collection of published stories.
“They will investigate story structure, plot development, point of view, character, setting, dialogue and the skill of revision,” HL Daniel stated.
According to her, non-fiction sessions would introduce participants to the basic skills needed to write persuasive and intriguing personal essays and memoirs.
Scenes to explore character, action, theatricality and dialogue are among the elements of scriptwriting that HL Daniel and her specialised guest writers intend to impart to participants.
We are in the age of electronic, social and print media and participants at the CWA will learn how to write for newspapers and magazines, as well as acquire different skill sets for areas such as hard news and soft news, travel writing, sports features or sports reporting, reviews, articles, fillers and topical stories.
In the poetry sphere, participants will be introduced to traditional and contemporary poets. They will also deal with topics such as the texture and rhythm of language, image making and metaphor.
“This nation has produced influential writers like Joe de Graft, Ayi Kwei Armah, Ama Ata Aidoo, Bediako Asare, Amu Djoleto, Cameron Duodo, Ellis Komey, B. Kojo Laing, Margaret Busby and many more. It is the dream of CWA to produce more in the coming years,” a source close to the academy said.
Exceptional writing projects will be submitted to writing contests sponsored by the academy and for publication on reputable literary platforms around the world.