#WritingQuote – “To write is human to edit is divine.”

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“To write is human, to edit is divine.”-  Stephen King 

Everybody can write. That’s the absolute truth but your level of editing skills will make or mar your writing. 

When we pour out our hearts on paper we must always remember that it is a first draft and no matter how good it looks, it can be re-written to become much better. 

It is only amateur writers that would write and not bother to check for typos, punctuation and clarity of ideas in any piece. Failure to do so will affect the quality of your work and how you are perceived as a writer. 

Writers are detailed and diligent people. Don’t give your readers a wrong impression about you because of the quality of your work. When next you write, take out time to look carefully and edit where necessary!

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#WordOfTheDay – Vituperate explained

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Hey Sparkle Writers, it’s time to learn a new word and that word is ‘Vituperate’.

There are two main definitions for this word. 

  1. To criticize or censure severely or abusively.
  2. To use harsh condemnatory language.

The word is pronounced /vɪˈtjuːpəreɪt/ and is quite old. 

Here are a few words that mean the same thing with vituperate;

Against, attack, upbraid, berate, harangue, lambaste, reprimand, castigate, chastise, rebuke, scold, chide, censure, condemn, damn, denounce, find fault with, run down, take to, task, vilify, denigrate, calumniate, insult, abuse, curse, slander, smear.

Now let’s form a few sentences from this word. We expect that you’d do the same. 

To vituperate someone is almost as bad as assaulting them physically.

Because the coach continued to vituperate his team with abusive talk, he was given a warning by the college dean.

It is not illegal to vituperate someone, but speaking to a person in such an insulting way is frowned upon

#PickOfTheWeek – A little bit of everything

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Hey Sparkle Writers! It’s Tuesday and as you know on the hub time to feature amazing peices  from writers who tag us on instagram. 

Today’s posts are from a little bit of everything.  Ceejay Eze speaks on anger. We are not sure we agree with what he says here but then it’s his view and we want to know what you think. farmto table (1)

We love this one by Maryann Okoli. It doesn’t make sense to give up on who you want to be because some people can’t understand what you are doing or who you are trying to become. 

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Thank you Sensei Fawx for speaking the truth. Before we talk about our colour, race, tribe or religious affinity we are first human. If we remember that, we’d treat the next person to us much better. farmto table (3)    Muhamad Solati speaks the truth with this one! Until we connect our pen to heart our voice will just be an echo. farmto table (4).png 

If you would like to be featured on Pick of the Week, don’t forget to tag @thesparklewritershub on Instagram.

#GrammarSeries – When to use ‘due to’ and ‘because’

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Hello Grammar lovers! We are here to share something new with you. We hope you are just as interested as we are. 

Today we are talking about the correct way to use ‘due to’ and ‘because’ in a sentence. 

There’s a traditional way and a rebel way. The traditional view is that you should use “due to” only as an adjective, usually following the verb “to be”

Look at this example, if you say, “The cancellation was due to rain,” the words “due to” modify “cancellation.

That sentence is a bit stilted, but it fits the traditionalist rule.

If you wanted to be more casual, you could say, “It was canceled because of rain.” You are however not allowed to say, “It was canceled due to rain” because “due to” doesn’t have anything to modify. It’s acting like a preposition in that sentence, and purists argue that “due to” is an adjective; it shouldn’t be a compound preposition.

We hope this explains it properly. Until next time remember to keep your grammar in check. 

Download the Afriwowri Ebook, ‘The different shades of a Feminine Mind’

Afriwowri (African Women Writers) Literary Project Team, in collaboration with Writivism, The Sparkle Writer’s Hub, The Radioactive Blog and Africa Matters is excited to announce the official release of the anthology, ‘The Different Shades of a Feminine Mind’.

‘The Different Shades of a Feminine Mind’ (A daybook of the African woman’s narrative) is an anthology of short stories which explores diverse feminine themes from a woman’s perspective. The purpose of this project was to curate fresh, unique and startling voices telling a holistic collection of daily African experiences which appreciates the nuances in each story.

This book features stories from writers from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Eastern Cape, and the United States.

The book is only available as an electronic book (pdf – digital book), and is also available as a free download from different sites such ISSUU and datafilehost.

Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, writer, poet and founder of the Babishai Niwe (BN) Poetry Foundation praised the short stories;

“I deeply appreciate that the narratives sway from the usual and hold their own, in unapologetic, melodramatic and confident poise. The characters are people we know, they are a mirror of whom we purport to be, of our urban and rural communities.”

Use these links to download your copy of the book:

http://www.datafilehost.com/d/4b184ed0

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzuIDV337byBLS1FMHJMTW9velU/view?usp=drivesdk

https://issuu.com/radioactiveblog/docs/the_different_shades_of_a_feminine_

Enjoy the read!

The world doesn’t need another Shakespeare or J.K Rowling, it needs you!

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Shakespeare, J.K Rowling, Stephen King, Jeff Goins, Ernest Hemingway – we admire their work, we marvel at their creativity and definitely want to read more from them. What we don’t want is to read another person who is failing at trying to sound or write like they do! Nope we are not interested. 

Writing is simple; it is about looking at the world and saying what you see. If you are trying to say what someone else sees you will struggle for the most part of it. 

One sure way to ruin all your chances of becoming a good writer is by trying to be someone you’re not. The reason that you’re intimidated by other writers is probably because you think you need to become like them to be a good writer. Absolutely not. 

You might be thinking that the best way to get to the top of the writing ladder is to read about the daily routines of Dickens and the like and to follow their every step. You might be thinking that you need to read all the classical literature you can find and follow every single element of their writing styles. At best that will only get you to a wear a mask. No matter how accurately you can copy the writing styles of the great wordsmiths, you still won’t be as good as the original. People will see through the fraud that you’ll become. You won’t become a trendsetting phenomenon in the writing world.

The world doesn’t need another Shakespeare. The world needs something new, original, and authentic. And the only way you can bring in something new into the world is if you show the unique way in which you see your world.

The world is waiting for the manifestation of your talent! 

Grow your social media followership through your blog

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Blogging is a blessing! Amongst the many benefits, blogging helps you grow your social media follower base consistently. You didn’t know that? Now you know. If you have always wanted your numbers on social media to improve, pay close attention to your blog posts and publish consistently.

Although blogging is not the only way to improve your numbers, your readers are one of the first and maybe your most loyal followers. Once you have picked a steady date and time when you’d be posting those who love your work will, consciously or unconsciously, also want to relate with you and get to know the face behind the blog.

This is why you should help them locate you easily. Put up direct links to your social media pages on your blog where your readers can easily find it and follow you. It is also important to mention to your followers to follow you across the various social media platforms. Sometimes putting it up is not enough, you have to say it. Little by little you’d begin to notice an increase in your social media numbers and if the content on social media is as good as what you put on the blog you’d keep them.

Please remember that this is not a magical way to grow numbers but if you are consistent you’d get the rewards.

#WriterSpotlight – “I am a silent type, I talk, but not serious talk. My writing speaks for me.” Bankole Wright

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Welcome to another #WriterSpotlight on The Sparkle Writer’s Hub. Bankole Wright is a writer and editor and we are glad to feature him today. We hope you learn a thing or two from his interview. 

Hello Bankole. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

Hello. Ok I am Bankole Wright, a graduate of Lagos State University where I studied English, majored in Literature. I am a writer, a book editor and a growing academic. I have a deep passion for teaching and writing. I love talking literature and creative writing, I love the fact that I create stories, both those that exist and those that don’t.

How did your journey as a writer begin?

Writing started at age 14, then I used to write juvenile love poems which usually ended in dustbins. I wrote songs as well. I just wrote because that was where I found fulfillment and joy. Growing up, I became conscious of my ability to create stories, and the fulfillment I derived from writing. Then I took writing more seriously, I began to write poems for several poetry sites such as Poetrysoup. I also wrote stories and articles at naija stories. I wrote at Pulse Ng where I was a blogger, then I started writing for OYA magazine till now.

What do you love most about writing?

Writing makes me feel like a god, genius and immortal. I am a silent type, I talk oh, but not serious talk, so my writing speaks for me.

In what ways has your writing grown since you stated writing?

For me, my writing  has really improved as a result of the frequent writing engagements I have had over time. They have pushed me to study deeply and I practice all I read to the letter.

Where do you get inspiration from when you want to write a story?

I derive inspiration from everything around me, both tangible and intangible. I observe tinniest details.

There are people who believe that writing can never be financially rewarding. What are your thoughts about this?

(Smiles), concerning finance, writing rewards. You need to create a niche for yourself to the point that you alone will be preferred and patronized. As a writer, if you work hard, you will be richly rewarded.

What lessons have you learnt since you started managing Oya magazine?

Hard Work, oh I have really learnt hard work. Also I learnt commitment and dedication, loyalty and consistency. OYA magazine has really built me and is still building me.

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What is your ultimate dream as a writer?

My ultimate dream as a writer is to be an influential one whose works are reputable and internationally acknowledged.

Do you think you will ever retire from writing?

(laughs). Writing is my life, retiring is like dying.

It’s one thing to write and another to help others edit books, how did you upgrade your skill?

I simply schooled myself in it. I got books on editing, I studied and I practiced and then I started helping friends for free, with time I was getting paid.              

Aside from writing, what are your other hobbies?

Aside writing, I read. I love reading a lot, like a real lot. I read anything and everything. I actually have a boring life to some people, but believe me, this is the life I choose.

Any advice for other writers out there?

Writing isserious business and it is a venture of the intelligent and disciplined. Also, don’t get caught up in trying to impress, just love what you do and do it with excellence.

 

Meet the writers for the Afriwowri Literary Project E- book!

 

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We’re so excited to announce that the AfriWowWri E-Book edited by our Founder, Adedoyin Jaiyesimi will be released on Monday 9th October. While we await the release we want you to meet all the amazing women that contributed to this book from different countries of the world! We even have writers from The Sparkle Writers Hub contributing to this book. Isn’t that exciting? 

Nokwanda Zakiyyah Shabangu – Let Lovers Make Love

 

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I am the single mother of a four-year-old named after the deepest river in the world. A performance poet and vocalist who has graced only a handful of stages because I spend my days contesting social ills. I’d like to think of myself as a humanitarian who places emphasis on grassroot activism. To mobilise notions of freedom using my writing, singing and very being. To summarise what you can find on LinkedIn… I am a Digital Content Editor (DiCE) for an organisation that supports small businesses, youth development and women’s empowerment with a focus on technology and innovation.

Kingwa Kamencu – An argument with my Landlord

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Kingwa Kamencu is a writer based in Nairobi. She has written and published a novella To Grasp at a Star (East African Educational Publishers) and a childrens book, The Shy Girl (Oxford University Press). To Grasp at a Star has won numerous awards in Kenya. Kingwa’s poetry and short stories have been published in anthologies locally and internationally. Kingwa also wrote scripts for the highly acclaimed Kenyan TV series ‘Stay’ (season 2). She enjoys writing and reading humor and has been influenced by writers including Wahome Mutahi, Richmal Crompton, Frank Richards, Sophie Kinsella and Kate Getao. Kingwa holds an MSt. in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford (UK).

Hadiza Mohammed 

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Hadiza Mohammed is a Nigerian. She lives and writes from Abuja. She is the author of the Children’s book My Life as an Almajiri. She has been published in Brittle Paper, Saraba Magazine, Praxismagonline and Kalahari Review

Holly Ajala – Skin Deep

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Holly Ajala is a writer and storyteller with a fierce belief in the power of effective narrative to inspire empathy in the face of difference, to propel the reach of social justice and above all to challenge humans beings to be more human. To these ends, Holly has worked with the NYU Leadership Initiative, the ACLU Racial Justice Project , and the NYC Collaborative Writing Project to amplify the reach of marginalized voices, narratives, stories and communities. Holly currently writes for AYO Magazine, an online publication dedicated to honest and multifaceted portrayals of black women in search of joy. She is a recent NYU graduate with a B.A. in Politics and Africana Studies.

Natasha Omokhodion Kalulu Banda – Mirage

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I am a 33-year-old woman from Zambia with a career in marketing and event management.  I feel as though my generation was found at the tail end of the pre-World Wide Web age.  What was referred to as modern history when we were teenagers, was only ninety years since Africa was being carved up and shared, fifty since the last World War and thirty years since most African countries gained independence.  Hence, I feel that we have a unique perspective, which, like a confluence, brings together the old and the new.  My prayer is that we share this with the world through our story-telling. I love Africa – its history, its present and mostly, its future. 

Charissa Cassels – We are Queens

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 I am Coloured Woman, aged 21 and I am a Third year Journalism and Media Studies student and I major in Politics as well. I am an activist at heart and believe that we cannot rest and cannot allow us to ourselves to be tired while people are still oppressed and marginalized. It is our duty, not as citizens, but as human beings, to fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves and to speak for those who have lost their voices. We cannot lose faith and hope, we are fighters and we shall fight until the fight is won.

Ife Olujuyigbe – How to grab a Furnance

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Ife Olujuyigbe is a writer and chemical engineer. Her literary works have appeared on Brittle Paper, The Naked Convos, Storried Nigeria, Akoma, WordsAreWork, Paragraph Planet, ShortSharpShort magazine to mention a few. She has also won literary competitions The Blackout (2016) and the SGNT Media Short Story Prize (2016). She is passionate about children, art,  scrabble, potato chips and chicken.

Victoria Naa Takia Nunoo – Laide

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Victoria Naa Takia Nunoo is a Ghanaian writer, poet, and a reader with recent bias towards reading African Literature. Her work has appeared in The Kalahari Review and is forthcoming in other literary magazines. She currently lives in Greater Accra, Ghana. You can read more of her work on her blog or connect with her via Twitter or Instagram.

Catherine Shepherd – Forty-eight Hours

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Catherine has a degree in journalism from Rhodes University. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including My Holiday Shorts, My Maths Teacher Hates Me, Imagine Africa 500 and the 2016 Writivism Anthology. Her latest project was the editing of a young writers anthology  ‘Misplaced and Other Stories’ under the supervision of author and editor Karina Szczurek and Rachel Zadok, founder of Short Story Day Africa. She lives in Cape Town, but has plans to build a writer’s retreat in the historic village of Suurbraak in the Langenberg mountains.

Ros Limbo – Landmines in my mind

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Writer, blogger, yogi and lover of life.

http://memoirsofavirginprostitute.com

Maame Akua Tsetsewa Yawson – My Scars, your scars

Maame Akua Tsetsewa Yawson  is a 21 year old Ghanaian-based final year undergraduate student offering Architecture and a blogger (www.notesofakukieblog.wordpress.com). An avid reader herself, she loves to explore all forms of creative writing, especially poetry and story writing. Oh and yes! she loves chocolate and interactions on social media too

Wonuola Lawal – The Angels are upon us

 

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Wonuola Lawal is a photographer and writer whose work focuses on exploring the identities and vulnerabilities of herself and others.

Ifunanya Adannaya Anih – How to Grab a Furnace

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Ifunanya Adannaya Anih is an aspiring Nigerian author who is of Igbo descent. She graduated from the University of Nigeria Nsukka where she studied English and Literature. Her interests include matters surrounding Gender, Culture and Art.She lives everyday with the hope that through stories told by prose and poetry, she will reach out to the world and touch lives.

Oke Bamidele – My Dirty little secrets

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My name is Oke Bamidele. I write under the pseudonym, Oke Peter. My first novel titled, ‘A Life Past Perfect’ was first published online in 2012 and then republished in 2015, both times by ComicBandit Press.I have worked as a teacher in a secondary school in Lagos state, Nigeria for 3 years, teaching the English language. I also have a 2-year experience working as a Content Writer with two prestigious media firms also in Lagos. Presently, I work as a Reading Tutor for primary school children

Sanyu Kiyimba-Kisaka – Operation : Mother’s bruises

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Sanyu Kiyimba-Kisaka is a professional actress, a poet, playwright and dancer. After winning the BN poetry award in 2011, she commenced her acting career and has so far staged her own play, “Black”, at the Kampala International Theatre Festival while also appearing in several other stage plays and films such as “Silent Voices”,  “The Betrayal” and as lead actress in the film “Faithful”, to name a few. She hopes to continue on in her artistic journey and glorify God as she does so.

Beti Baiye – Hiding under the cloak of Indifference

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Beti is a writer, an editor and a Child Rights Advocate. In her free time, she indulges in fiction writing and spoken word that explores human complexities. You can find her on Instagram betibaiye and twitter

@betihez; on Child Advocacy matters, you can email her on beti@childprotectionhub.org.

Pearl Mokgatlhane – Fortitude

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Pearl Mokgatlhane is an avid reader and an upcoming writer born in Botswana .  She has no professional training as a writer , but aspires to be a well published writer. She is currently editing her first anthology.  She worked in the publishing and distributing industry for 5 years. Her favourite misqouted qoute reads “ never trust anyone with no books in their home nor coffee”

Francisca Ogechi Okwulehie – Escape

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Francisca Ogechi Okwulehie is the Author of Tari’s Golden Fleece an African Fiction based Novella and a graduate of Philosophy from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

She worked as a radio presenter on the programme Girl’s timeout on Unilag (103.1)FM, and as a journalist has reported and contributed for feminine lifestyle magazines.

As a multipassionate individual, she is the founder of Smile-Africa Foundation a Nonprofit organization and is also the CEO of Moncoeur Global Concept and Moncoeur Proposals a marriage proposal and event planning company. She undertakes a Creative writing workshop for secondary school students once a year.

She is a recipient of the Educate a Girl (EAG) scholarship on the &Fundamentals of Journalism& funded by the Ladies Fund in conjunction with the Whole Woman Network of Canada and the Dawood Global Foundation of Pakistan.

She currently writes a Column on DRIVE an entrepreneurship Magazine. Her penchant for highlife music leaves her listening to it when she is not reading or writing.

Ololade Ajekigbe – Beauty’s Curse

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Ololade Ajekigbe is a Nigerian essayist, fiction, non-fiction and copywriter who blogs weekly at her online home http://www.lolosthoughts.com. Her articles have been published on several platforms, including Punch Newspapers, City People, YNaija.com, and Inflyt Magazine. Ololade describes herself as introspective, resilient and a rebel at heart. When she’s not reading or writing, you can catch her at the movies or enjoying a good dance. She is a huge fan of Manchester United Football Club, and lives with her family in Lagos.

Acan Innocent Immaculate –First Light

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Acan Innocent Immaculate is a Ugandan writer currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery. She won the 2016 Writivism Short Story Prize and has been published by Omenana, Brittle Paper, and AFREADA.

 

#WritingQuote – Writing is an exploration, you start from nothing and learn as you go

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The notion new writers have that they need to know all there is to know (as if that’s even possible) about writing before they call themselves writers is so wrong and honestly pretty much unrealistic.

No one knows all there is to know about writing. We all just continue to explore our abilities, learn new things and increase our capabilities. 

Ask anyone who is on a roll in this profession, they do a whole lot of exploring and trying out new things. If you are hesitant to do this you will not go very far and that’s the honest truth. 

So explore and improve yourself daily.