By Stephen Ssenkaaba
A cool and warm Monday evening; there could not have been a more appropriate atmosphere for the launch of The Essential Handbook For African Creative Writers - Goretti Kyomuhendo’s latest book on creative writing.
Kyomuhendo is one of Uganda’s prominent female fiction writers, and currently Executive Director of the African Writers’ Trust - a body that links African writers in the diaspora with their counterparts on the continent.
Her book was launched within the leafy confines of Ibamba restaurant at the Uganda museum on March 24 and in the company of literary enthusiasts, fans and followers of this inspiring writer.
In what was a largely cordial and relaxed function, Kyomuhendo read an excerpt from her book and went on to talk about her motivation for writing the book. “It took me five years,” she said, further explaining how she, over the years has been approached by various people with questions on writing.
“I have been asked many times what it takes to write, how the writing process starts and how to sustain it,” Kyomuhendo said. The writer who operates in Uganda and the UK hopes that the book will generate more interest and perhaps help answer some of the questions that her fans have been putting to her.
Susan Kiguli, a leading poet and lecturer at Makerere University’s literature department extoled Kyomuhendo’s hardwork, persistence and dedication that has seen her publish widely despite the enormous challenges.
The Chief Guest, Prof. Neil Ten Kortenaar, Honorary Professor of English at Makerere University and Director of the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto in Canada congratulated Kyomuhendo for producing an important work. “It represents a milestone in African literature.
It means that this literature can be widely shared.” Neil talked about how Kyomuhendo’s relatable stories in this book enable anyone from any part of the world to read and find the book relevant.
Participants asked different questions and sought to have their bought copies autographed by the author.
The Essential Handbook for African Creative Writers talks about the basics of creative writing in a simple, well elaborated style- with relevant examples to enable the reader understand what the author explains.
It also elaborates the available writing, publishing opportunities for those intending to write and publish their work. It also contains important contacts of publishing houses, writer’s residences and prestigious awards.
It is available in all leading bookshops in Kampala and at NICE bookshop in Naalya at sh 25,000.