One of the biggest gullies within the African literary community is the need for platforms, not just for a select few, but for many other great voices who are just as invested in the growth of writers within and outside the continent. Itanile’s hope is that while sharing a platform the focus moves away from what the platform represents alone and shines the light on opportunities that are being explored by other African writers.

There’s a threat to experience creativity in a vacuum when we see other creatives as a threat. When, in fact, there’s much more room for growth and expansion as we share platforms. Every year, writing workshops, literary prizes, and contests provide a great avenue to identify top voices who would remain unheard otherwise. Not doing this limits the opportunities for African literature to blossom and deprives our network the value that comes from collaborative platforms.

Itanile’s Chapter 20 Workshop Speakers, April 2021

With a vision to achieve a collaborative and immersive experience at the April Chapter 20 Workshop, we invited four speakers. Marline Oluchi (A Professional Freelance Writer), Seun Lari-Williams (International Poet and Lawyer), May Ebute (Editor and Columnist), Jeff Ugochukwu (Editor).

Marline Oluchi

Marline Oluchi is an SEO Copywriter, Screenwriter and Communication Strategist. She writes optimized website copies and SEO-focused blog posts for brands. With proven engagement in global development, gender equality spaces, policy influencing, and advocacy communications, she is familiar with traditional and new media monitoring and engagement. She employs storytelling as the heart of her writing, maintaining that stories are the bedrock of every brand, every idea translation, and every solution journey. Storytelling is king and should be utilized at all times. If there’s any freelancer to admire and respect, it’s Marline Oluchi. This is a fact. She has an uncommon commitment to her craft and the business side of it. This is why we invited her on this stage.

Seun Lari-Williams

Seun Lari-Williams was born in Lagos on 28th April 1987. He is an intellectual property lawyer, poet, and flutist. His first anthology – Garri for Breakfast was longlisted for the 2017 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature. He is a regular contributor to the literary magazine – and has been at SprinNG literary society since 2018. He is married and currently resides with his family in Antwerp, Belgium. Seun Lari-Williams writes the most evocative poems. He comes from a heritage of arts and crafts. Seun was recently honored with the ALAI European Author’s Right Award where he is connecting his practice as a Lawyer with the arts.

May Ebute

May Ebute describes herself as a writer who loves giving words to her thoughts. She uses the art of storytelling as a medium for changing society by shedding light on pressing issues. She is a contributor with The News Chronicles and a columnist with Life’s Table Magazine. May is a freelance writer with ghostwriting experiences for clients and blogs. As an educator, she engages storytelling to inspire her female students. She also runs a reading and writing club in her place of work where she teaches students who are passionate about writing to write. Her books, The Lost Doll and The Night God Died await publication. May Ebute has been integral to the editorial at Itanile.

Jeff Ugochukwu Omenyuru

Jeff Ugochukwu Omenyuru was born in a small polyglot town in Bauchi. Growing up, he was fascinated with the mechanisms of difference and how they shape our perceptions and guide us through space, which first led him to write and continues to inform his storytelling. He is also interested in helping the writer plug the gap between their imagination and their readers. Jeff mostly writes early in the morning, then sits with other people’s writings through the day, either as a freelancer or in-house editor at Itanile Magazine. Jeff Ugochukwu Omenyuru started with the Itanile team years ago and has been instrumental to a lot of the magazine publications. The insights he brings to stories are definitely exquisite and capable of making writers finer even on the edges.

Giving stage to African writers like this in the creative space is important to achieving our overall objectives. There’s a need to surround and build platforms with and around future voices within the African literary space. When they shine, then the community becomes a resource that grows beyond individual or personal ambitions.

Yet to register for the workshop? Get a ticket here.