A Writer’s Safe Space at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Home is and will continue to be important in the lives of people. The definition of home has always varied. Primarily, it is where you live with people you call family, who share the same lineage and blood as you. The meaning of the term family is quite simple; it is people you love and who loves you in return. As humans, we are never entirely confined in a place; we move, travel and seek. It is through this journey that we make for ourselves home with people whom we aren’t necessarily related to by blood, but by something ordinary and just as deep. Being a creative, finding a community is just as important especially if you are new to a place. To find like minds open to conversation and learning can be a bliss. And this is what the students at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka have seen for themselves.

The Writers Community, TWC as it is popularly called started in 2008 and it is an enriching community for writers who wish to learn, be in conversations they would otherwise not have with their fellow students, and mostly, exist as what they are, creatives. The community holds its meeting every Friday, where the Custodian (President), who runs for a session, spearheads the conference. It usually opens with pleasantries, discussions on a particular topic from a previous meeting, and the core of it all, submission of works by any member to be reviewed by everyone.

These honest reviews gear towards making a better writer out of everyone as discussions ensue, questions asked, and the learning wheel is left spinning. In moderating this, the Custodian shares copies of the workaround which will be read by the writer, and later criticized constructively by members who have opinions about the piece. In the acknowledgment that art and creativity are vast, there are no limitations to the kinds of work that can be submitted ranging from poetry, prose, essays, fiction, non-fiction, plays, art or whatever it is your mind comes up. Afterward, the best submissions are compiled and shared with everyone via the TWC boards located in the Faculty of Arts.

Apart from these weekly meetings, the community also organizes workshops where established writers come to teach and equip members. The guest for the last seminar was JK Anowe, a poet. For fun, the community holds its end of the year Discuss Night where members circle a bonfire, eat, drink, play games and of course, read more works. It also partners with other platforms within the school to create readings and performance night which are open to all students. The community is as essential as it is for every writer who wishes to grow and can serve as a solid foundation as it has for its ancestors like Otosirieze Obi-Young, Arizne Ifekandu, Benson David, Ebenezer Agu and many more.


Shade Mary-Ann Olaoye is a final year student of Mass Communication at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.  She is passionate about writing and engages with multiple campus organizations and local societies to reinforce and promote her love of growing into a creative.

Shade makes her debut as a blog intern for That Green Tea.

Follow me on IG: @shade_mary_ann_olaoye

 

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