by Isi Esene
Oceanview Restaurant played host to the finale of this year’s Fidelity Bank International Creative Writing Workshop tagged “The write way to greatness”.
This edition, which is the 5th in its series, was anchored by Helon Habila, Aminatta Forna, and Sally Keith. It is designed to guide upcoming writers in honing their skills in the art of writing.
Fidelity Bank has organised the workshop since 2007 as part of it Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to preserve Nigeria’s literary tradition which was made world famous by Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri, Niyi Osundare, Chimamanda Adichie, Chris Abani, Helon Habila, and other notable writers by inculcating basic writing skills in young and aspiring writers.
Helon Habila,the main anchor of the programme, is a US-based Nigerian who won the Caine Prize in 2001 and currently a professor of creative writing at the George Mason University, Virginia, USA.
Out of 500 candidates who entered for the competition, only 30 were selected for the workshop which highlights the competitiveness of the selection process.
Speaking at the event, Habila noted that there are lots of talented writers in the country and, “Fidelity is just doing its part in bridging the gap.” He lamented the absence of a creative writing school in any Nigerian university and advised the government to do something to fill this gap.
Present at the event were the Fidelity Bank Managing Director/CEO Reginald Ihejiahi; foremost poet, Odia Ofeimun; top photographer, Sunmi Smart-Cole, among others.
The event ended with the unveiling off the book Dreams at Dawn and a presentation of certificates to the participants.