Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An evening tea date with Glaydah Namukasa

Glaydah Namukasa started writing in secondary school when she was introduced to literature as a school subject but she kept all her writing to herself. Only later did she open up and let other people start to read her work. She is proud that a friend finally dragged her to FEMRITE because she was a little scared of being unaccomplished among established writers. She credits the readers writers club hard hitting critique while making great use of the self help books in the FEMRITE resource centre.

Glaydah Namukasa
She also credits the crossing borders program for an experience with professional writers and mentors from outside Uganda. Through the program she managed to publish her first novel ‘Deadly Ambition’ which enabled her to earn her first fellowship with the Michael and Marilee Fairbanks International Fellowship to attend the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference in Ripton, Vermont, USA, in 2006, which was to be the first of many fellowships she would attend.

She specifically wrote the manuscript ‘Voice of a Dream’ for the macmillan writer’s prize for Africa. It was her second attempt at the competition and she believes she was not ready the first time round with too many typos and grammatical errors in her work. She had also been inspired by Susan Mugizi –a previous winner of the macmillan prize – who visited the readers writers club and encouraged people to write for the award.

Glaydah’s motivation; reading other people’s work and hearing of how other Ugandan and African writers are actually winning writing awards.

Glaydah speaking to readers writers club members
Glaydah chooses not to schedule her writing and has no targets but always tries to finish the stories she starts as a rule.

Her first rejection (ironically was from FEMRITE) made her sick for two weeks but gave her the ambition to want to revenge and work much harder. For Glaydah drafting an idea for a story is the more difficult part in fiction writing as opposed to revising the story.
Glaydah is still as committed to writing as only a true writer can be and is in the final stages of writing  her second novel.

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