Harmattan Poetry Long List

Float with #HarmattanPoetry
Float with #HarmattanPoetry

Harmattan Poetry Contest

After a lot of reading, and a lot of considering, here is the long list! Thank you all for entering the inaugural Harmattan Poetry Contest, we’ll have the top five by the end of January, just as soon as the season’s dust that’s hanging over Accra starts to settle.

The list, alphabetically by author:
Agbozo, Edzordzi: Clan-root’s Demise
Agbozo, Selorm M.: Another Sunset 
Aryeetey, Andy: When the War Came to Ghana
Botchway, J.N.A.: Oh Africa!
Kpeglah, Emmanuel: A Song to Rawlings 
Kumankoma, Sarpong: And Age Wrote….
Muhammeed, Lambon Salifu: Africa, They Mock You! 
Nartey, Jonathan: Swindled Country 
Nelson, Aisha: Stag-Nation
Nunekpeku, Frederick E.: My Love 
Saint George, William: Our Brother Fell Back Home This Morning

Follow Akwantuo on Facebook and Twitter for contest updates and more!

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Five Ways to Write More in 2015

2199
Sandton Library. Happy Place.

I’ve never been one for resolutions. I’ve always thought if you want to make a change, it doesn’t need to be a new year to make it happen. But January does bring some renewed energy and if you’re thinking about how to amp up your writing this year, here are some thoughts:

Start from scratch
If you’re like me, you have a file in a virtual or real-life drawer of projects that, at one time, compelled you. They could be hasty first drafts, semi-polished third or fourth takes or just a nugget of an idea that occurred to you while sweeping the floor one day or plugging away at work. Your fresh eyes on the piece now might just be what it needs to make it sing.

Try something new
If you have a primary genre you write in, make 2015 the year of branching out. If you’re a poet, try a short story or a piece of travel writing. If you love stage plays, write a personal essay. Give yourself permission to dabble and even be a tad bit awful as you’re trying something new.

Find, or build, a community
Writing is a lonely pursuit. And it can feel impossible when pressure from family and friends makes you feel insecure about your writing ambitions. A community of writers is invaluable, whether it’s a close buddy to discuss plot problems with or a writers’ group where pieces are actively workshopped. It makes you accountable and keeps you inspired. Use social media, attend readings, ask your friends if they know any writers. Your community is out there, and with some effort you’ll find it.

Keep a journal
I love giving (and receiving) journals as gifts, and if I was a maker of resolutions, keep a journal would be high on my list. Not only does it help establish a regular habit of writing, it’s a repository for ideas, fears, hopes and dreams. It’s a way to sort through a lot of the junk that we bring to our work and clear it out before we sit down to write creatively.

Read something new
I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction in recent years. Long-form journalism, which is my original non-fiction crush, and many memoirs as I work on my own. Since joining my local library (which makes me feel blessed), I’ve been more impressed with the fiction selection than non-fiction so I’ve migrated toward those stacks. I wander through and pick up titles that are on my life-long reading wish list. In 2015, I plan to add screenplays and short fiction to my pile. If you don’t have access to a library, try swapping with friends. And check out the scores of amazing literary magazines that are online.

Follow Akwantuo on Facebook and Twitter for a great 2015 in writing.

 

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#HarmattanPoetry

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. I’m delighted with the submissions from the debut of the Harmattan Poetry contest. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the shortlist and announcement of a winner in early 2015.

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Harmattan Poetry Contest

Accra in Harmattan
Accra in Harmattan

Accra in Harmattan

Accra in Harmattan

Akwantuo Writing Presents

Harmattan Poetry Contest
Entries open Nov. 1 to Nov. 20
First Prize: GHS150 gift certificate at EPP Books, Accra
Second Prize: GHS75 gift certificate at EPP Books, Accra
Poems on the shortlist of five will be published on akwantuo.org, the literary magazine of Ghanaian writing
The Details:
Limit three entries per person
Contest is open to all writers with a connection to Ghana
Send entries in attachment as .doc or .docx files to akwantuo@gmail.com with “Harmattan entry” in the subject line
Follow contest updates with Akwantuo on Facebook and Twitter

Akwantuo Writing Presents

Harmattan Poetry Contest

Entries Accepted From Nov. 1 to Dec. 15


First Prize: GHS150 gift certificate at EPP Books, Accra
Second Prize: GHS75 gift certificate at EPP Books, Accra

Poems on the shortlist of five will be published on Akwantuo, the literary magazine of Ghanaian writing

The Details:
Contest is open to all writers with a connection to Ghana

Limit three entries per person

Send each entry in attachment as .doc or .docx files to akwantuo (at) gmail.com with “Harmattan” in the subject line

Follow contest updates with Akwantuo on Facebook and Twitter

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