30-day book writing challenge launched in Malawi: Charles Simango returns to writing

A book-writing challenge has been launched in Malawi where prospective authors will be working with an accomplished writer to have their book written in 30 working days.

Simango: Thinking aloud columnist back to creative writting
Simango: Thinking aloud columnist back to creative writting

Charles Simango, a former Editor-In-Chief for Times Group (formerly Blantyre Newspapers) and the popular but now defunct The Democrat Newspaper, says he has decided to commit most of his time in the coming year to help Malawi produce as many books as possible.

“The Malawi literary landscape is pathetic as there are very few books coming onto the market and, unless we start doing something about it, the legacy of  Malawi’s accomplished writers such as J. Gwengwe, Ken Lipenga, the late Steve Chimombo will vanish into thin air,”Simango said in response to a Nyasa Times questionnaire.

He said he will be working with interested Malawians to write and publish their own books where they will tell their stories of success and challenges, or that merely focus on issues of their profession or trade.

Simango went on to explain that has since been swamped with requests for participation following the launch of the Challenge on his Facebook page.

“My target was to work with ten people but, in less than 24 hours, we are already beyond that number in terms of people who have expressed interest, however, the door will remain open for a short while as we are yet to see how many will actually meet the requirements,” he explained.

Simango told Nyasa Times that he had been very reluctant to return to writing since he left the industry in 1999. He said his passion returned after a celebrity friend of his convinced him to help him write his book.

“From the day I started working on his material, I started liking what I was doing and, now, all I want to do write a good  story just like his,” he said,  adding that he expects the book in question to be out late January or early February 2017.

Asked why and who should consider writing Simango had this to say: “Most people consider book writing as something reserved for gifted writers or popular people such as politicians and celebrities, which is a mistake because anyone can write a book as everyone has a story to tell and unique experiences to share.

“For some, it’s their life story, for others it is their professional experience, and yet for others it is the story of their father or mother, their bosses, their community. There is a story everywhere you look.”

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7 years ago

Great idea… USA has a popular “nanowrimo” which is National November Writing Month. Fifty Thousand words needed to qualify as a book. We could do Thirty to churn out some nice easy to read books. We need this. We need a new crop of writers.

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