It was my third application. I paused a while before I typed the address into my mailbox. Twice before, 2010 and 2011, I had answered the call for entries for the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop. On both occasions, I got an email informing me that though I made the long list of thirty five, I unfortunately didn’t make into the final list of fifteen.
While I was saddened by the first mail, the fact that it came from Chimamanda Adichie, whose “I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your entry – and to send my best wishes for your continued writing”, eased the disappointment. For me, that mail was a tacit stamp of approval that I was on the right path. In 2011, when I got a similar response, I was mad. How can they turn me down two years in a row? Does this mean I am not good enough or have not improved at all despite my efforts? So, I penned this.
Now, you understand the reluctance with which I applied for this year’s workshop. I felt I did not need any coaching from any writer, no matter how renowned. It was easy to learn about writing, especially with the internet. Having convinced myself that I didn’t need to learn from people who turned me down twice, I tried to forget about the call for entries, to ignore the nagging urge to type a small bio, copy and paste one of my numerous short stories and send another mail to Udonandu, whoever that is.