South African writing journeys

Towering mountains and nighttime star displays inspired 25 African writers from South Africa and Namibia at a March writing and publishing workshop organized by Allen Goddard of A Rocha, a Christian environmental group, and MAI.
The writers gathered at Wortelgat Conference Centre near Hermanus, South Africa, for four days of teaching, fellowship and writing in four tracks: fiction, poetry, autobiography and Bible engagement materials.
“In the quietude, we heard afresh the Lord's call on us to write for humanity,” said MAI’s Africa regional trainer Lawrence Darmani, one of four trainers from various groups.
In the first session, “Writing from a Christian Worldview,” he asked participants to pen their writing mission and vision statements. Lawrence makes time to write by rising in the pre-dawn hours. It’s not easy, especially in the cooler winter months when the covers beg him to remain in bed. His dedication has most recently resulted in a five-volume fiction series, and now he’s about to write a sequel to his award-winning novel, Grief Child. 

Lawrence also shepherded six fiction writers as they began creating an anthology of short stories focused on hope. A Rocha hopes to publish manuscripts related to the workshop theme, "Journeys in restoration, reconciliation, transformation and hope," or that reflect a strong environmental resonance.
The 25 participants are continuing to shape their writing, sharing snippets via their new online group. “It’s lovely to be in touch with other Christian writers. I didn’t realize just how much I needed that!” said fiction writer Joan Campbell (photo at right).
A few weeks later, Joan launched a blog to begin building an online platform as she seeks a publisher. She penned her manuscript, "Poison Tree Path," after discovering a dearth of God-honouring young adult fantasy books.

Pray that God continues to inspire Joan and other writers to craft words that help African readers engage with their Creator. 

>>Read why Joan Campbell started writing young adult fantasy

>>Read  an excerpt of Joan's young adult fantasy, "Poison Tree Path"

Top two photos courtesy of Joan Campbell