Some courage for writers from the Kingsmead Book Fair – part two

 In Creative Writing Courses, How to write a book, Tips for Writers

Here’s part two of our takeaways and tips from the Kingsmead Book Fair. The theme this year was courage, and the writers who took part in the panel discussions certainly demonstrated a great deal of courage both in their writing and in the knowledge and wisdom they imparted to us. Our hope is that some of this knowledge and wisdom can bring you the courage you need to tell the story you have been wanting to tell.

In the session “Journeys of Transformation”, Jane Evans (A Path Unexpected) and Robert Gentle (The Scholarship Kids) had a discussion with Kingsmead headmistress Lisa Palmer that revolved around the importance of education, the power of ambition and having goals and the process of documenting their own journeys of transformation in their memoirs.

Here are some of the top takeaways from their discussion:

Jane Evans

  1. Early Childhood Education is of fundamental importance in setting children up for successful futures but is often neglected and just seen as day-care.
  2. When engaging with communities it is important to humble yourself and ask people within that community what they want and need rather than making assumptions.
  3. When setting goals for ourselves, it is often helpful to set small manageable goals and allow those to build on each other.

Robert Gentle

  1. A love of words and learning often begins at home and it is important for parents to foster this if possible.
  2. Reaching your dreams may take a great deal of tenacity and a willingness to explore avenues you may not previously have thought of to get there.
  3. Don’t be afraid to have big dreams. Believe in the dream and everything will work out.

 

In the discussion “Seeking the light in dark times”, Marina Cantacuzino (Forgiveness: an exploration), Louisa Zondo, (Dearest MaRiky) and Welcome Mandla Lishivha (Boy on the Run) spoke with Joy Watson about the ways in which writing can help us process trauma and find ways to create a better future.

Here are some of the top takeaways from their discussion:


Marina Cantacuzino

  1. Telling stories is an important way in which we can work towards creating a more compassionate world.
  2. Forgiveness is an important strategy for some people for dealing with pain and releasing themselves from pain. However, it should never be forced on anyone.

 

Louisa Zondo

  1. When we experience difficult and traumatic events it is important to take a pause to sit with and process these events rather than avoiding the emotions. Writing and telling our stories is a way in which we can do this.
  2. Writing and telling our stories provides a way to process trauma and pain and heal from it.
  3. Intergenerational trauma lives in the stories of the past that are not told. These stories need to be told and examined for that intergenerational trauma to start to heal.

 

Mandla Lishivha

  1. Writing and telling stories is important in healing from trauma but also in examining and starting to dismantle structural drivers of violence.
  2. Writing also provides a way for to us take agency in the face of structural violence and oppression.
  3. It takes courage to write and to be authentically yourself. It means putting yourself on the line.

Read part one here, and happy writing!

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