• From: "Bruce Cook, AuthorMe.com" <cookcomm@xxxxxxx>
  • To: authorme@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 17:30:53 -0800 (PST)

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In the wake of the sixties and seventies vis-à-vis.the
dominance of male writers like Chinua Achebe, Ngugi Wa
Ngugi wa Thiongo, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Wole Soyinka
and Ken Wiwa, it seems like there is a proliferation
of female Ugandan writers cropping up. Although we are
hearing many of their names in the late 1990?s and
early 2000?s that does not mean that they were not
writing stories before this period. On the contrary,
they were just not getting published. However, like
many other fields, African women all over the world
are making their mark and Ugandan women are no
different. They are excelling in large numbers in the
literature field. In a country where the past thirty
years have barely produced women writers, let alone
male writers, baby boomers and Generation Xer?s are
getting out there are passionately telling their
stories through the eyes of women.

Part of this so-called literary boom is thanks to the
efforts of Femrite-the Association of Ugandan Women
Writers. Founded by Mary Karooro and Goretti
Kyomuhendo, in 1996 Femrite was created with the aim
of creating awareness about women's writings;
promoting a reading and writing culture in Uganda;
training women writers to upgrade their writing
skills; networking and publishing Ugandan women's
creative work. Previous to this that only one female
writer had been featured among male writers like Okot
p'Bitek, Henry Barlow, Timothy Wangusa, John Ruganda,
John Nagenda, Taban lo Liyong and Robert Serumaga.
There was a considerable disparity that needed to be
addressed and these women found themselves inundated
with a plethora of female writers that the country did
not even know that it had. Several books were
published as a result.

The British Council-Crossing Borders Writers Programme
was another valuable venue that helped in the
representation of Ugandan talent to the world. It is a
distance learning scheme linking young African writers
to experienced UK mentors and developing their work
through e-mail tutorials with the aims of get the
writers to hear, identify and develop their voices as
writers. Many Ugandan female writers seized the
opportunity, which in turn helped them to successfully
improve their writing skills and give them exposure.

Throughout history, Ugandan women have played
important roles in society. Oral literature has very
much been a part of the African past, with women at
the forefront. In African tradition women are the
traditional storytellers. Passing on history and
telling stories to their children was a very important
part if African culture. However this was eroded by
colonial interruptions that destroyed the cultural
network of African societies. Slowly by slowly, with
the growth of Negritude, a literary and ideological
movement of French-speaking black intellectuals
against colonialism, more African men and in turn
began to express themselves in the literature field,
while the women were left behind. Add civil wars and
political unrest to this recipe and it only would be
in the 1990?s that Ugandan women would emerge onto the
literary scope of Uganda.

Since these women came to writing after the waning of
the Negritude period, many Ugandan female writers
still have to go through the nuisances of bureaucratic
obstacles before their work was accepted and
published, which stagnated them out of the
distribution process despite being published. In fact
very few works by female Ugandan writers seem to have
made it into the Western academic curriculum. A
paradox appears as most critics highlight the
proliferation of women writers in Africa as the most
significant characteristic of African literature in
the 1990's, while devoting almost no space to their

Despite these odds though, many of Ugandan women are
winning awards including Doreen Baingana who won the
2003 Associated Writing Programs Award for Short
Fiction, and her short story collection, "Tropical
Fish: Stories Out of Entebbe" and was shortlisted for
the Caine Prize for African Writing 2004 and 2005.
Other writers are Monica Arac de Nyeko (Uganda) for
"Strange Fruit" and Jackee Budeste Batanda (Uganda)
for "Remember Atita" both from Cook Communication,
online magazine AuthorMe who were also shortlisted for
the Caine Prize for African Writing 2004. It is clear
that these young women are opening the door for the
many other women that have yet to have their work
recognized on an international level.

Jane Musoke-Nteyafas


If you?re hoping to turn your book into a sensation
you can?t afford to overlook talk radio. Your book
isn?t going to sell itself, so you need to do
everything you can to get the word out. By generating
word-of-mouth on talk radio shows around the country,
you can create that all-important buzz that can
transform your book into a bona fide hit. 

Experienced publishers and best-selling authors know
that talk radio is the best medium for selling books.
We know that talk radio works because we?ve been doing
it for over 16 years. As one of the top providers of
radio guests in the country, we get asked all the time
for tips on getting booked as a guest. Here are a few
helpful tips for those of you looking to book
yourselves into this medium:
HOT TIP #1 --- The first thing you have to do is
continuously follow the news. Study the news, scan the
newspapers, and most importantly, make sure that you
monitor the talk radio landscape. Take some time to
listen to talk shows and hear what they?re talking
about. Get a read on the pulse of the public. This
research will help you develop a relevant message that
people will be interested in hearing.

HOT TIP #2 --- As you follow the news, pay close
attention to the hot stories and think how the issues
tie in with your book. Perhaps your book ties in with
a controversy of some kind. If you can develop a
newsworthy angle, you can even get on the air with a
fiction book as we?ve done successfully a number of

HOT TIP #3 --- As you develop your message, remember
that radio hosts don?t want to do infomercials. When
pitching to producers, be careful not to pitch
yourself too heavily. Instead, present yourself as an
expert on a hot issue. Put the emphasis on the issue,
not on your book. The simple fact that you?ve authored
a book enhances your credibility. Don?t worry, hosts
will give you an opportunity to plug your book

HOT TIP #4 --- The fourth and possibly most important
part of getting yourself booked onto talk radio is the
actual press release. One of the reasons we?ve been so
successful in this business is the quality of our
pitches. Producers want to see your pitch before they
schedule an interview, so make sure your headline is
attention-grabbing. In the text, elaborate on the
subject matter and be sure to include provocative
These tips should get you jump-started into the world
of talk radio.

Marsha Friedman ? CEO of EMSI, a national publicity
firm specializing in media coverage since 1990 for
authors and experts in a variety of fields ranging
from law, finance, politics, to lifestyle, sports,
health and food. EMSI is considered to be one of the
top resources of guests for talk radio shows around
the country, scheduling 50 to 100 talk radio
interviews every week with clients also appearing on
national TV shows such as CNN, Good Morning America,
The Today Show, Montel and Maury Povitch - and covered
in major daily newspapers and national magazines.

Write Marsha Friedman at



EXERCISE: Point of View
(see Section 6 for possible solutions)

Want to try your hand at identifying point of view?
Get out your highlighting markers and mark this
section, using Blue for Ray?s point of view and Pink
for Carol?s point of view. When you are finished,
check Section 6. to see if you?ve marked the same
things we have. For the purposes of this exercise,
assume that all prose is in either Ray?s or Carol?s
viewpoint (eliminating the narrator), and that
viewpoint changes occur only when something causes us
to go into a different character?s head.

Ray was ten minutes early for his appointment the next
day. He stood in the doorway and tugged at his beard,
wondering if he should interrupt or come back later.
Carol looked up from her work. She smiled at the sight
of the large man in the doorway. ?Come on in,? she
Ray hesitated. Talking to schoolteachers still
intimidated him. But he forced himself forward and
walked to the desk. ?I?m Ray Gambel.? He extended his
hand. ?David?s brother.?
Carol accepted his handshake. Although he looked
nothing like David, there was something familiar about
him. She motioned toward an empty chair and waited
while he sat. ?This is a creative writing class,
generally for seniors, but David submitted writing
samples last spring to qualify. He?s the only junior
in the class.?
Ray nodded. He knew the kid was smart.
Carol shuffled through the folders on her desk. ?I?m
concerned about some of his poetry. I wondered if you
would take a few minutes to read it.?
She handed him a stack of papers. Some teachers would
have graded the papers and forgotten the content, but
Carol worried about her students. 
Ray slowly read through the poems. The first was
titled ?If I?d Have Loved You More.? Ray immediately
knew it was about their mother. David and Joey had
written songs during the summer with the same type of
stark lyrics. Ray sighed and looked at the next title,
?When Wishes Come True.? He rubbed his forehead and
handed the paper back to Carol. ?Our mother died last
November. David never got along with her too good.?
?David seems to have a lot of anger and guilt he?s
trying to work through. I?d like to refer him to Mr.
Meeks, the school counselor.?
?We talked to Rev. Mitchell right after Mom died, but
David wouldn?t cooperate. Rev. Mitchell said not to
bring him back unless David decided he wanted to talk
about it.?
Carol smiled. David had always been polite in class,
but he had that air of arrogance that said he wasn?t
going to do anything he didn?t want to. 
?Him and Joey?that?s another brother?they wrote some
songs this summer about Mom.?
Carol?s eyes widened in sudden recognition. ?You?re a
musician, aren?t you??
?I got a band.? 
?You played at Dino?s Lounge on Labor Day Weekend.? He
was the one with the wonderful voice, the one who
filled the air with ions of sensuality.
Ray?s face reddened. Labor Day Weekend was Gary?s last
time with the band. They?d chugged two pitchers of
beer and gotten rowdy?even did the Lion Sleeps thing.
It wasn?t the type of show he?d want a schoolteacher
to attend. ?You weren?t there late, were you??
Carol?s blue eyes danced. ?You were wonderful.?
Ray wished his face would quit burning.
?Would you mind if I gave David?s poetry to Mr. Meeks?
And suggest he talk to him??
?I?ll ask David for his permission before I do.? She
rose to her feet. ?I think David will be fine. Thank
you for coming in.?
Ray stood. 
Carol offered her hand. ?Anytime you need to talk to
someone, give me a call. I?m in the phone book.?
Ray shook her hand. ?Thank you.?
?It was wonderful meeting you, Mr. Gambel,? Carol
said, allowing her hand to linger in his. ?I hope to
see you again. Soon.? And she was sure that one way or
another, she would.

- - -
After you have marked your paper and checked to see if
you agree with my answers, go ahead and take this to
the next level: rewrite this scene, first from Ray?s
viewpoint, then from Carol?s viewpoint. Although your
scenes are sure to differ from mine, I?ve offered my
rewrites in Section 6. 

(continued next month)

(c) copyright 2002 by Sandy Tritt. All rights
reserved, except for those listed here. October be
reproduced for educational purposes (such as for
writer's workshops), as long as this copyright notice
and the url: http://tritt.wirefire.com are distributed
with the pages. For use in conferences or other uses
not mentioned here, please contact Sandy Tritt at
tritt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for permission and additional
resources at no or limited charge.
        Keep writing!
Sandy Tritt
Inspiration for Writers tritt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
West Virgina Writers Conference.  Selected by The
Writer Magazine as a "best Conference for the money."
We're going to have literary agent Jeff Herman there,
who will be willing to meet one-on-one with people who
submit a synopsis in advance, children's writer Marc
Harshman, poet and Pudding House publisher Jennifer
Bosveld, Antioch Writer's Workshop co-director Ed
Davis and many more nationally-known presenters. Rates
are only $90 for three days (which can be reduced by
early registration or by being a member of WVW),
lodging starts at $12 a bed, and meals are $5, $6, and
$7. For details, you can download a copy of the
brochure at
(from Sandy Tritt)

Keep writing!
Sandy Tritt
Sandy's website:
Publishing New Writers, October, 2005 (No. 611)
Publisher: Bruce L. Cook, P.O. Box 451, Dundee, IL
60118 USA. 

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