The culture of reading and writing in Sierra Leone has rapidly retrogressed. In order to change this receding trend PEN-Sierra Leone yesterday started its annual ‘Talabi Aisie Lucan’ workshop at the American embassy, Leicester village in Freetown.
The workshop is named in honour of one of Sierra Leone’s celebrated female writers, Dr Talabi Aisie Lucan.
This second annual workshop, which is sponsored by the American embassy, is focusing on ‘short story writing.’
In his welcome remarks at the embassy’s multi purpose room, the president of PEN-Sierra Leone Mohamed Sheriff stated that, “we at PEN have been trying to help Sierra Leoneans pay more attention to writing and reading, because the culture has been dying over the years.”
He explained that they had a number of objectives to attain their goal, and highlighted that PEN would be aiding writers in publishing their works; put them in contact with publishers and also train aspiring writers and have their works published.
To achieve this goal, he maintained, “we launched the Talabi Aisie Lucan workshop last year at the American embassy.”
Last year’s workshop, he said, “was focused on getting materials from writers for critique and submission for publication.”
Mohamed Sheriff stated that the last workshop was interesting and interactive, explaining that this year’s workshop would give tips and guidelines to aspiring writers to have the instinct to write, even though the timeframe of the workshop was short.
He thanked the American embassy for its continual support in promoting literature in Sierra Leone.
Madeline Kamara of the US embassy’s Public Affairs stated that the American embassy put premium on education.
Dr Lucan spoke about her previous works and upcoming quiz competition for aspiring writers in secondary schools. She stressed on the value of keeping document, noting that “writing has been my career.”