“Find your voice and your style” – Interview with Nneoma Mbalewe

“Find your voice and your style” – Interview with Nneoma Mbalewe

TABLE TALK

“Find your voice and your style” – Interview with Nneoma Mbalewe

As we anticipate the fourth edition of Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest, we had a chat with Nneoma Mbalewe who won the flash fiction category of the third edition.

Nneoma is an award-winning writer who was shortlisted for the Creative Freelance Writerz (CFW) prize last June. She currently studies Law at the prestigious University of Ilorin, Nigeria. Nneoma discusses the inspiration behind her winning entry “Ayomide” and also shares some tips for young writers.

Enjoy the read!

Kreative Diadem: Who is Nneoma Mbalewe? Tell us briefly about yourself.

Nneoma: I’m an avid reader and zealous writer. Besides that, I’m a law student at the University of Ilorin.

Nneoma Mbalewe

Winner of the 2019 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Content (Flash Fiction Category)

KD: When did you first discover your passion for storytelling and what inspired you?

Nneoma: I would say in primary school. I was a ferocious reader (still am) and with such reading, grew my desire to tell stories.

KD: What are some of the challenges you face as a writer and what steps do you take to overcome them?

Nneoma: I would say timidity and lack of confidence in myself. I read some stories/novels and they’re so good that I begin to question myself. Is writing for me? It pushes me to want to better my work and spend time trying to be a perfectionist instead of actually sitting down to write.

KD: Who are some literary figures that inspire you and your work?

Nneoma: I have a lot, actually. Internationally, I read a lot of James Patterson, Sidney Sheldon and Karen Rose. I also look up to Elnathan John, Chidera Okolie, to name a few. But I don’t limit myself and my favorite figures change very often.

“Find your voice and your style. Just because someone writes the way you like does not mean that style is for you.”

Nneoma Mbalewe

Winner of the 2019 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Content (Flash Fiction Category)

KD: Last year, you won first prize in the flash fiction category of Kreative Diadem’s annual writing contest. What was your reaction like?

Nneoma: I was surprised, honestly. I hadn’t wanted to submit Ayomide because I felt it wasn’t ready but the deadline was approaching and I really wanted to submit something. Winning made me elated.

KD: What was the inspiration and meaning behind Ayomide?

 Nneoma: Ayomide was birthed by the question,” How do we prove our worth if we do not even get an opportunity?” If Ayomide was born elsewhere, at his age, he probably would have gotten a college degree being a prodigy. Besides that, no one else has noticed his genius, except his teacher. A lot of people we meet are talented yet have no way of letting the world know. That’s the story I wanted to tell.

KD: Do you have any other published works aside from Ayomide, as well as any other achievements you’d like to share?

Nneoma: I have very few published works. I was shortlisted for CFWriterz June 2019 prize and one of my stories was published in their magazine. Apart from flash fiction, I have won two essay competitions.

KD: What are some of your long-term goals as a writer?

Nneoma: I still see myself writing years and decades from now. It’s something I really love and I can’t let it go just like that.

KD: Any forthcoming works or publications?

Nneoma: I have a few incomplete works that I would like to flesh up soon.

KD: What advice would you give to young writers like yourself, especially in Nigeria?

Nneoma: I’d say, find your voice and your style. Just because someone writes the way you like does not mean that style is for you.

Any final words for Kreative Diadem and its readers?

Nneoma: To Kreative Diadem, thank you very much for this opportunity. You guys are awesome. To the readers, don’t you ever dare quit reading.

Isolation

Our third issue ever, "Isolation" is out. We had thought-provoking conversations with Alexis Teyie and Tobi Nifesi. It's a collection of works from some of the finest minds out there -- poetry, short stories, interviews, and creative essays.

Do you love our published works?

You can add your literary work to an endless list of poems, short stories, flash fiction, and essays.

Winners of the 2017 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest

Winners of the 2017 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest

Winners of the 2017 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest

With barely five days to the end of 2017, the maiden edition of the Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest gradually comes to a close. We organized the competition with the sole aim of inspiring originality and ingenuity in the creation of literary works. We focused on the emerging clan of young Nigerian writers because of their peculiar spot in the future of literature. Of course, we got more than we bargained for.
At the beginning, we were expecting a sprinkle of entries but we were handsomely rewarded with a massive shower of excellent pieces. Looking at the numbers, we received a total of 98 poems and 73 flash fiction stories. For the judges, it was a tough battle to sift the tares from the wheat. According to the judges, they were on the lookout for originality in the entries and they never settled until they found the spark.
We are here to keep our promise. This is the unveiling of the winners of the contest – the top three in each category.

Flash Fiction Category

Only the winners will be contacted. Congratulations to all the winners!

We want to use this opportunity to sincerely appreciate all those who took time to craft wonderful literary pieces and submitted towards the contest. You are all winners!

Our profound gratitude goes out to our highly esteemed judges for the maiden edition of this contest: Okwudili Nebeolisa and Su’eddie Vershima Agema. We are grateful for the immense gift of your time.

We would also like to appreciate our sponsor for this contest – Engr. Johnson Aina. Thank you for your invaluable contributions to making sure that the rare talent of young Nigerian writers is constantly celebrated.

Isolation

Our third issue ever, "Isolation" is out. We had thought-provoking conversations with Alexis Teyie and Tobi Nifesi. It's a collection of works from some of the finest minds out there -- poetry, short stories, interviews, and creative essays.

Do you love our published works?

You can add your literary work to an endless list of poems, short stories, flash fiction, and essays.

Finalists of the 2017 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest

Finalists of the 2017 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest

Finalists of the 2017 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest

With the tranquil ending of 2017, the maiden edition of the Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest gradually comes to a close. We organized the competition with the sole aim of inspiring originality and ingenuity in the creation of literary works. We focused on the emerging clan of young Nigerian writers because of their peculiar spot in the future of literature. Of course, we got more than we bargained for.

 

At the beginning, we were expecting a sprinkle of entries but we were handsomely rewarded with a massive shower of excellent pieces. Looking at the numbers, we received a total of 98 poems and 73 flash fiction stories. For the judges, it was a tough battle to sift the tares from the wheat. According to the judges, they were on the lookout for originality in the entries and they never settled until they found the spark.

 

As we anticipate the announcement of the top three winners that will be going home with cash prizes, we would like to unveil the list of the finalists for each of the categories. The finalists include the top 10 in no particular order. The name of the winners (top 3) will be released on Boxing Day, December 26, 2017.

Poetry Category

  1. Breast Cancer by Omobashorun Agbalagba
  2. A Bonfire on a Midsummer Night by Oluebube Ubah
  3. A Letter to Nabeelah by Abdurrahman Adedokun
  4. Little Boys are Large Exit Doors by Wale Ayinla
  5. Only a Child by Ikhenoba Deborah
  6. Lights Out by Chiamaka Nwangwu
  7. Black Woo Man by Olawale Ibiyemi
  8. An Installation of Memory by Anifowoshe Ibrahim
  9. Things Your Uncle Left Inside You by Stephen Ogunfoworin
  10. Adedamola by Saliu Fathia

 

Flash Fiction Category

  1. Charlotte by Jayeola Abdulhakeem
  2. A Thousand Words for Maggie by Paul Akaogu
  3. Stretched Silence by Okechi Okeke
  4. Imole by Olakunle Ologunro
  5. Let the Day Break by Chukwuebuka Ibeh
  6. No Peace for the Wicked by Ada Nnadi
  7. Possessed by Okoronkwo Ijeoma
  8. Racing Stars by Okhuosami Umar
  9. Innocent Justice by Atere Oluwatimilehin
  10. In Memory of Chris by Ene Ogaba

 

The top three winners will be contacted on December 26, 2017.

We want to use this opportunity to sincerely appreciate all those who took time to craft wonderful literary pieces and submitted towards the contest. You are all winners!

Our profound gratitude goes out to our highly esteemed judges for the maiden edition of this contest: Okwudili Nebeolisa and Su’eddie Vershima Agema. We are grateful for the immense gift of your time.

We would also like to appreciate our sponsor for this contest – Engr. Johnson Aina. Thank you for your invaluable contributions to making sure that the rare talent of young Nigerian writers is constantly celebrated.

 
Isolation

Our third issue ever, "Isolation" is out. We had thought-provoking conversations with Alexis Teyie and Tobi Nifesi. It's a collection of works from some of the finest minds out there -- poetry, short stories, interviews, and creative essays.

Do you love our published works?

You can add your literary work to an endless list of poems, short stories, flash fiction, and essays.

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