“Sometimes, people think that you are doomed and will most likely die broke and miserable. It’s funny how people perceive writers…I wish there were more grants for writers in our little corner of the world”.- Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam
NWA: Let’s meet you
My name is Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam. I am from Ebonyi state. I have a B.TECH in Computer Science, and I am currently studying for a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education. I recently completed a Commonwealth Education Trust program called Writing for Young Readers.
My first novel Finding Love Again was published by Ankara Press. I have published fiction, non-fiction and poetry in several newspapers and literary journals including MTLS, Long Story Short, Fiction 365, Saraba, Sentinel and Tribes Write. Awards and prizes include the NWA’s Literary Blog of the Year, 2014 ACT award semi-finalist, Cecilia Unaegbu flash fiction contest and farafinablog’s Voice of America flash fiction contest.
I love creative writing, philosophy, science and logic. I blog at creativewritingnews.net.
NWA: NWA: How long has Chioma been writing?
I have been writing since I was nine. I started writing diary entries as a catharsis, an outlet for my sorrows and joys. My thin, inaudible voice discouraged me from communicating verbally. Written notes always saved me the trouble of having to repeat myself.
NWA: Aside from writing what else do you do?
I just quit my day job as a computer repairs woman (I had the fancy title of IT Support Officer), and so now I work as a blogger, editor and writing coach.
NWA: Guess Kambi found love again when she got married to her heartthrob, tell us more about your novel “Finding Love Again”?
For performance poet, radio broadcaster and recently jilted bride Kambi, the serene Obudu Mountain Resort is the perfect place to finish her poetry collection and heal her broken heart. But along comes Beba, the gorgeous, olive-skinned man from her past, who had rescued her from an attack several years ago. Back then, they came close to having a relationship but Kambi had pushed him away. In the lush mountain setting, can Kambi resist Beba’s charms and keep up the pretense of being his fake fiancée in order to help him in his quest to find his mother? Or will a phony engagement be the key for Kambi to begin Finding Love Again?
NWA: You won the blogger of the year (literary) did you think you will win the award and why?
To be honest, I didn’t expect to win. I was happy enough to have been nominated. I was skeptical because the category required votes and I hadn’t canvassed for them. I was happy to see that writers and readers alike thought I deserved to win the award.
NWA: Why do you think your blog (creativewritingnews.net) won the blog of the year?
creativewritingnews.net won because it has great content for both budding and established writers. It’s the kind of blog I would go to if I were actively writing, publishing and hoping to win writing competitions.
NWA: How did you feel about winning the award?
Oh I was excited. I danced about in my kitchen, and ran off to rattle the news to my husband. I was glad. It encouraged me to work harder on the site.
NWA: As a writer what has been/is your biggest challenge?
In the beginning, the problem was finding the right writing community where we could exchange critiques and advice and all that writers often seek. But that problem has been solved after I found the IWW online critique group and joined them. Everything else seems to be falling in place,
But there is also the challenge of time and a good workspace. I wish there were more grants for writers in our little corner of the world.
NWA: What is your perception of Nigerians towards our writers?
Different Nigerians react in different ways to writers. Sometimes, you get a warm reception. Other times, people think that you are doomed and will most likely die broke and miserable. It’s funny how people perceive writers.
NWA: What do think can be done?
More awards, more positive reviews I guess. More literary festivals.
NWA: How do you unwind?
Reading, singing, listening to my favorite podcasts
NWA: As a writing coach when young writers come to you for advice to improve their writing skills what do you tell them?
Read like a writer, write smart, and join a critique group (or get a mentor/writing coach).
NWA: What is your Philosophy of life?
Work as though everything depends on you and pray as though everything depends on God. And Time and Chance happeneth to us all.
NWA: Which of your platforms can people connect to you?
Twitter: @chiomaiwunze FB: Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam
Email: email@example.com, Website: creativewritingnews.net
NWA: It’s been great having you, thank you so much for your time.