Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus Creative Writing Workshop 2018—How To Apply (Updated)

We are pleased to announce that Chimamanda Adichie‘s prestigious creative writing workshop has finally returned. The creative writing workshop  will no longer be called the Farafina Trust Writing Workshop. Its new name is the Purple Hibiscus Creative Writing Workshop. Beautiful name  I must say.

The Trace Nigeria-sponsored workshop will run from 20th – 30th November 2018.

What Will You Gain From This Workshop?

Accepted writers will be housed and fed throughout the 10-day duration of the workshop..

The Purple Hibiscus Creative Writing Workshop has an impressive list of facilitators. As a former participant of Ms Adichie’s workshop, I can testify to  the effectiveness of their teaching techniques. I am glad to see that Chika Unigwe, Binyavanga Wainaina, Aslak Myhre, Dave Eggers, Robert Spillman,, Faith Adiele, Tash Aw, Jackie Kay and Jeffrey Allen will be teaching different classes.

How To Apply:

  • Send a prose fiction or creative non-fiction writing sample. Word count: 200 – 1000 words.
  • In the body if your email, include your name, address and a brief bio. Make sure your bio is short and specific and that it talks about you (the applicant).
  • Your subject title must read‘Workshop Application.’
  • Send your applications through e-mail to purplehibiscus2018@gmail.com.
  • Be sure to send in your application before the 15th October, 2018 deadline.
  • Successful applicants will be contacted by 7th November, 2018

Tips for applicants:

  1. Don’t panic.
  2. Choose your story idea wisely. If you can, avoid old and tired story-lines e.g. infidelity stories. You can write a story about infidelity only if you intend to approach it from a unique angle
  3. Write what you know. Readers can tell when you’re being pretentious.
  4. Read a few classic short short stories. I’ll recommend John Updike’s ‘Pygmalion’ and Alice Walker’s The Flowers.
  5. You can find a few more fantastic short stories HERE, HERE and HERE.
  6. If you’d like to read the short story that got me into the workshop in 2010, click HERE. I’d like to say that my writing has changed a lot ever since.
  7. Don’t be in a hurry. Do your best to find the best story ideas that will make your application stand out.

I’ll be offering critiques to a few applicants. Email me if you’d like to use my services.

Feel free to ask me any question in the comments section.

Good luck

Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam

Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam writes prose fiction and creative non-fiction. She is the founder of creativewritingnews.com. Her first novella, Finding Love Again was published by Ankara Press. Her second novella, The Heiress' Bodyguard was shortlisted for the Saraba Manuscript Awards. She currently works as content marketer for various online businesses. You can follow her at @cwritingnws.

81 thoughts on “Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus Creative Writing Workshop 2018—How To Apply (Updated)

  • Sep 25, 2018 at 4:49 pm
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    Thank you so much for this awesome news. I’m so ecstatic right now.

    Reply
    • Sep 25, 2018 at 5:09 pm
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      I’m glad you are, Jenny. Feel free to bounce ideas off me in the comments section. Good luck.

      Reply
  • Sep 26, 2018 at 12:36 pm
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    Thank you so much for this news. I have been waiting since last year. I can’t tell you how happy I am.

    Reply
    • Sep 26, 2018 at 7:21 pm
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      You’re welcome Chiamaka. I pray it works out perfectly for you. All the best

      Reply
  • Sep 26, 2018 at 12:52 pm
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    Please is the story to be pasted on the body of the email or sent as an attachment?

    Reply
    • Sep 26, 2018 at 7:18 pm
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      Paste in the body of the email

      Reply
  • Sep 26, 2018 at 1:09 pm
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    Will the sample be attached as doc file or in the body of the email?

    Reply
    • Sep 26, 2018 at 7:17 pm
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      In the body of the email. In previous years, they threatened to disqualify applications that had attachments. So please, just paste your writing sample in the body of the email

      Reply
  • Sep 26, 2018 at 4:02 pm
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    Thank you for this info and the helpful tips also. I submitted a story for last year’s Commonwealth Prize. Would you mind going through and share your thoughts on it?

    Reply
    • Sep 26, 2018 at 7:23 pm
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      Do you intend to use this story for your Purple hibiscus workshop application?

      Reply
  • Sep 26, 2018 at 8:40 pm
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    May I ask if our transport will also be covered? I am writing from Lesotho.

    Reply
    • Sep 27, 2018 at 9:00 am
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      Hello Heidy,
      I really don’t know. When I attended in 2010, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma flew in from South Africa. I am not sure I remember how she worked that out. You can send your inquiries to purplehibiscus2018@gmail.com

      But I wouldn’t worry about logistics now; when you get to that bridge, you’ll find a way to cross it. Concentrate on getting in first. What matters most is the quality of your writing sample.

      Thanks for stopping by. I wish you all the best.

      Reply
  • Sep 27, 2018 at 12:12 am
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    Hi, thanks for the information. Please can you send stories from your personal blog or website?

    Reply
    • Sep 27, 2018 at 8:54 am
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      You mean, can you send previously published works? I guess you can. One of my blogger friends sent in a creative non-fiction blog post and Chimamanda enjoyed reading it. Needless to say the post earned her a spot in the workshop.

      I hope i answered your question correctly. Thanks for stopping by

      Reply
      • Sep 29, 2018 at 7:44 am
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        Thanks for your response. Once a send my mail, how will I know it’s been received?

        Reply
  • Sep 27, 2018 at 5:05 am
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    I’m really happy to discover this. Thank you to give us an opportunity to express our imagination. I need to know : is the French accept as a language of this Purple Hibiscus workshop application ?

    Wish you the best.

    Reply
    • Sep 27, 2018 at 8:44 am
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      I’m not sure. If i were you, i’d send an English translation of my wprk. To be on the safe side, you can forward your inquiry to e-mail to purplehibiscus2018@gmail.com. All the best

      Reply
  • Sep 27, 2018 at 7:48 am
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    If selected to attend this prestigious workshop, and one is not from Nigeria, who will foot the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.

    Reply
    • Sep 27, 2018 at 8:38 am
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      Good question. I’ll advice that you forward your inquiry to the purple hibiscus email address in the post. And please let us know what they say.

      Reply
  • Sep 27, 2018 at 9:36 am
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    Thank you so much for this info sir,
    Please, can I get your email so I could send some stories for critic?

    Reply
  • Sep 27, 2018 at 10:56 am
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    Hi. I am excited hear about this. I want to know if the email should be in any specific order? For example, should I present the requirements in the order requested above? (under, How to Apply)
    Also, should I be formal and go straight to the point or am I allowed to insert a personal message of gratitude in the body of the email?

    Reply
    • Sep 27, 2018 at 1:21 pm
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      I’ll tell you what I’ve always does when applying for these things.

      I write a cover letter of some sorts (without the story summary part of course) I end the letter and paste story below.

      Hope this helps

      Reply
    • Sep 27, 2018 at 1:34 pm
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      Sorry. Quick correction. For Adichie’s workshop and the Fidelity bank writing workshop, I went straight to the point and used colons in this order.

      Name:
      Address:
      Bio: (50 words max)
      Story title:
      Word count:

      Story (writing sample)

      This is the format i think you should use.

      Hope this helps.

      Reply
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  • Sep 27, 2018 at 1:25 pm
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    Thank you very much. That was very helpful.

    Reply
  • Sep 29, 2018 at 12:13 pm
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    Hi, what details are supposed to be in the author bio? Is it supposed to be formal? Or a little quirky?
    Thanks.
    Princewill.

    Reply
  • Sep 29, 2018 at 10:58 pm
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    Should we expect acknowledgement mails after sending in our applications? For those that have applied, did you receive any mail acknowledging your application?

    Reply

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