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

  • A chance to learn more about creative writing from Chimamanda Adichie and other prolific writers.
  • A platform for writers who are looking for a springboard to launch their writing careers.
  • Opportunity to be a part of a vibrant writing community.
  • And more.

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
  • 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

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

    1. I’m glad you are, Jenny. Feel free to bounce ideas off me in the comments section. Good luck.

  1. Thank you so much for this news. I have been waiting since last year. I can’t tell you how happy I am.

    1. 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

  2. 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?

    1. 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

      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.

    1. 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

  3. 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.

  4. If selected to attend this prestigious workshop, and one is not from Nigeria, who will foot the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.

    1. 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.

  5. Thank you so much for this info sir,
    Please, can I get your email so I could send some stories for critic?

  6. 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?

    1. 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

    2. 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.

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

      Story (writing sample)

      This is the format i think you should use.

      Hope this helps.

  7. Hi, what details are supposed to be in the author bio? Is it supposed to be formal? Or a little quirky?

  8. Should we expect acknowledgement mails after sending in our applications? For those that have applied, did you receive any mail acknowledging your application?

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