Peter Ngîla,a Kenyan writer ,is a recipient of the 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award, which financed him to attend the 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat in Reykjavík, Iceland. At Ebedi International Writers Residency in Nigeria, from January to February 2017, Peter completed the fourth draft of a novel and wrote a new first draft. A 2015 Journalism Mount Kenya University graduate and a founding Editor of Enkare Review ,a Nairobi based literary journal,Peter has also been a features Correspondent with the Star newspaper.
Peter is a 2015 recipient of The Story of Malaria Travel Journalism Grant. The award financed him to cover the successful third clinical trials of the Malaria Vaccine, RTS,S in Kisumu, Kenya, from which four feature stories were featured in the Star. Peter’s short fiction has appeared in literary print and online journals and magazines including Endless published on Kenya’s Jalada Africa, South Sudanese Colours, published on India’s The Wagon– republished on Ghana’s Ghana Writes, Under pressure published in Nigeria’s Brittle Paper Fifty Fifty published in Nigeria’s Praxis Magazine Online, Home , published in Uganda’s Lawino Magazine,and My Trumpet is a Doctor and Golden Fingers both published in Bangladesh’s Prachya Review.In November 2017, Peter was a Ghana Writes Writer of the Week, during which his short stories East Africa and South Sudanese Colors were published.
In March 2018 ,Peter read from South Sudanese Colours,during the third edition of Indulgence Erotica in Nairobi.He has appeared in The Daily Nation and The Standard, Kenya’s leading newspapers.In July 2017, Peter was a guest writer at the third edition of Creative Encounters in Nairobi. In January 2017, Peter was an associate editor of The Wagon Magazine’s Africa Special Issue.
In June 2016, he was a guest writer at The Writers’ Conclave award-giving ceremony in Nairobi. In 2014 and 2015, Peter took part in The Writivism Creative Writing Workshop in Nairobi and Dar respectively.He took part in the 2014 and 2015 Writivism Mentoring Process, and attended the 2015 Writivism Festival in Kampala. In June 2014, Peter was featured in the Books Café Programme in Kenya’s leading radio station, KBC English Service, as a promising university writer. In March 2017, Peter also featured on Mwatû FM, a Kîkamba radio station. Peter attended the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Migrations Flow Workshop in Nairobi.
His writing video Peter Ngila: An Amka Space Success is available on YouTube
Peter’s writing advice
Well, I would say there isn’t actually an ultimate writing advice. At least according to my journey so far, writing workshops are important for a writer. A writer should try to write fresh and unique stories, writing from out of your mind, be fucking daring. A writer shouldn’t run away from themselves, it’s okay to write relatable stories, and using parts of one’s life for inspiration. A writer should be curious and inquisitive and silly to handle stupid ideas, being serious all the time can be suicidal, according to Universal Science.
A writer should freely interact with everyone, it’s a sure way of staying alive and getting interesting ideas. A writer should work hard – writing is hard, 90% effort, 10% talent. ABC – Apply Buttocks to Chair, pile the chair with several pillows. A writer shouldn’t kill themselves with the keyboard; it’s super okay and healthy for a writer to work out or take long walks or go drinking or swimming or laughing for no particular reason.
A writer should share their work with other like-minded people for reviews and edits – that’s an important way to grow; but don’t share with your lovely parents or lover or siblings. Write regularly. Break writing rules only when you have mastered them enough. Writing has crazy rejections, and a writer should keep pushing on, you never know. Rejections should re energize a writer to better their craft. Don’t ever write for prizes, you will just kill yourself with frustration. Write because of those demons in your fucked up brain denying you peace and sleep.
Write because you are a writer. Procrastination is very okay. Help out your peers as much as possible with zero hard feelings. Dance with happiness when someone you know or new is getting somewhere with their writing, it’s so fucking bad for an artist to be mean; meet up with them, and laugh and drink crates to celebrate the blessing. Connect. Connect.Connect. Always carry a notebook and a pen. Write every idea down. Social media is the only way you can connect with other writers from across the world without that silly scrape of paper called visa. Read. When you are writing, forget your iPhone or Mac, forget your social media. Read. Read. Most importantly, take your writing seriously more than you take yourself.
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