Today we’re delighted to share an interview with Efemena Emonefe, one of our 2019 Writespace Emerging Writer Fellows! For the past year, Effie has been able to participate in all the Writespace workshop programming she would like--absolutely free! Read on to learn more about Effie’s work, inspirations, and more.
Tell us a bit about your writing! What genre do you like to work in and why? What projects are you currently focused on?
I work mainly in creative non-fiction, but I love to write screenplays as well. I am actually working on a few things at the moment: a collection short CNF memoirs about my childhood, 2 afro-futuristic novels, micro-essays, and short skits for my Youtube Channel to be released January 2020.
What writers, artists, musicians, and so on have inspired your writing and why?
The greats: Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, Shonda Rhimes, Aretha Franklin, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie--the list goes on. These women collectively portray and write about the black experience that is unapologetic and truthful. I want to add to that.
What is your writing kryptonite? What do you struggle the most with when writing and what have you been doing to get better?
I struggle with wanting to be this top notch creative that gives everything to her art each and everyday. Sometimes I can barely find the time to think about a project, but what helps is knowing that every second counts. So, I jot here and there and write when I have free time. I can get inside my own head at times and I am working on just taking a beat. Once I do that, I’m in the clear and can write freely.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I wrote my first short story when I was in the 4th grade. I remember my classmates laughing at the part that were meant to be funny and gasping at all the dramatic twists and turns. It was then that I realized that words can shape not only your reality, but create stories to escape and allow the imagination to flourish.
Why do you write? What drew you to pursue writing in the first place?
Writing is my air. Without it, I am nothing. I am the most organized, happy, and at peace with myself when I am writing. Peace, especially in these current times, is always the goal. Do what gives you peace and fulfills your purpose.
What is your favorite--and least favorite!--thing about Houston and why?
Houston is my city! A world wonder where people from all different cultures interact and share their heritage! That is absolutely my favorite thing! Least favorite? This damn heat! :)
What books have you read recently that you particularly enjoyed? Tell us about them!
I’m currently reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. So far, so good!
As an Emerging Writer Fellow, you get to attend as many Writespace workshops as you’d like! Which one did you enjoy the most (so far!) and why?
Horror Intensive. I was exposed to different forms of writing when creating a horror story. What a great class!
Do you have any social media or websites you’d like to share with the Writespace community?
@simply_effie on Instagram
We want to extend a huge thank you to Effie for taking the time to chat with us! If you’re interested in finding out more about the 2020 Emerging Writer Fellowship, visit our site here. Applications for 2020 will open in December 2019.