Timwa Lipenga, African Writers Trust Publishing Fellowship Programme Fellow 2020 has been signed by Laxfield Literary Associates.

Laxfield Literary Associates in association with The Blake Friedmann Literary agency is based in the UK. It is founded by Emma Shercliff, a publishing consultant with over 20 years of experience in the industry. The agency aims to provide the best author care in the business, whether writers are based in rural England or metropolitan Lagos.

Timwa Lipenga

Timwa`s manuscript novel Songs from a Cabbage Patch was shortlisted for The Laxfield Literary Launch Prize. The Prize was open to all unpublished authors regardless of location, and sought debut novel manuscripts of any genre.

Emma was one of the assessors for the first edition of the African Writers Manuscript Assessment programme (MAP) in 2020. MAP is designed to offer quality appraisals of book manuscripts by highly experienced editors and readers.

A Word from Emma Shercliff:

The judges of the Laxfield Literary Launch Prize – Chris Gribble from the National Centre for Writing, and writers Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and Olumide Popoola – were really impressed with Songs From A Cabbage Patch, which Timwa had rewritten significantly in light of the feedback I sent to her last summer during the African Writers Trust Manuscript Assessment programme. On their recommendation, I’ve just signed Timwa as one of my authors and I am really excited about working with her to find a publisher for her debut novel. I see very little writing coming from Malawi (especially from women), so I’m really happy about this outcome, which was a direct result of the AWT m/s assessment programme. Thank you, Goretti!’

We all really loved the manuscript, particularly the character development, and the quiet pace of the narrative.

Olumide Popoola, one of the judges commented: “Timwa Lipenga’s Songs from a Cabbage Patch is beautifully crafted, a world we fully immerse in. There is a great sensibility with which the characters are drawn. They stay with us and sing their own songs, subtly but strongly.”

Goretti Kyomuhendo Director, African Writers Trust commented:

“We are all excited for Timwa! She is a dedicated and consistent writer who has worked hard to develop her writing to higher standards. When we designed the Manuscript Assessment Programme, we wished and hoped for such an outcome. Thank you for making us proud, Timwa; and thank you for the vote of confidence, Emma.

We wish Timwa the very best in her new journey to publish internationally. We can’t wait to read the novel when it is finally published!’’

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