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11.11.2004 General News

Workshop on writing for children opens in Accra

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Accra, Nov 11, GNA- Dr Esi Sutherland, a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, on Thursday opened a two-day workshop in Accra to re-stimulate the interest of African writers to write books for children.

The workshop would be based on the works of the late Professor Efua T. Sutherland, a Ghanaian writer and her techniques for training children. It also formed part of activities to mark the 80th birthday of Efua Sutherland and an international book fair at the National Theatre. School children and other writers would be introduced to the world of children and briefed on the state of Ghanaian children.

They would also go through intensive sessions on the techniques of writing for children and would be expected to produce a scenario to be developed.

Dr Sutherland, daughter of the late Efua Sutherland also delivered the keynote address on works of her late mother.

She said her mother considered language as paramount as it transmitted culture.

She said the idea that reading can be fun and can be done outside the classroom continued to be a luxury for most children, adding that there was still a lot more to be done to create the frame work, the infrastructure and the social environment for reading.

Dr Selby Ashong-Katai, President of the Ghana Association of Writers said "creative art in developmental stages" was hard hit and children were affected as writers found it difficult to get resources for their projects or to improve on their works.

He said it was better to inculcate in children interest in reading at the youthful age, adding that children have limitless skills, which needed to be sharpened.

He said the late Efua Sutherland left behind a positive legacy, which should be emulated.

Mr Bill Marshall, a writer, said African children still continue to read books of foreign origin in the absence of enough books written by Africans.

He said the workshop was therefore expected to offer guidelines to prospective writers who might be induced to write for children.

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