The Liberia Association of Writers (LAW) has planned a National Writers Symposium for Saturday, July 21, a release has said.
The event, according to the release, is part of LAW’s 36th anniversary celebration which falls on July 17. However the event will be held on Saturday, July 21, to make time for invitees and others to participate. The program will be held in the University of Liberia (UL) main auditorium on Capitol Hill, Monrovia, beginning at 2:00 p.m.
“The LAW’s national writers symposium aims to proffer solutions to Liberia’s poor culture of reading and for writing among many educated Liberians who had wished to produce a book or two,” LAW president, Samuel G. Dweh, told journalists yesterday.
Dweh said that the program’s planning committee has invited renowned Liberian writers and authors to make presentations on various fields of the writing profession.
Some of the invited speakers are former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (author); Samuel Kpanbayeazee Duworko, II, UL lecturer of English and Creative Writing; Dr. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley (poet), lecturer of creative writing at the Penn State University, USA; Charles B. Coffey, Jr., president, Press Union of Liberia; Ms. Mae Azongo (author), journalist with the FrontPage Africa newspaper; Otniel Forte (writer, author, publisher); Madam Una Kumba Thompson (author); Theresa Thompson, Acting Director, Liberia Intellectual Property Office (LIPO) and Madam Rita C. Pshor, president, Liberia Library Association.
According to Mr. Dweh, a representative from the Ministry of Education will make presentation on textbooks, with focus on the type or kind of books the ministry expects from Liberian writers who want their books to be used in public schools.
The occasion will be graced with the presence of other prominent Liberians, including Dr. Evelyn D.S. Kandakai (author), former Minister of Education, and current Chairperson of the West African Examination Council (WAEC); Mr. Kenneth Y. Best (writer and author), founder of the Daily Observer newspaper; Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan (poet), former Minister of Finance and of Foreign Affairs; and veteran Liberian educator (poet), nonagerian Jessie Wah King, former classroom teacher to Liberia’s former President Sirleaf, and Liberia’s former Vice President, Joseph Nyuma Boakai.
Mr. Dweh said that the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China is fully behind LAW’s 36th Anniversary celebration.
“The Chinese Embassy has always come to the rescue of LAW during my leadership, first with donation of a multi-function desktop computer, presented at the induction ceremony of the current leadership on February 10, 2018,” Dweh said.
“The Chinese Embassy is the first diplomatic mission to give us help, out of embassies we had appealed to for support,” added.
Dweh, however, praised other Diplomatic Missions for “responding to our communications promptly, even though each told us it cannot help now due to lack of resources at the moment.”
“Participants at the program will have the first-time opportunity of seeing LAW’s second president, U.S.-based Professor K. Moses Nagbe, speaking live via SKYPE,” Dweh said.
The LAW was founded by writers K. Moses Nagbe, Keith Best, Madam Patricia Jabbeh Wesley and other writers on the July 17, 1984, at the UL on Capitol Hill, Monrovia.
LAW was conceived as an “alternative group,” especially for “unpublished” writers who could not be absorbed into the Society Of Liberia Authors (SOLA)—Liberia’s first writers’ body that was exclusively for “published writers.” The Association comprises of both fiction and non-fiction writers. Journalists working with media institutions are members of Law.
Mr. Dweh is a journalist and a member of the PUL.
LAW has seven cardinal functions as objectives, which fall under Article III, Section 3.1 of the Association’s constitution. The objectives are to create a literate atmosphere in Liberia; to promote Liberian literature both at home and abroad; to expose the works of writers to a greater reading public; to bring present published works under critical review; to encourage the publishing of works at home and abroad; to assist members in the publication of their works, and to protect members from plagiarism.
LAW conducts weekly writing-coaching sessions for elementary and high school students under the Association’s “Student-Writer Club” program.