Emerging writers advised to focus on new curriculum

Grade One learner under Wayne Nyagah interacts with reading materials on a laptop. Photo: Robert Nyagah

Budding authors have been asked to take advantage of gaps created by reforms in education syllabus to the new Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) and venture into publication of school set text books and other leisure reading materials.

Leading publishing and editorial consultant Henry Munene cautioned young and aspiring writers against failing to write and build their skills by assuming that publishers preferred scripts by established authors over those from debutants.

In a commentary, the consultant noted that while established authors may always have higher advantages than debutants, the truth was that differences in sales between works by established writers and those by new ones remained insignificant.

The new curriculum, Munene alluded was bound to bring changes in how the new authors books would become embraced but reminded the prospective authors that leisure reading among Kenyans still remained wanting.

Once the CBC gains traction complete with a guide on required books and other reading materials and equipment for use, Munene appreciated that same was bound to definitely create huge opportunities for budding and established writers to venture into their art and publish books which will attract huge sales.

The consultant said that it was time for prospective and established authors to abandon the perception that new writers did not have chance to venture into the competitive and lucrative areas of leisure and text books writing.

“Once the vetting and  selection of the CBC course books are completed, a huge market will hopefully open with curriculum support materials extending to novels, novellas, storybooks, reading schemes and other literally works’’ said the consultant.

Munene who has worked across some of the most revered publishing houses and newsrooms in the country said, “It is time to abandon the notion that new writers have no chance. There is a significant gap waiting to be filled because older writers had already done a great service by capturing the hopes, fears and aspirations of their generations.”

He said that there was a significant gap waiting to be filled with introduction of fresh faces into the literary hall of books authorship-off courses without failing to appreciate that the achievement of the established writers remained a heritage in need of continued maintenance and promotion.


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While remaining honest to the fact that books from both established and new writers which made it to the lists school, college and university set books earned huge sales, the publishing consultant however appreciated that the new CBC had the potential to eventually change that mind-set.

Henry Munene, communication consultant. Photo:courtesy

He clarified that while unlike in the past, both established and new writers will be compete equally, market  dynamics and reader demographics will  clearly challenge smart publishers to respond to the fact that a majority of  Kenyan and readers for that matter were under the age of 35 years.

Shrewd publishers, the expert felt would in future target the larger population in the reading age bracket today standing at under 35 years of age demographically hence the need for young literary wizards eager to break the into literary halls of fame venture deep into authorship.

The consultant noted that publishers were set to start to embrace emerging authors for the next generation of best sellers, adding that, ‘’While great works should appeal to all generations in Kenya it is strategically advantageous to produce works targeting the young.’’

Those interested in venturing into the industry, Munene says should also consider the fact that materials selected as set books were bound to earn new writers hugely attractive sales. This however against a background where popular fiction books by older writers were considered to be too liberal for school market.

By Robert Nyagah

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