Before the programme, I had some works I was too scared to send out, but after the program, I did. It meant a lot that I was able to confidently defend my work.
My mentor, Tomi Adesina is wonderful. Till I die, I will hold on to every bit of lessons she gave me. She told me writing was all about honesty – “to write in truth; write consistently.” When I do this, I am surely going to create masterpieces. She is an epitome of care, concern, and knowledge. The mentorship period was hard for me. I lost a brother but Tomi was there all the way. She even made me channel all energy including the negative energy from mourning into writing. She taught me to try and try again when everything looks like it is going south. Importantly, Tomi makes everything so easy. "Why?" I ask. She says, "Because everything is actually easy. Your mindset is the most important."
Towards the end of the programme, Tomi instructed me to write an “In-5-Years-Time” bio. That alone cemented in me a sense of direction about my creative writing pursuits.
I felt that enough thought was put into this programme, and it was a mind-blowing experience for me. The virtual training was well-coordinated, and each time I glanced through the mentees forms, it reflected the leadership skills of the programme coordinators.
From the mentorship experience, I am more open-minded towards writing. My mentor,Abimbola Mosobalaje expended himself and was dedicated to grooming me to become a better writer. He might not know it, but he was just like a mirror and keenly seeing every loophole in my writings. I love that he bridged the gap by working at my pace. Although he was quite strict, he remained lenient and down to earth. Even at times when I falter, he always taught me from scratch with a sprinkle of hope to keep it up.
In less than a week of knowing my mentor - Lawretta Egba, she made me very comfortable in sharing my articles with her without being worried that they weren't good enough. She was very thorough with correcting, willing to explain, readily available to answer my questions and encouraging me to read more. She taught me many things about writing in such little time. Every correction she made was tailored to my improvement. Her feedback on my write-ups was accompanied by a word of encouragement, and this made me more enthusiastic about writing. I barely had any dream for my future self as a writer, and when Lawretta noticed this, she changed my focus and inspired me to dream bigger.
The SLM team did a splendid job in this virtual writing fellowship that had a positive impact on me. That, to me, is something worthy of appraisal. The team was also willing to hear us out whenever we felt we could not meet up with any deadline. Kudos to them, and I am glad I was given the opportunity to be part of the SLM mentees 2019 cohort.
There is a lot to say about my mentor, Ogunyemi Ebukun Gbemisola (Ibukunwrites). She is an absolute force of nature, and I could not have asked for a better mentor. On first contact with Ibukun, I perceived her as someone who knew what she was doing. She was confident enough to tell me how she felt about my work and what she expected of me.
The first time Ebukun reviewed my work, I pumped my fists into the air and did a little happy dance. She was very encouraging as a mentor. When we had a chat about growth as an individual - its process and effects, she told me not to rush the process. To paraphrase, she said, as difficult and anxiety-inducing it may be to watch other people make it, you have to know that you're growing at your own pace. When she said that, I felt calmer than before and I breathed. It was something I knew but wanted someone to tell me at that moment.
I love how she always made time for me, despite how busy she was. She is never one to neglect her responsibilities. I see her as a friend; therefore, sometimes, when I'm not feeling so confident, I would contact her for my dose of courage and determination. She never runs out of good advice. She's down-to-earth. She is a fantastic writer -amazing is even an understatement. I often wondered how she comes up with her creative content because they are just so inspiring.
Ebukun is beautiful, smart, kind, and articulate. I hope to work with her someday. She has affected my life positively in ways I did not think were possible. On a scale of 1-10, Blessing is infinity.
From participating in the SLM Mentorship programme, I improved in my imagery creation, construction of words, review and editing process. I also learned what to do when I had writer's block and how to communicate with my readers effectively.
My mentor, Abdulsalam Abdul Dante is amazing. He was patient enough even when I was not responding positively. He is a good mentor, and I thank SLM for pairing him with me.
Before the programme, my definition poetry was simply any group of words broken into lines, but during my time in this programme I learned more ingredients to make a good poem such as the imagery, and use of diction.
My mentor, Miss Aanu Ojo is quite reserved. She is not much of a talker or an explainer, and she allowed me to think out of the box and doesn't believe in the "I cannot" train. She believed everything is possible if one gives it time and their best. From her mentorship, I look at poems differently now. I learned to research especially as the programme started with an essay-writing task. Notably, I learned to believe in myself and my works.
I appreciate the entire SLM team as they were well prepared for the mentees and were very kind, warming and welcoming.
Before the programme, I abbreviated a lot, and I did not use punctuations. I just wrote and left it to the reader to sort things out. But now I am conscious of what I write and how I write.
My mentor, Kehinde Badiru has been worthy of emulation right from the programme’s beginning. He introduced me to this programme, and I was surprised when I noticed I was assigned to be mentored by him. He gave his time and devotion. He sent voice notes that helped me a lot, eye-opening books, and even shared some secret to his writing. He was selfless and attentive.
I can boldly say I am now a better writer. I got to understand what prompting entail and discovered what inspires me to write. I found that writing is beyond this moment and that a work of art never dies; instead, it lives long even after the author passes away. Because of the programme, I feel challenged to be a better writer and be known.
I appreciate everyone that thought and organized this programme - it is an opportunity that should never cease. This programme has the potential to birth the next generation of world shakers through writing.
I was not really into writing before, and I knew as much as nothing, but since the past few weeks, I can boast that I have learned a lot. I learned to articulate more words, write standard poems and place my imaginations on my paper effectively.
My mentor, Mr. Goodness is a born teacher. He took his time to explain the preliminary rules of writing. While he was never in a rush in mentoring me, he was very conscious of time. He taught me like a child, simplifying all. He could pick up whenever I was getting discouraged even without me saying a word. Because of his mentorship, I have a better sense of direction in my creative writing pursuits. The programme placed who I am before me. Mr. Goodness told me "each line of your poem must strike a chord." I want more from him as a mentee, and if given the opportunity, I will like to have him as a mentor again.
Getting to work with three different mentors was a huge opportunity for me. The best thing that can happen to a learner is having someone to guide him; someone keeping him at his heels all the time, hitting him with deadlines and making meaning out of his little works.
My mentor is the real definition of the word. Oyindamola Shoola just knew how to fit in, in every aspect; when to correct and when to praise you that your head might just burst if care isn't taken. She is a golden mentor, honestly, with a whole lot of experience, open to teaching with every tool and learning too.
I improved in many ways. I learned how to beat my deadlines, find my muse in little things, and write effortlessly when called upon. There was also the part of learning different styles and ways of writing that I had not explored before such as shadow writing, picture writing, blackout poetry, narrative, descriptive, converting stories into poems and vice versa. I was also pushed to leave my comfort zone to also try out prose poetry and short stories. The programme was indeed packed with experiences and learning outcomes.
Getting into the programme alone made me feel I wasn't wasting my time with writing. In the course of the program, I wrote more and began seeking more validation through submissions. I am confident of acceptances already.
The SLM Mentorship Programme was well planned from the mentor-mentee pairing to the end, and everything was superb. It helped me to nitpick errors in my previous poems and improve on them. The weekly contest made me realize that I was not very good in other genres of writing and I'll like to improve in those aspects under the guidance of an SLM mentor.
My mentor, Jide Badmus is the best, and I wouldn't have asked for another. He was very patient and showed good insight into poetry. He introduced me to a lot of amazing poets and their poetry. I enjoyed his critiques and explanations. He made me realize my dreams and my writings took a new turn. My use of language improved as well as punctuations. Now, I also understand that while writing, I shouldn't “tell” instead, I should “show” the emotions.
I am now more confident as a writer because of the programme. Kudos to the SLM team - the great minds behind the programme. I am thankful for the opportunity.
The SLM Mentorship Programme is the first of its kind for me. It was well organized, and the mentoring strategy is an excellent way of learning as I gained so much within a short period. I experienced a lot of positive changes and the fact that I got into the fellowship without paying a penny is marvelous. Seeing others winning the programme’s contests propelled me to be better by the week.
My mentor, Mr. Kizito is a very hard-working, thoughtful, helpful and diligent individual. I have seen so much improvement in my work through his mentorship. If I submitted a work or book review, in less than 24 hours, he would reply my message. He understood my weak points and was able to work on that part. I wrote more in the last five week than ever before.
The programme was splendid, and the SLM team showed love, dedication and true service to humanity.
My mentor, Pamilerin Jacob was aware of my poetry before the programme, which helped. He was respectful, kind, challenging, and firm where he needed to be. He is also very good at what he does, and it showed in the things he taught me. I appreciate his ability to be friendly, vulnerable and open with his process, sharing tips that took me to a higher level of writing. During the programme, my editing skills improved. I believed more in my art and developed my voice as a poet.
The experience of the SLM Mentorship Programme was very worthwhile for me.
I am amazed at my improvement from the weeks of the mentorship programme. I wrote things out of my comfort zone – what I wrote may not have been perfect, but they made me really happy. Because I believe that there's always something more to learn, given the opportunity to be a mentee, I would want to do this again.
My mentor, Miss Iyanu Adebiyi is an amazing person. She made it easy for me to talk and open up to her. With her guidance, I got more learned more about narrowing my targeted audience; I learned new words and read more which allowed me to have more diverse perspectives.
Additionally, I got to know myself more because, before the programme, I never really gave much thoughts about myself as a writer – the writer. The manual sections and guided resources - Why, What, Who and how I write helped me to have more self-awareness.
The SLM team is wonderful, and I can't thank them enough for coming up with this opportunity.
During the period of the mentorship, I saw improvement in my creativity. I joined the programme, knowing how weak my creative writing skills were, and my mentor supported me well.
Ogunfowodu Olufemi is the best and having him as a mentor brought me out from the shell of feeling weak and not believing in myself. I'm grateful for the calls, encouragements, and the listening ears - nothing is as precious as the kind of support my mentor provided, and I don’t take it for granted.
I believe that adequate thought and planning was put into the SLM Mentorship Programme as a lot of mentors and mentees were involved in the success of the tasks provided.
My mentor, Patience Lawal was very detailed oriented and interested in my improvement. I related to her as a friend who understands my thoughts and helped me express it better with words. I believe more time under her mentorship would help me grow and blossom into a writer worthy of emulation. With her support I improved in my time management skills, characters development, knowledge of writing techniques, word management and understanding how settings affect plot development.
Winning one of the weekly contests during the mentorship period helped secure my writing ability and boost my confidence. Now, I understand that there is an audience interested in my writing, whereas before, I had imagined my audience to be limited to close friends and family.
The weekly reflection form, airtime, and arranged timetable showed that enough thought was put into the programme. However, it was flexible when it came to extended deadlines which in some way made the mentorship opportunity easier for me. I have become a better writer because of the programme, and I feel more confident in my art.
My mentor, Abimbola Mosoabalaje was very considerate and patient. My poetry was like a shortened version of a story, but he would critique a poem and show me how to make it better. He shared his work with me and encouraged me to do better. I no longer write very long poems because I understand the use of word economy. Thanks to Abimbola, my use of hyperbole, symbolism, punctuations, and metaphor is now stronger, and my poems are livelier and more thought-provoking.
My mentor, Reves always knew what she was doing. Even before I got a clearer picture of my writing, she was able to figure it out. She understood the act of making every sentence or word written serve a purpose and making the writing more understandable and to have direction. With her support, I learned how to tell stories with my poems, how to incorporate imagery, simile, and metaphor in my writing. I also learned how to freely ask questions and to be poetic, yet still make sense.
Before the mentorship program, I had no idea what writing entailed. I just knew I loved doing it. Now I feel more skilled and more confident in writing. Apart from the mentorship programme itself, the contests, airtime, free books which were also included in the programme’s resources made the experience more significant. I don’t think I have ever had access to so many books at my fingertips; the paid book access and free eBooks improved my reading culture.
Notably, the SLM team were really passionate about the programme, and I loved that. Even when I was slacking at some point as a result of scheduling issues, an SLM team member reached out, and that motivated me to continue.
My mentor, Ayoyinka Morawo is a very patient individual and goes through my work thoroughly. Even when I repeat the same mistakes, she patiently draws me back to it. She is very jovial, and I felt comfortable talking to her always. With her support, I became conscious of my Grammar and realized I write better from a personal viewpoint.
Ayoyinka answered my questions about blogging and gave me tips to help my interest in blogging. She also taught me about prompts and how they will help my writing as a blogger.
Although I had some setbacks during the programme and wasn’t able to fully commit to it, the few exchanges with my mentor, Kanyinsola Olorunnisola helped me realize that I have what it takes to embark on any creative journey.
Kanyinsola Olorunnisola is very thorough and detail-oriented. He has a bottomless well of knowledge and creativity, which I wish I had the commitment to grasp fully. He is not only graceful and very understanding, but he is also a teacher, and if given the privilege to do this programme all over again, I want to work with him.
During the programme, I had a renewed self-belief as a creative writer. It has been one thing I have lacked for a while now, and I think that is more than enough to leave this programme with.
Additionally, the SLM Team has been super-efficient. They are always on the ground, ever ready to help, answer questions, pass information, etc. I do not doubt that it is a lot of work. Their effort and commitment towards the programme are unparalleled.
The programme was well thought out, from the beginning of the programme where we were added to a WhatsApp group and had to send our details to moments where contest winners were reimbursed. Naturally, I am one person to quit easily without persevering or trying one more time, but now, through the programme, I learned grit, to keep at the process no matter what's going on.
My mentor, Oyindamola Shoola is sent from above. One of the most important gifts my mentor has is the gift of giving. She gives her time, her experience, her words, and everything in between. She's not one to disguise her feelings when she's upset about something, and I like that about her as it meant that we were very open to each other. I saw the informal side of her on her WhatsApp status, and it was a great learning experience for me. She is a hard worker, and I like to laze around, so it was pretty weird, but I thank God for her understanding and nudging to get the work done. Cheers to more, Oyin.
With my mentor’s support, my questions about what next in my writing journey were answered. I learned how to create measurable and practical goals and work by them. I learned never to be afraid of rewriting: My mentor doesn't mince words and the first time she said I should rewrite a piece, I felt bad and learned to receive criticism well with love. I learned to give more of myself to learning. For example, I have always seen writing as an art with no formulas until I was engaged in discussion with my mentor and she introduced me to methods for writing stories. I also learned how to balance writing and medical school from my conversations with Oyin.
The SLM team has been remarkable. Their teamwork has been one in a million. I appreciate them for everything - from Oyin sending us updates to Joseph sending us airtimes, to Dante’s outreach and everyone else. Thanks for helping young writers in Nigeria develop.
I experienced a positive impact from the programme as it made me more conscious and intentional about my writing. Although I think my mentor - Michael tried his best, it could have been a better experience if he was more available.
The programme boosted my confidence as a writer. Reading the manual and books recommended made me confident that I could one day write like that. The SLM Mentorship Programme manual was great as I learned most of what I know now from it.
The SLM Mentorship Programme was well planned, and the order of activities was top-notch - from the submission of applications to the pairing of mentees to the dissemination of information. I applaud the excellence showcased by the SLM Team.
My mentor, Sarah Aluko was fantastic. She was patient in pointing out areas of improvement in my work. Her critic of my work was honest; she wasn't a sycophant, and I respect that. She also exposed me to some great writers and provided materials to help edit my work. She showed patience when I did not get some things at first and took her time repeating key points she wanted me to retain. The tips she gave me after reading through my works made the revisions better.
Sarah helped me to understand why I should focus less on winning competitions for now, and give more thoughts to improving how I write. When I do the latter well, the former will come too.
I strongly believe enough thought was put into this programme. The programme has provided mentoring scheme for budding writers and critics in order to become what they imagine. The curriculum was also well-structured as well as created a platform through which one could acquire a resounding knowledge of writing and critiquing within four to six weeks.
I experienced positive changes in my writing skills and presentation of ideas. My mentor Uduak Akpan intensively taught me the essence of brevity and how to pass across messages to the audience without verbalism.
Uduak is so good and has a deep-rooted understanding of literature. She studied Animal Science and her passion for literary studies is amazing. I am so privileged to have been mentored by her. She took her time to read through my works painstakingly and provided valuable comments, despite her busy schedule. Aside from going through my works, she created a friendly-learning environment for me to feel comfortable to ask questions and learn with ease.