We’re pleased to announce that Aman Oyoko has been awarded the HW Fisher Novel-Writing Scholarship for his novel-in-progress Where the Rain Gods Go. Aman has won a fully-funded place on our Three-Month Online Novel-Writing course taught by Lisa O’Donnell. Elliot is the ninth talented writer of limited financial means to be offered a scholarship on one of our selective entry novel-writing courses by HW Fisher & Company Chartered Accountants.
At CBC we were instantly struck by Elliot’s transportive storytelling and unique voice. We’re thrilled to have him on board for our current online course and couldn’t wait to find out more about the novel he’s working on . . .
Please could you tell us a bit about yourself and your novel-in-progress Where the Rain Gods Go?
I’m a 24-year-old British-Ghanaian who grew up between London and Accra. I’m currently working in two part-time roles while I continue to work on my writing. My novel-in-progress is about two teenage boys of African descent who live in a small town in the English countryside and develop a unique and passionate relationship. It’s a coming-of-age tale based on my experiences growing up between the UK and Ghana, my struggles with my mental health and the exploration of my sexuality. When I first started writing the novel, I had no intention of publishing it – it was my own personal form of therapy for the experiences I encountered in my childhood/adolescence which I still struggle to make sense of.
What does winning this scholarship place mean to you?
Winning this scholarship is important to me because it is the first time I have felt truly seen; not just as a writer but also as a queer person of African descent. It is the first time my writing and experiences have received this level of recognition. We have few opportunities to tell our stories and share our experiences. I hope I am able to use what I learn from this course to go out and change that. I am beyond grateful for this scholarship and the opportunity to work with and learn from such remarkable writers.
The CBC team are hugely grateful to HW Fisher for their ongoing support of our courses through this scholarship programme. The HW Fisher sponsorship of CBC started when Andrew Subramanium, a partner in HW Fisher’s media group, working with an impressive list of writers, musicians and artists, got talking to CBC’s MD Anna Davis. That first conversation, over five years ago, quickly led to the development of a scholarship programme that has funded two students per year ever since.
We are dedicated to finding talented writers and helping them get the best out of their novels. It’s very important for us to support writers who would not otherwise have been able to take our courses by offering scholarship opportunities, and we are absolutely delighted that three of our previous HW Fisher scholars have already gone on to get book deals. Our spring 2018 scholar Kiare Ladner had her debut novel Nightshift snapped up by Picador while she was studying with us. Louise McCreesh was awarded the 2016 scholarship and her debut book Cracked is out now – published by Hodder & Stoughton. Most recently our 2017 scholar Kirsty Capes gained a deal for her dark and funny feminist debut Careless, set to be published by Orion in 2021.
If your interested in fully funded opportunities to study on our courses check out The Breakthrough Writers’ Programme.