Letters to Africa

by UCLan Publishing

Organised Chaos! February 8, 2010

Filed under: Becky,Rachel — letterstoafrica @ 4:13 pm

What’s scarier – this?

Or a seven-year old child? This week, the Letters to Africa team are voting for the latter!

We’ve visited the first schools who are taking part in the project and have been teaching the children all about Africa. We’ve discussed the differences and similarities between the two cultures – and they’ve taught us a few things too! We’ve been tackling all sorts of questions, from ‘Do they like Wayne Rooney in Africa,’ to ‘Can I ask them if they trump?’ (and being very diplomatic about our answers!). As you can imagine, we’re looking forward to receiving the letters they’ll be writing this week (and seeing if they are suitable…). More schools, more children, more awkward questions: bring it on.


PR meeting February 2, 2010

Filed under: Becky — letterstoafrica @ 6:47 pm

This week we have been missing four members of our group including project leader Emily. So left to our devices myself, Vic, Rachel and Dorothy had a meeting with the PR students where great ideas were raised. Talk of local newspapers getting involved including UCLAN’S Pluto, local television stations wanting to cover the story and local radio. Of course the publicity will not only raise the profile of the project but of the University itself. 

South Lakes Animal Park have been great from the offset providing us with “a keeper for the day” competition for the winning letter and also letting buyers of our book into the park for free! Thank you. 



Lecture from Chimamanda Adichie January 26, 2010

Filed under: Fran — letterstoafrica @ 7:46 pm
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“I recently spoke at a university where a student told me that it was such a shame that Nigerian men were physical abusers like the father character in my novel. I told him that I had just read a novel called ‘American Psycho’, and that it was such a shame that young Americans were serial murderers.”

I’ve just watched this really interesting lecture from Chimamanda Adichie (author of Half of a Yellow Sun). She talks a little about the impact of the British and American storybooks she read as a child in Africa, and the national & racial sterotypes stirred up by literature, often due to the prejudice – or naïvete – of the reader. Adichie describes this as “the danger of the single story”. I really enjoyed listening to it.


And so it begins… January 25, 2010

Filed under: Becky — letterstoafrica @ 4:01 pm
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hard at work

Our book “Letters to Africa” is starting to come together with exciting results. We have been in contact with local schools in the area (after A LOT of envelope stuffing last week)  asking for them to get involved with the project. We want school children in this country to write about various topics and their everyday lives to send out and gather responses from the children in Africa.

We want funny stories, scary stories and want to co ver the range of topics from sport to animals. The result showing the vast differences in culture but also the shared experience of being a child.

Our book will also contain loads of pictures of the wildlife out there from ferocious lions to slimy snakes. Fiction from our writers Dorothy and Victoria and a glossary of the vanishing Maa language spoken by the Maasai people.

We have prepared for the trip to Africa ourselves, our arms are sore from vaccinations and the mention of insects or creepy crawlies making us feel a bit queasy. eek!