This summer, we’re handing the blog to our mentees so they can introduce themselves and their writing. Read on and find out more about the person who could be your next favourite writer!
My name is Abimbola Fashola, I live in South East London and I currently work in a secondary school. I have always been interested in creative writing and love creating characters and new worlds! In 2020 (Pre Pandemic) I took part in the short course called “Writing for Children” at City University with amazing children’s author Sophia Bennett. This course was a 10 week evening course which I committed to attending each week. I learnt so much on this course, such as the importance of having a unique voice and showing not telling.
I have always enjoyed writing stories and have written some short stories but life took over and I would only write a few short stories here and there. I then attended a masterclass with legendary author Dorothy Koomson through Black Girls Book club towards the end of 2019 and that is what inspired me to start writing seriously again.
Representation and diversity are not just buzz words for me. I genuinely believe it is so important for children to see characters and authors that look like them and come from similar backgrounds as themselves. As much as I appreciate and understand the importance of children’s books that deal with serious topics I also believe it is important to have children’s stories that include children from different backgrounds doing silly and fun things!
My book is a middle grade story about an 11 year girl called Modupe a black British Nigerian girl who tends to shy away from spotlight. Modupe is an amazing swimmer and wants to finally shake off the annoying ‘Mouse’ nickname she was given by her ex best friend Favour after nearly drowning in a swimming pool at her local leisure centre, by entering her school’s swimming competion that will lead to the finalists going to a prestigious private school in Surrey to compete against the swimmers there. Her loyal but mischievous best friend Korede has an idea to help his best friend. They have to steal ‘Magic Hair Beads’ from their local abandoned hair shop! My story touches on the fast gentrification of London through the eyes of two children as well as a young girl learning to become confident again.
Balancing a full-time job and writing will be my biggest challenge but with the support from my incredible mentor and the other Megaphone mentees I know it is plausible for me to complete my final first draft whilst on the scheme. I am also learning to not be so critical of myself and my writing!
I hope that by the end of the programme I can have a fully written manuscript and I have gained the confidence to present this manuscript to agents and publishers.