TLC Pen Factor Special – winner Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

TLC Pen Factor Special – winner Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

“I nearly didn’t apply for TLC Pen Factor. Hunched up on the sofa, feeling unwell, I still had a lot of work to do on my application. Then there was that niggling voice in my head telling me that I wasn’t good enough. That I didn’t have enough writing experience. But somehow—thank God!—I found the strength to persevere and I submitted my application in time. A few weeks later, Aki called me to say I’ve made the shortlist. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Thank you TLC for this life-changing opportunity. I’m a giant leap closer to my dream of becoming a published author.” From the Introduction

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“I open my eyes to see a Mexican wave of women dashing to their seats, each breathing a loud sigh of relief—except for Big Mama. She’s already slumped in her chair, shoes kicked off and legs outstretched. Her toenails look like pork scratchings dipped in red paint. With a plate of chin-chin balancing on her protruding stomach, she scoffs a handful of the biscuit-like snack, crunching like a horse chewing a carrot. I smile. Big Mama may be the loudest of my three-hundred odd aunties—yes, because in Nigerian culture, every Afro-Caribbean woman who is older than you by at least ten years, is by default, your auntie, regardless of whether or not you’re blood-related—but still, I cannot help but love the woman.”

 Extract from ‘Yinka, where is your Huzband?’– included in the showcase

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