It was January 2000 when I first visited the beautiful Gambia on a writers’ retreat organised by Kadija George. It brought me into contact with likeminded black writers and here we are on the front page of a Gambian newspaper, I’m third from the left. I came across the advert for the writers retreat at the ACFF Centre in Hyson Green, sadly ACFF no longer exists.
It was here that I began to really think about being published. I had been freelancing as a writer since the mid 1990s and wanted to make that break away from working a 9-5 job. I knew being published would help me up the writing ladder, and it did.
Unfortunately I wasn’t getting the writing support I needed in Nottingham and so I had to look further a field. I’d like to say things have changed in my city and that writing opportunities for black writers are jus as equal as our non-black counterparts but sadly that is not the case. Shortly after my retreat in Gambia I had a poem published in an anthology by Penguin Press.