A total of 20 writers were at the weekend honoured by the Ghana Association of Writers for their exceptional writing skills and their contribution towards the literary development of the country.
Amongst them was the former Editor of the Ghanaian Times, Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, who received award for the Novel category.
The event was held on the theme “Honouring literary excellence”.
Other awardees were presented with citations for the categories such as short story, spoken word, Children’s storybook, Ghanaian Language experience award, maths and science special awards, a young writer and Creative non-fiction.
The President of the Ghana Publishers Association, Mr Asare Konadu Yamoah, speaking at the ceremony said the awards were meant to encourage good works and promote healthy relationships among a group hence the importance of this awards ceremony.
He expressed worry over the docile nature of writers saying that they have failed in their watchdog role in governance, social progress and the manifestation of culture.
“They must be the proponents of what basic principles must govern building a new society. We have some societies well advanced than others; it is not so much about the people being special, it is all about the fundamentals, driven by writing,” he said.
He underscored the need to motivate writers who would in turn inspire society as they were agents of change.
“Writers as agents of change, when not motivated to inspire the society, leaves a wide space filled by ineptitude, and mediocrity. Today, we do not have writers who are dedicated to evincing a new way of life commensurate to the changing trends across continents,” Mr Yamoah explained.
He commended the GAW for organising the awards ceremony to recognise and honour the efforts of writers as it would help all persons periodically, to both contemplate and reminiscent about GAW and the vital role Writers play in human development.
An Awardee, Godfred Adusei Derkyi in his remarks said reading among Ghanaians was low hence the need to inculcate reading habits into the younger generation as it would prepare them for the future.
He commended Ghanaian writers for adopting technology in the distribution of their literary works as it would ensure they reach a wider audience within the shortest possible time.
“African writers currently sell more of the works through digital platforms than hard copies,” he emphasised.
However, Mr Derkyi noted that the writing industry in Ghana was not very lucrative as compared to other countries but the love for writing and the urge to lock their works in print would keep them going.
“If you write in Ghana intending to make money you will be disappointed, but we write because when we lock something in print it’s almost like forever. There would be a time books today will be appreciated,” he said.
The GPA President urged all writers to take necessary steps to ensure their books are proofread, edited and published as it would encourage them to write more and also contribute to human development
BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE