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Hannah Onoguwe

Hannah Onoguwe lives and works in Jos, Nigeria, the setting of her fondest childhood memories. One of her short stories has been published by Adanna Literary Magazine. She loves to travel, watch romantic comedies and try new recipes.

Story: Double Take


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What is the best writing advice you've ever heard?
"Apply butt to chair" or something along those lines. It's about the discipline. When I determine to write- and sit down to do it- ideas usually flow and/or develop and the time usually turns out to be productive.
When you start a new story do you prepare an outline in advance or do you just jump right in?
These days I prepare an outline. It totally works! Nothing fancy, just a summary of scenes and characters and what the scene will begin and end with. Things get chucked out and new things come in, but with it I never feel totally lost.
How do you deal with writing criticism, apart from just ignoring it?
I first try to calm down...(deep breath)...and then step back to consider objectively the points the person raised in that particular piece of work. It also opens my eyes to areas to watch out for in future writing.
America's Next Author has been running for almost 8 weeks. If you could re-submit now, would you change anything about your story?
No, I wouldn't change anything about the story itself. I would, however, consider some of the points which have been raised in the critiques and see which parts of the story might bear tweaking.



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This morning I decided to browse through different authors and their stories, on the America's Next Author rank page. Even though I remained on page 1 of the author rank page, I found an interesting story by a writer, who caused me to return to their author page three times. Further, even though (God forgive me) my favorite short story is mine, one short story in particular sparked my curiosity to the point where, I read the story to the very end. That short story was yours. With a few "nips and tucks" dealing with some mild editing, your story will be "five stars!" Next, I noticed that there was more than one time where you quickly jumped from one situation to another. For example, this "husband with the daughters" meets up with an old flame. Soon after, they already had sex, then you quickly jump to her sons approaching this lady and her old lover. Plus, her husband pops up, and well girlfriend, I'm sure you know the rest. All in all, your story has more than "potential". I feel you need to go ahead and turn this into a short novel. It's that good! To add, it's good enough to rival today's black romance novels. With the right editor, publishing house, etc., I feel that you will be on your way! Just some minor "touch ups " and a story like this could be in the next Oprah Winfrey book club. Congratulations! This was a very nice read!

Susan Gale Wickes

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Well written. I think this is the kind of story that a lot of people can relate to. I did get lost in one spot as to whether it was the past or present, but that was a minor detraction. I enjoy getting a glimpse into other cultures and you did a great job of providing this insight. Good job!

Alyce Wilson

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You capture these families and this culture beautifully. I love how easily and naturally the dialogue flows. I'm sure it's not the only culture where male children are preferred, although in the U.S. you're not supposed to admit it. I secretly wanted a girl but was blessed with a healthy, precocious boy! Thanks for your kind comments on my story, "Dating Safari."


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Nice one Hannah!


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Great read! Simple!

Johnson Oluwaseun

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I could not just. The suspence was good

J.R. Verwey

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A good read, very enjoyable. I will say that I did have an issue going from present to past to present. Other than that though, I enjoyed the feelings that rose up about reliving past choices. Great piece.


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Nice Story, like the flow


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This is an amazing piece. She pierces the heart of the male child issue in the African culture. the story flows effortlessly carrying the reader along smoothly. Way to Go Hannah!

Addai Agyemang

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I really enjoyed reading your story and related to it deeply, especially the theme of how in African culture a wife is expected to produce a male child or both the husband and the wife are looked on as failures. I liked how you also pointed out that that culture is changing, be it very slowly, with Osazie's reflection on having a daughter. The only things I would suggest is maybe making the switching from the past to the present more seamless and less abrupt. Also, I felt the ending was a bit abrupt. Other than that I really enjoyed your story. You're a great writer!


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takes me back in time. had my episodes, and can relate to this story very easily. girl, you've struck 'OIL' with this one. Believe!!!!


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Nice title, cool concept. enjoyed reading it, and I see a great writer coming up. good going Hannah :)


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nice work


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i never new you are a writer and a good one for that matter, the story is super, a beautiful piece you have got there.

Da Cicero

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Hannah sets out to address a familiar theme in the Nigerian cultural experience but does so with a fresh perspective reflecting the gradual generational shift in perspective on some of those age-old themes that have engaged society. Her delivery reveals great literary promise. It might not yet be Achebean or Soyinkian, but it is enough to capture my imagination even if for a little while.

osagie osasu

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Hanna's piece is actually a masterpiece,it's the revelation of a new gem.All the characters were well synchronized to make her piece look very real and imaginable too.I was also truely appealing.I guess we have a future nobel LAURET in the making.I am so proud of you my dear friend.


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Captivating! Looking forward to reading a novel by you...

Victory Uzuakpundu

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hi Hannah< your story was a woooooooooooooooooooow for me. it was a wonderful piece.


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I am quite impressed Hannah! The little young lady I knew from primary school has blossomed into a great writer and the best is yet to come! Keep at it! This piece an example of day to day life for many here in nigeria. Keep it up!

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The author undoubtedly manifests her control of language and the lessons being conveyed for the understanding of even a child, makes the story a real paradigm - a must read resource material. You have all my vote.


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This a wow read from a budding literary giant. The story is short but carries a lenthy meaning. It is enthusiastically engaging. Kudos.


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My reveiw is given in the belief there is a 'Man booker/Franz Kafka prize' winning work within you. I think the review given by the 'Penniless writer' above is most constructive ...I would add that the transitions between the past and present could be made less rapid.

HM Gruendler-Schierloh

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I love your writing! After a bit of flashback and reminiscing in the middle, you came right back to the beginning, nicely wrapping it all up. To me, it was almost a "tongue-in-cheek" ending, along the lines of "be careful what you wish for - you may just get it." Besides, I like stories that teach me a thing or two (or more) about the experiences of other cultures, in other lands. We tend to know way too little about each other in this vast global community.


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Something of a diamond in the rough. Talent is there, but structuring and editing are lacking. Would like to read more.


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A refreshing read, way to go Hannah!!!

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December 18th, 2012
The winner of America's Next Author 2012 has been announced! [...]
December 7th, 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
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