Time of the Locust by Morowa Yejidé

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It’s always great to share news of our alumni, but it’s especially great to share news of forthcoming first novel publications.

Morowa Yejidé

Morowa Yejidé

“When you work so hard at something and constantly dream and strategize about it and then you finally do get a YES, it’s hard to believe it,” Morowa Yejidé said. “That was my initial reaction to hearing that my novel, Time of the Locust, was going to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster. Disbelief.” The Wilkes alum said the premise of her novel had been floating around her mind for several years before she even put pen to paper. It’s the story of an autistic boy living in the universe of his mind and his supernatural relationship with his incarcerated father.

Prior to focusing on her thesis, Morowa had a few sample chapters that were published as short stories. With that early success and encouragement, she took the project further. “I decided to give a complete manuscript a serious effort through the Wilkes MFA. The faculty really seemed to be in the trenches as working writers—which was what attracted me to the program,” she said. “I listened to Robert Mooney read one of his powerful, visually-driven narratives and knew right away I wanted to work with him as my Faculty Mentor.”

Morowa was determined to strengthen the story, but she was also eager to have an audience. “I continued revisions along the way, working with Mooney, sending the manuscript out, sort of building the plane while I was flying it. After many rejections from various agents and publishing houses large and small, I decided to try some national competitions.” That’s when she began making headway. “Time of the Locust placed as a finalist in the 2012 PEN/Bellwether Prize and the Dana Awards.”

The Wilkes alum had already seen success in other venues. Her short stories have appeared in the Istanbul Literary Review, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, Underground Voices, the Adirondack Review, and others. One of her stories had been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, too, but she still wanted the book manuscript to strike a chord with publishers. Once she had the selling point as a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize and the Dana Awards, Morowa took another chance. “I sent out more queries. The rest is, as they say, history. Time of the Locust is forthcoming Spring 2014.”

More about Morowa Yejidé can be found on her website at http://morowayejide.com.

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