Master Class with Lola Shoneyin

Co-curator of the 2023 Read My World festival

Organized by:
International Writer’s Collective

Sunday 16 April
16:00 to 17:30

Amstelveenseweg 53


Award-winning Nigerian author Lola Shoneyin will give a master class for us on Sunday 16 April from 16:00 to 17:30 at Labyrinth, Amstelveenseweg 53, 1075 VT Amsterdam (see map). We hope you can stay for drinks, bites and conversation at the bar afterward.

Lola is the author of three poetry collections, two children’s books and the award-winning novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. Born in Ibadan, Nigeria and educated in the UK, she has been named by the Hay Festival as one of the most promising 39 authors under the age of 40 from sub-Saharan Africa and the diaspora. In September 2023, Lola will co-curate the Read My World Festival in Amsterdam.

We will be looking at The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives and examining topics such as using multiple perspectives, tackling social issues, and enriching dramatic scenes with humour, as well as general writing craft and process questions.

To get the most out of the class, we encourage you to read the book in advance. You can purchase a copy in ebook and paperback formats in English and in Dutch from most major retailers. Boekhandel van Rossum in Amsterdam should have some in stock as of 20 March.


Lola Shoneyin is the author of three poetry collections—So All the Time I Was Sitting on an EggSong of a Riverbird, and For the Love of Flight and two children’s books: Mayowa and the Masquerades and Iyaji, the Housegirl. Her debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, was nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2011 and went on to win the 2011 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. Her novel has since been adapted for theater, radio, and a soon-to-be Netflix series. Lola is the director of Aké Arts and Book Festival, an annual literary and cultural event in Nigeria.

Karen Kao is an instructor with the International Writers’ Collective. She is the winner of the 2022 Kenyon Review Short Nonfiction Prize. Her published work includes her debut novel The Dancing Girl and the Turtle, and short form prose in the Kenyon ReviewPleiadesBrevity Magazine and Tahoma Literary Review.


In this series, working writers talk tips, tricks and techniques with a focus on a single novel or collection. The classes are conducted in an interview format with plenty of room for questions. Check out our podcast archive to listen to recordings of previous Master Classes with writers such as A.M. Homes, winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction; Kristen Roupenian, author of the viral short story “Cat Person”; Jennifer Clement, then PEN International president; and Lauren Groff, the author of Barack Obama’s favourite book of 2015.