Lauri Kubuitsile is a full time writer living in Botswana. She has written numerous books over many genres for children, teens, and adults which are published both in Southern Africa and abroad. Her short stories have been published around the world in anthologies and magazines. She also writes regularly for South Africa’s FunDza Literacy Trust which makes stories available to young adults on their cellphones.
Lauri has won or been shortlisted for numerous writing prizes. In 2007, she won the Botswana Ministry of Youth and Cultures’ Botswerere prize for Creative Writing. In 2008, she won The Bessie Head Literature Prize for Short Story. She won the Pan-African Golden Baobab Prize for children’s literature, twice in, 2009 and 2010, and was shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize for her story In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata. Her humorous teen book, Signed, Hopelessly in Love (Tafelberg) was chosen by O Magazine as one of the best books from 2011; the sequel is now available from Diamond Educational Publishers titled Signed, The Secret Keeper. Signed, Hopelessly in Love was also shortlisted for South Africa’s MER Prize in September 2012.
Her books are read in schools in Botswana, both at primary and secondary level, and are now also read in South African schools with her humorous book, The Second Worst Thing (Oxford University Press) having been recently CAPS approved for grade 7.
Lauri blogs at Thoughts from Botswana.
Interview with Lauri
Why do you enjoy writing?
I like creating new characters and getting caught up in their lives and their world.
What is hard about writing?
The hardest part about writing, by far, is the rejection, and there is a lot of it, even after you’ve been published a bit like me.
When did you start writing stories?
I started writing seriously about nine years ago.
What inspires you to write?
So many things. I might hear a news story and get an idea. I might overhear a conversation. I recently finished a short story inspired by something someone wrote on Facebook. Almost anything can give me an idea for a story.
One piece of advice for young writers…
You need to stick with it. I know many writers who are better than me who’ve had little success because they gave up. You need to stick with it and keep learning and improving. That’s the key.