Femi is Not all Flash

    If we were living in the 90s and functioning as a hip hop magazine, we might say ‘she tore it down’ or ‘raised the roof’, but we’re not, so we’ll have to be more creative when writing about the gifted wordsmith that is Femi Martin.


    Having won the opportunity to be Dickens 2012 Young Writer in Residence at the Charles Dickens Museum, Femi Martin has established a respectable position within the creative community in little under a year.


    ‘You Can’t Pay Your Rent with Applause’


    Often mistaken for a member of the Nigerian community due to her Yoruba name, she chuckled when TheRightCopy first met her and asked about her heritage. ‘I’m not Nigerian, I’m West Indian, I get it all the time.’ She blushed.


     So she’s not Nigerian, but that doesn’t stop us from talking about her in the same breath as established fiction writers Chinua Achebe or Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Femi Martin can also reduce you to tears in one short sentence, the only difference is, ‘I don’t write for the page, I write for performance, I’m like a storyteller, but I don’t call myself that because it’s slightly different, I’m more like a performance poet.’


     Femi was interested to know that our free copyright service could benefit her as a performance poet. 'I didn't protect my work because I write for performance, but this has made me think. It's a great service'


    TheRightCopy was trying to find out what inspires an inspiration to take that first step into creativity. ‘I just told myself try and see what happens if I actually try and do this.’ She tried and she’s succeeding. So what are the next steps? ‘I’ve been writing all sorts of things and I’m just going to continue exploring.’ She told us.




    Martin is a writer of flash fiction (stories no longer than 1000 words), has tried her hand at screenplays, ‘they were awful’ she admitted, was a music journalist and is now working on a one-woman show at Theatre 503 for this weekend.




    She studied anthropology at university and admits that her love of watching people, their behaviours and reactions, really has an effect on what she writes. ‘My writing brain is always engaged, I am very much an observer. I have always been a people watcher and the subtleties in body language.’



    As you’ve just seen, her work is powerful and lucky for us she writes on a variety of issues. Femi can make you laugh and cry in one set, sometimes both actions become entangled during the same piece.




    Now, there are some creatives that are born with the gift of making words play an emotive tango on the senses, writers that can make your heart pause to let your breath catch up. Then there are those that have worked hard to make each word have a function, meticulously planning the effect of every intonation, pause and meaningful look at the awaiting audience. ‘The best writing is in the editing, sometimes you have to let it breathe’. Martin explained.



    Martin is both the natural and hard worker who conducts workshops on how to write Flash Fiction, ‘I people teach how to get the most out of using just a few words and identifying the pinnacle moment’. She’s performed with poets like Deanna Rodger, but marked teaching at HMP Women’s prison as one of the best experiences. ‘It was incredible, the women there really had something to say.’ she enthused.


     Femi left us with a very useful piece of information that we’d like to share with all those in the arts about valuing your work and making sure that people recognise that it is not just a hobby, because ‘You can’t pay your rent with applause.’

    Visit: www.femimartin.com

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