Decoding Writing Labs: Mike Omonua’s Journey and the Power of Nurtured Creativity – Albantsho’s In Conversation With…

Nov 2, 2023

Embarking on a journey through the art of storytelling, our debut ‘In Conversation With…’ episode featuring the talented Mike Gouken Omonua was nothing short of enlightening. 

Mike Omonua is a filmmaker known for his writer-director double hat on ‘Love Potion’ (a captivating story in the 2021 movie “Juju Stories”).

In this recap article of the first episode, we revisit the highlights of our discussion, delving into the enriching insights shared by Mike Omonua as we explored the transformative power of screenwriting labs and their profound impact on a writer’s creative journey. We use Mike’s own experience at the Realness Institute Screenwriting Lab as a baseline to address the topic: “Decoding Writing Labs: Mike’s Journey and the Power of Nurtured Creativity.”

Join us as we reflect on the wisdom gained during this captivating conversation, offering a glimpse into the world of storytelling magic. 


The Residential Sanctuary of Writing Labs

Mike illuminated the advantages of residential writing labs, emphasizing their unique ability to curtail distractions. Within these immersive environments, free from the mundane clutter of everyday life, writers find themselves in a secluded space, fostering an atmosphere ripe for new inspirations and an undivided focus on their craft.


Evolution of Story and Characters

A standout revelation surfaced in the form of the evolution of stories and characters within the confines of writing labs. Mike shared how the intensive focus on development becomes a crucible, refining both the narrative and characters, elevating them to unforeseen heights.


Craftsmanship as a Prerequisite

A recurring theme throughout the conversation was the paramount importance of honing one’s craft before venturing into the realm of writing labs. Mike underscored the significance of investing in self-improvement as the foundational step to unlocking the full potential of these transformative experiences.


Tailored Story Development

Acknowledging the diverse pace of story development, Mike emphasized that proficiency in writing expedites the process. Yet, the nature of the story itself becomes a critical factor, with some narratives demanding more time and attention for their complete realization.


Juju Stories - Love Potion - Mike Gouken Omonua

Juju Stories (2021) | Love Potion | Mike Gouken Omonua


Craft Improvement for Efficiency

The dialogue resonated with the sentiment that continuous efforts to enhance one’s craft provide a significant edge. Beyond making one a better writer, this improvement enhances efficiency, enabling the timely delivery of outputs and meeting deadlines with finesse.


Exploring the World of Writing Labs

Before setting foot in writing labs, Mike offered sage advice to aspiring writers: grasp the art of writing, engage in collaborative efforts, and actively read scripts. Clarity about one’s writing aspirations serves as a guiding compass, dictating the level of effort required for success.


Miscellaneous Insights

Mike dispelled misconceptions surrounding the benefits of attending writing labs, emphasizing the focus on craft improvement over marketing projects. Additionally, he shared intriguing details about the development of his upcoming movie, ‘Galatians,’ expressing excitement about the creative freedom afforded during the crafting process.


Notable Writing Labs and Initiatives

For those venturing into the world of storytelling, Mike provided a valuable list of notable writing labs and initiatives for emerging screenwriters in Africa, offering a roadmap for those eager to embark on their creative journeys. For seasoned screenwriters seeking advanced opportunities, Mike recommended exploring renowned international labs. He presented a curated list of prestigious programs that offer advanced training and mentorship.


In summary, In Conversation With Mike Omonua unveiled a lot of rich insights, reinforcing the belief that storytelling is a continuous journey of growth and exploration. Whether you’re an emerging talent or a seasoned professional, the world of writing labs opens doors to creativity and excellence. Stay tuned for more enlightening conversations on “In Conversation With…” where the magic of storytelling unfolds every week. Every Wednesday at 5 PM (WAT) on @albantsho on Instagram.


Watch the full replay of the conversation below.



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