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Isoken Renette Igharo’s company, Letterworks, is changing lives through its various educational programmes designed for adults and children. Armed with a BA in English from Igbinedion University Okada, an MA in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Swansea, Wales, and a passion for tutoring, she has set out to provide support for language skills, which she considers crucial to self-expression. She talks to Joy Ehonwa about her mission and vision.  CN: What was your motivation for setting up Letterworks? Too many people (children and adults) around me struggled with language, and that bothered me quite a bit. Language deficits limit a person’s ability to express themselves confidently or effectively and, ultimately, affect their perception by others – whether we mean to or not, we judge people by their level of articulation. I was sure I could help, so I began to work with children and adults to support their language skills, mostly on a one-to-one basis. Years later, Letterworks was born to embody this vision. CN: What exactly are the services Letterworks offers? Letterworks is a tutoring and writing services company; our goal is to provide the full spectrum of language/literacy solutions. Letterworks Tutoring, our pioneer service, offers focused learning in writing and reading skills to children and young people. For adults, we offer coaching for speakers of English as a foreign/second language (EFL/ESL) as well as personal and professional upgrade programs in writing and speaking for individuals and businesses. Letterworks Writing Services provides a range of top-notch writing and editing services for individual and corporate clients. This is where our team of writer-tutors get to practise what we preach to our learners about effective writing and editing. CN: How did you raise capital to start the business? Nowhere out of the ordinary – personal income, savings, and family. The bulk of capital required was for our library, which won’t stop growing, sort of like the beanstalk in Jack and the Beanstalk. CN: What are your primary responsibilities as Letterworks boss? Client satisfaction, staff development, brand growth. My job is to ensure constantly increasing value delivery and clarity of direction as I lead from the front. CN: What is the most challenging aspect of being an entrepreneur, for you? You don’t really get to close from work as you would when in paid employment. Being an entrepreneur requires you to listen a lot, ponder a lot, and strategise a whole lot. You are constantly reviewing strategies, researching methods, monitoring performance, managing people; it doesn’t stop. I have to force myself to mentally disengage from work and appreciate life’s other goodnesses. CN: Which of Letterworks’ offerings have been most popular, and what has the feedback been like? That would be our inceptive service, the creative writing workshops we run for children and teenagers. The atmosphere and activities in these sessions help learners develop skills, confidence and a fondness for literary expression. These workshops gave birth to our holiday creative writing and reading camps, which are also hugely popular. Our favorite sort of feedback is from parents who admit their astonishment at how eager their child is to come for lessons, or even better, when they catch their young one reading or writing of their own accord. CN: What do you consider to be the best career decision you have ever made? This is a tough one: there are quite a few that come to mind. I’ll choose pulling out of work at the Lagos State Governor’s Office, with all of its tempting potentials, to pursue the Creative Writing MA at Swansea University. In my application for a place on the MA, I was required to include my reason for wanting to follow the course. I told the truth – I knew I loved writing, but I didn’t know what to do with it. The MA was an opportunity to plunge myself into the world of writing and see where my journey would lead after. CN: Who are your favourite writers? Oh, a host of them. I particularly love William Wilkie Collins, Anne Fine, Atinuke, Chimamanda Adichie and Elizabeth Laird, all of whom demonstrate a witty, subtly cinematic style. CN: What is your long-term vision for Letterworks? Let me begin with what is NOT our goal: to turn every Letterworks learner into an author. Excellent writing is not solely for storytellers. At Letterworks, we help people of all ages and walks of life overcome their limitations with language and literary expression so that the can take advantage of every opportunity to live their best lives. Our vision is therefore to be fireplace for stoking the love of words and the hub for harnessing anyone’s unique literary potential. To be the place you come to when you need a spark or skill, or need saving, and to need no other place after us.   Website: (not com) Phone: 09022258331, 08092225833 Email: Twitter: @letterworksco Facebook: @letterworkslagos (Letterworks: Tutors, Writers and Editors) Instagram: @letterworks_lagos

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This article was first published on 1st November 2017 and updated on November 3rd, 2017 at 2:38 pm


Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at]

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