The Caine Prize holds workshop in Zambia

Twelve writers from six African countries will convene at the Chaminuka Lodge near Lusaka for thirteen days (18 March – 29 March) to writ­­e, read and discuss work in progress and to learn from Jamal Mahjoub, the writer also known as Parker Bilal, and Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE, Caine Prize Deputy Chairperson, literary critic, editor and broadcaster. Both will act as tutors and animateurs.

This year’s participants include the 2015 Caine Prize winner, Namwali Serpell (Zambia), as well as NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe); Chilufya Chilangwa (Zambia); Tope Folarin (Nigeria); Elnathan John (Nigeria); Billy Kahora (Kenya); Bwanga Kapumpa (Zambia); FT Kola (South Africa); Kafula Mwila (Zambia); Masande Ntshanga (South Africa); Timwa Lipenga (Malawi); and Okwiri Oduor (Kenya).

Award-winning author Jamal Mahjoub, who, along with Ellah Allfrey, will facilitate the workshop this year, said: “The annual workshop allows writers a unique chance to develop their work and to see themselves as part of a literary community. It is always exciting to meet new writers and to help them realise their potential. The workshop is, in my view, one of the most important aspects of the Caine Prize.”

Director of the Caine Prize, Dr Lizzy Attree said: “As Namwali Serpell won the 2015 Caine Prize we are pleased to bring the workshop, for the first time, to her home in Zambia. We are also very pleased to be supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York.” Jonathan Taylor, Chair of the Caine Prize Council, added: “We are hugely grateful for the support of Carnegie Corporation of New York for this important workshop in Zambia, which is likely again to be the launch pad for many successful literary careers.”

During the workshop, the writers will be expected to write a short story for the 2016 Caine Prize anthology, which will be published in the UK by New Internationalist in the summer, and subsequently by a network of co-publishers. Alongside Interlink in the USA, eight African publishers receive a print ready PDF to print in their country, they include: Jacana Media (South Africa), Lantern Books (Nigeria), Kwani? (Kenya), Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana), FEMRITE (Uganda), Gadsden Publishers (Zambia), ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe) and Langaa (Cameroon).

The workshop will incorporate a visit to local schools and a public event.

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