Africa in Words at Africa Writes 2018


AW2018_savethedate_A6_digital_yomi_Image credit Jolade OlusanyaIn among the generosity and wealth of Africa Writes’ offerings this year – new and fresh events, workshops, panels and conversations – see our Event Preview here and the Africa Writes programme with further details on their website, with advance booking strongly recommended – Africa in Words will be around and about at large, and small (…all will become clear – see below) at the Festival this year, and we can’t wait! 

AiW are delighted to be partnering with the Festival, co-hosting the Books In Your Ears: On Literary Podcasts discussion on Sunday afternoon, 1st July at 14.00, looking at one of the most exciting trends in African literature over the past few years – the growth in podcasts. Guest speakers from Not Another Book PodcastNo Binding, BakwaCast, and 2 Girls & a Pod, based both in the UK and the African continent, will discuss their shows, interactions, and the ways that podcasts are forging new networks and possibilities for African literature and literary production. (And watch this space over the next couple of days for more introductory posts on podcasts and the event at Africa Writes.)

Books in your ears - Africa Writes

Also on Sunday afternoon, 1st July from 12.30pm, there’s a roundtable on small magazines – with our very own Kate Wallis (AiW Founding Editor), other AiW contributors Madhu Krishnan and Dzekashu MacViban, alongside Christopher Ouma, Nancy Adimora, and Jama Musse Jama – which will explore the cutting-edge of the corridors of storytelling which small mags help to create, and the significance of these, their roles and travels in contemporary African literary culture.

This Africa Writes roundtable – turning to mags like Enkare Review, AFREADA, Bakwa Magazine and others, and taking its title from the AHRC funded Research NetworkSmall Magazines, Literary Networks & Self-Fashioning in Africa and the Diaspora, convened by Madhu Krishnan (University of Bristol) and Chris Ouma (University of Cape Town) – emerges from and continues a range of conversations between a new and interdisciplinary network of researchers and literary producers and makers about small mags as sites that are both flexing the power of the ‘small’ – intimacy and close collaboration – and that can, and do extend forms of literary activism large-scale, crossing regional and contextual concerns.

Through a series of AiW Small Magazines Guest posts we’ve been with these emergent and generative series of conversations and events in various ways, and very much looking forward to this next one on Sunday 1st.

(And for those who’ve been following, see Africa Writes on Enkare Review here.)

On Saturday evening (June 30th, 17.30), Africa Writes will also be hosting the Caine Prize 2018 shortlisted story writers, offering the opportunity to meet them in the ‘Caine Prize Conversation’.

AiW will be ‘blogging the Caine Prize‘ again this year, running a back-to-back series of posts on the shortlisted stories this week in the run-up to the Award and prize giving, this year on Monday July 2nd, in today’s iteration of a blogosphere conversation, a conversation that began for us in 2013 – the Caine Prize ‘Blog-Carnival’ as described by Aron Bady back then – that seeks to keep open the range of discussions around the short stories, as well as anticipating those included in this year’s anthology, and significantly, ‘prizing’ these stories through the Caine, thinking it more broadly through prizes and prize cultures for African writing in English (see our 2013 post by Kate Wallis, ‘Joining the Caine Prize ‘Blog-Carnival’‘ on these very questions, as well as following some of our Authors and Guests on the stories over the years, in light of the ways some of these narratives have developed, the interactions of the blogosphere and the Caine Prize, as well as how these questions are reflected in reviews of the Caine Prize anthologies) .

Via the Caine Prize, you can preview and read each of the 2018 shortlisted stories – below – and join us in the broader conversation! – usually ‘a lot’, always interesting, maybe (often, always?) provocative…

Nonyelum Ekwempu (Nigeria) for ‘American Dream’, published in Red Rock Review (2016) and republished in The Anthem (2016).
– Read ‘American Dream

Stacy Hardy (South Africa) for ‘Involution’, published in Migrations: New Short Fiction from Africa, co-published by Short Story Day Africa and New Internationalist (2017).
– Read ‘Involution

Olufunke Ogundimu (Nigeria) for ‘The Armed Letter Writers’, published in The New Orleans Review (The African Literary Hustle, 2017).
– Read ‘The Armed Letter Writers

Makena Onjerika (Kenya) for ‘Fanta Blackcurrant’, published in Wasafiri (2017).
– Read ‘Fanta Blackcurrant

Wole Talabi (Nigeria) for ‘Wednesday’s Story’, published in Lightspeed Magazine (2016).
– Read ‘Wednesday’s Story

You can let us know what you think, directly on the blog by commenting on our reviews as they come this week, or by getting in touch with us, or join in with us by chatting, as Africa Writes suggests, on Twitter: @AfricaWritesUK and/or @africainwords.

Plus, Africa Writes have made available the conversation between last year’s shortlisted writers on their Mixcloud.

If you can be in London, we hope to see you there! – that’s this weekend – 29th June – 1st July at the British Library. To book tickets (to reiterate, advance booking is strongly recommended, with some events already sold out) and see the full range of what’s on offer go to Africa Writes…

Day TicketsWeekend Passes and tickets for headline events are also available to book on the British Library website or over the phone on 01937 546546.  Tickets for the Africa Writes 2018 Party presented by Octavia Poetry Collective are available to book on the Rich Mix website or over the phone on 020 7613 7498.

With thanks to Africa Writes for their generosity and for sharing their publicity materials with us.



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