1. Uganda Creative Writing School
The aim of the writing school is to inspire, develop and offer professional writing skills to writers in Africa. Courses cover novel, short story, memoir and poetry writing craft. We use interactive training techniques ranging from group discussions, plenary sessions, writing and reading workshops, and individual presentations, while focusing on each writer’s need at various stages of their writing careers. Classes are taught by published, established writers and university lecturers, and are suitable for beginners and the more experienced writers. Courses are conducted annually, and the first one was held in February 2010, in Kampala.
Online mentoring programme
We have also initiated an online mentoring project in which we pair emerging Ugandan writers with established UK based writers. The first project started in August 2012 and lasted six months. During that period, the mentees submitted short stories, poems, and received critical feedback on their works. The main objective was to challenge and inspire emerging writers to produce good literature by focusing on professional writing development and practical guidance. The mentees were able to develop strong portfolios and the project culminated in an anthology of short stories and poems available on site. Three writers from this project were selected based on the strength of their writing, and offered places on the Caine Prize for African Writing annual writing workshop, which was held in Uganda in April 2013. We plan to scale up this project by connecting with established writers anywhere, and replicating the project in other African countries where there is great need for writing skills development, mentoring, and creation of writing and publishing opportunities for emerging writers.
2. Writer’s Fellowship
African Writers Trust will offer one-four months fellowship each year in creative writing to a professional African writer who will be required to spend one academic semester providing mentorship and practical creative writing advice to university students in Africa. The Fellowship will include a living stipend and a nominal salary for the work provided.
3. Writers’ Fund
African Writers Trust is working on building a writers’ fund to support works of independent creative writers living on the continent. The fund will offer the following:
- Travel grants for participation in literary events within Africa
- Grants to individual writers to develop their writing projects
4. Writers Resource Book
African Writers Trust will collaborate with interested publishers to publish every three years a Writers’ Resource Book containing comprehensive, up-to-date information on literary agents and publishers interested in African books, a directory of African writers, and a listing of writing and publishing opportunities for African writers. The book will be sold and distributed in Africa through already existing literary bodies, institutions of learning, libraries and bookshops.
5. Establish and maintain a regularly updated website
The website will be used as a tool for coordinating and linking African writers worldwide, sharing informative, motivational articles, blogging, book reviews and news.
Future goal: A Writers’ House based in Uganda
The purpose of a Writers’ House is to offer African writers space, time and facilities to develop their writing.