Updates from African Writers Trust

At African Writers Trust, we are gearing up for a Literary Feast in May, 2012. In partnership with DOEN Foundation and British Council, we have invited a performance poet, an international publisher and a leading literary agent, all from the UK to come to Uganda and engage with writers, publishers, editors, poets, academics, journalists, students and readers in a wide range of activities. These will include workshops, seminars, readings, lectures and social events.

To learn more about our featured speakers, please read on.


Nii Ayikwei Parkes

Nii Ayikwei Parkes

Nii was born in the UK and raised in Ghana. He is a performance poet, novelist, editor, broadcaster and sociocultural commentator. He is the author of several poetry books including The Makings of You (2010) and a novel, Tail of the Blue Bird (2009) which was shortlisted for 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize and has now been translated into Dutch and German.  Nii holds an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck (university of London). He is the senior editor at Flipped Eye Publishing and serves on a number of boards including the Caine Prize. He is one of the judges for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize. An experienced performance poet of his work Nii has appeared at readings all over the world and often leads writing and performance workshops. He lives in London and Accra. Nii will conduct a poetry and mentoring workshop for emerging Ugandan poets and university students.


Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

Ellah is the deputy editor of Granta Publishing in the UK. Before joining Granta in 2009, she was senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House where she introduced and commissioned a list of acclaimed and award-winning young African writers including Brian Chikwava (Zimbabwe) Chika Unigwe (Nigeria) and Dinaw Mengestu (Ethiopia). In 2011, Ellah   was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to the publishing industry. She was on the judging panel of the Caine Prize in 2010 and 2011.


David Godwin

David Godwin

David has been a literary agent for fifteen years. Before that he was a publisher at Heinemann, Secker and Warburg and Jonathan Cape. David Godwin Associates specialises in a wide range of international clients including Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things 1997) Vikram Seth (A Suitable Boy 1993) Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger 2008) as well as a host of other writers including Pippa Middleton. David has represented a number of leading contemporary African writers including Aminatta Forna, (Sierra Leone) Helon Habila (Nigeria) and Doreen Baingana (Uganda)


David and Ellah will workshops and seminars for book, magazine and journal editors on topics including Digital and Web publishing, practical editing, copy editing, commissioning, Best Practice guidelines for editors, Marketing and Publicity and others.

The highlight of this literary feast will be a public dialogue/debate focusing on the theme: Where is Africa’s Great Novel?

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5 Responses to Updates from African Writers Trust

  1. Shadreck Chikoti April 8, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    We need to have details of how we can attend this historical event.

    • Barya April 8, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      Yes. Details will soon be communicated here.

  2. please give me more details on time and venue- Ssekajja .k. Ronald Editor black gold media, a poet and novelist May 24, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    please give me more details on time and venue

  3. byoma May 29, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    from which room at fairway hotel, is the dialogue taking place?
    byoma twesigye. s – author of 2 novels, HANGED & NOT A STORE

    • Barya May 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

      You’ll see notices at Fairway Hotel directing you to the right room. Details:

      Invitation to an International Public Dialogue

      I am writing to invite you to participate in the international dialogue on writing and publishing. The discussion will focus on the general theme: Where is the Great African Novel?

      The debate will further examine some of the contemporary literary trends in writing today and new perspectives on publishing. It will address questions about the future of African writing, the role of literary prizes for African writers, the changing patterns in international publishing and what books the west wants and expects from African writers.

      Chaired by Deputy Editor of the international literary magazine Granta (UK) and Deputy Editor Chair of the Caine Prize Council, Ellah Allfrey, the panel will comprise some of Uganda’s leading writers including Doreen Baingana and Prof. Timothy Wangusa, and editor and writer Billy Kahora from Kenya.

      The event is organised by African Writers Trust, a UK-based organization that facilitates interactions between African writers in the Diaspora and writers on the continent to promote sharing of skills and learning between the two groups, in partnership with DOEN Foundation and British Council.

      This is a free event and it will take place on Thursday, 31st May at Fairway Hotel, Kampala from 5-7pm. Come one, come all.

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