A feast of Words and Wine for Ugandan Writers

Two writing and mentoring workshops for emerging Ugandan writers kicked off at the end of October 2011, running through the first week of November at the Uganda National Museum in Kampala.  The workshops were organised by African Writers Trust, (AWT) an organisation based in the UK and operational in Uganda, that facilitates interactions between African writers in the Diaspora and writers on the continent to foster learning and resource sharing between the two groups.

Participants

The workshops drew participants from different backgrounds

The participants who gathered for the six-day training were as varied as the stories they produced. From a bank executive, who has always dreamt of writing but never found the time and space to do so; development workers who discovered their love and gift for writing when their jobs required that they record case studies and success stories of their clients; to journalists who have been told time and time again by their readers and bosses that they should consider channelling their energies into creative writing because they have the knack for it; and university students studying English literature and creative writing, who already see themselves as the future writers.

workshop participants

Participants discussing their writing

The workshops, sponsored by DOEN Foundation and Commonwealth Foundation attracted approximately forty-five writers in all, who were required to produce a publishable short story or poem around the theme A Childhood Memory or Experience, at the end of the Workshops. To lead the workshops, AWT invited UK- born Zambian award-winning novelist and children’s writer, Ellen Banda-Aaku, currently living in the UK.  Ms. Aaku’s first novel, Patchwork, won the inaugural Penguin Prize for African Writing in 2010.

Ms. Ellen Banda-Aaku

Ms. Ellen Banda-Aaku, explains a point to participants

Ms. Aaku was also the -writer-in-residence for The First African Writers Trust Fellowship programme. She spent six weeks in Uganda working on her own writing projects, mentoring and training students of Kyambogo University, and leading the two-week FEMRITE (The Uganda Women Writers Association) Regional Residency for women writers from South Africa, Namibia, Tunisia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Uganda. AWT plans to offer a fellowship to a professional writer in the Diaspora each year to spend time in Africa, writing, mentoring, offering practical creative guidance and writing professional skills to emerging writers and university students.

Goretti Kyomuhendo

Goretti Kyomuhendo co-facilitated the training workshops with Ms. Ellen Banda

The highlight of the training workshops was the literary evening held on 3rd November, at the Uganda National Museum gardens, which was organised in collaboration with British Council Uganda. The workshop participants read from their writings produced during the workshops to an enthusiastic audience, and later shared a light moment with guests at a reception.  Looking to the future, African Writers Trust, in collaboration with its partners including British Council, will implement a mentoring scheme for emerging Ugandan writers in March 2012. The scheme will begin with a small group from the participating workshop writers, in addition to others who will be selected through a competitive process. The new writers will be linked to mentors in the UK, to further develop their writing. It is planned that the writings developed through this scheme will later be published and submitted for international literary competitions.

Kyomuhendo and Baingana

Goretti Kyomuhendo, director African Writers Trust and Doreen Baingana, Chairperson, FEMRITE at the literary evening in Kampala in November 2011

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4 Comments. Leave new

PEACE!
I am an African American writer presently living in Kenya. Also, I am a Lecturer in Theater Arts at Kenyatta University with aspirations to pursue Post Graduate Work in the History of African Drama and Linguistics. I am looking for an African Publisher in Uganda who would be willing to publish my papers on Linguistics. Magazine, Journals, Educational Publishers. Do you have any suggestions? I am on vacation at Kenyatta University, and I would be willing to come to Uganda for a few days for a meeting if necessary.
Respectfully,
MUSAU Muhammad

Reply

Musau:

Thank you for your interest. These are some of the connections that AWT hopes to make — but we don’t have them all in place yet. I’m asking one of our Uganda-based people to look around a bit for you, and contact you via your email. (Which we will never sell or ‘lend’ to third parties, etc. Your privacy protected).
Thanks again.

Reply

my, Musau, this comment was trapped in my other folders i hardly check. Anyway, the one publisher I know who might be interested is Fountain Publishers. Ask for Julius Ocwinyo or Bob Kisiki. They’ll know better.
Fountain Publishers Ltd, PO Box 488, Kampala, Uganda. Fax +256 41 251160, e-mail: fountain@starcom.co.ug/
publishing@fountainpublishers.co.ug.
Telephone: +256 414 259 163, +256 414 251 112.

Other alternatives that have survived the times at least are:
MK Publishers Ltd.
1187 Entebbe Road Kibuye MK Book House 12385,Kampala Kampala
041-4269150, 077-2413637

Kamalu Ltd.
44 Rashid Khamis Road Old Kampala 4511,Kampala Kampala
031-2262449, 041-4270370, 041-4342121.

Best of luck.

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I am trying to locate the Uganda writers.
I am Ugandan resident in Kenya. Kindly tell me the next meeting and venue.
Thank you.
James B. R. Runaku

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