African Writers Trust and the British Council Mentoring Scheme

African Writers Trust has been running creative writing and mentoring workshops for Ugandan university students and independent writers since 2009. The workshops are led by established African writers in the Diaspora who offer professional writing skills and practical creative writing guidance to the participants. However, African Writers Trust is keen to extend the impact of the workshops beyond the week-long trainings. As such, the workshop facilitators continue to mentor the participants by offering them critical feedback on their works via email.

Ellah Allfrey, (left) deputy editor of Granta magazine, previously facilitated  the Editors workshop in Kampala, organized by AWT under the leadership of Goretti Kyomuhendo (right).

The scheme is supported by British Council Uganda and currently, 16 Ugandan writers and poets (mentees) have been paired to 4 established writers (mentors) based in the UK. The main objective of the programme is to challenge and inspire emerging writers to produce good literature by focusing on professional writing skills development, and to facilitate the participants to develop as writers. The scheme was designed to run for six months: March to August 2012. Congratulations to the mentors and mentees who have accomplished this goal.

Here’s a poem from one of the participating fellows, Davina Kawuma.




Headphones edged with brio,

bulging over skirted sofas.

Sport is the new sex.

Dogs versus coyotes on the tight

end of the stereo.

Hazard lights stitch footsubishis and TV

chicken into seams of Nokia eleven hundred housing.

In loose sprays, cracked for patches

of grey I save English names one cocktail

at a time. Tusky Big Brother Africa house

mates sniff my lemon bracts. I’m middle

middle-class with a chance of un|dress

codes. Raglan sleeves, push-up bras, harem

culottes, wine-glass heels and a backpack full

of silence. I will never wear myself out

trying to get rich.


Hash Tag, YouCantThreatenThePoor


How about it, then?

Shall I serve a late helping of morning;

slop poached pinks and yolky yellows

onto thick slices of doughy landscape?

Shall I take the day off and a bus buried

by a loud pedal to a faded scrawl?

Invite your size-six Adam’s apple to my capacity

building workshop?

Shall I slaughter a mannequin?

Upload the video on YouTube?—YouGroup?—YouThink?


Shall I read you some bumper sticker advice,

im|press you with my flaky fonts and American’t accent?

Save you fifty on a bootlegged DVD?


Hash Tag, TheSystemIsStupid




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