The 2017 Africa Writes Festival program has been released. As we expected, the lineup is stacked with exciting events and lots of high-profile appearances. Here are a few highlights:

The festival kicks off on Friday June 30th with a Rhythm and Poetry (R.A.P.) party, an evening event featuring poetry and music.

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Alain Mabanckou is headlining the festival, so his keynote lecture is set for the last day of the festival, on Sunday.

Helon Habila’s session on his book about the Chibok girls is slated for Saturday. The Jalada collective has two events on Saturday. There is a panel featuring the 2017 Caine Prize shortlistees. It’s your chance to meet the crew of brilliant and freshly minted literary celebrities. Fans of Lola Shoneyin’s beautiful novel The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives will have a chance to see Maimouna Jallow’s adaptation of the book.

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The London book launch of Abdulai Sila’s The Ultimate Tragedy takes place on Sunday. Sila’s novel is the first Bissau-Guinean novel to be translated into English. There is also the launch of Olumide Popoola’s When We Speak of Nothing. Popoola is the latest addition to the author roster of Cassava Republic.

Buchi Emecheta’s fans are in for a treat on Sunday. The day opens with a tribute session featuring some of Emecheta’s close associates. Later in the day, a #BooksToInspire event dedicated to Emecheta’s writing will also take place. And it will be facilitated by our good friend Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed who runs the lovely Bookshy site. She’ll be joined by the folks at Afreada and Afrikult.

The panel titled “How to Reach the Readers: Publishing in Africa” brings together some of the most innovative minds in African publishing. We are particularly excited that Louise Umutoni of Huza Press is on the panel. She is brilliant and inspiring. [Read our feature on how she is changing the face of Rwanda literature.]

For those of you who are looking to bag some skills, there are master classes. Ellah Allfrey has a 3-hour masterclass tailored to writers looking to improve their completed drafts.

There are two free events on Saturday: “The Magic of Stories Family Workshop” and “The Kanga Exhibition and Sharing.”

The festival offers so much more. Click HERE to download the full list of events.

A word of advice: book your tickets HERE ASAP. They go pretty fast!

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