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Zukiswa Wanner. Photo from author’s Facebook page.

South African novelists Zukiswa Wanner and Niq Mhlongo are among the 2018 Writing Fellows of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study. All eleven 2018 Fellows will be offered a four-month writing term from January to April 2018. The Institute received more than 300 applicants from writers and scholars across Africa and Asia.

Founded in 2015, the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study Writing Fellowship is an initiative of the University of Johannesburg and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Like other Institutes for Advanced Study around the world—at Princeton, at Harvard, etc.—the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study is an independent academic institution aimed at promoting “scholarly thinking and research ‘for its own sake’, beyond the constraints of teaching and research at universities and other institutions of higher learning.”

James Murua’s Literature Blog reports that the Fellows “will have access to live-in suites at the JIAS complex in Westdene, Johannesburg.” There, they “will enjoy a quiet space for work and reflection, and participate in academic community-building.”

Niq Mhlongo. Image from

Niq Mhlongo is the author of the novels: Dog Eat Dog (2004), which was awarded the Mar de Letras prize in Spain; After Tears (2007); and Way Back Home (2013); and of the short story collection Affluenza (2016).

Selected for the prestigious Africa39 list in 2014, Zukiswa Wanner is the author of the novels: The Madams (2006), which was shortlisted for the 2007 K Sello Duiker Award; Behind Every Successful Man (2008); Men of the South (2010), which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Africa Region) and the Herman Charles Bosman Award in 2011; and London Cape Town Joburg (2014), which won the 2015 K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award. She co-authored the nonfiction works: A Prisoner’s Home, with the South African photographer Alf Kumalo; and L’Esprit du Sport, with the French photographer Amelie Debray. A judge of the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature, she sat on the Writivism Board of Trustees and is a founding member of the ReadSA initiative, a campaign encouraging South Africans to read South African works. She is also a facilitator of the Sol Plaatje University Fiction workshop, has facilitated the FEMRITE and Writivism workshops, and co-facilitated a Caine Prize workshop. She sits on the Advisory Board of Ake Festival.

Previous recipients of the JIAS Fellowship include the novelists Fred Khumalo and Yewande Omotoso.

See the full list of 2018 Fellows HERE.

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Otosirieze Nnaemekaram is a writer, an academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017). His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop facilitated by Giles Foden. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies and Pop Culture, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories and is working on a 600-page novel. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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