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Africa Writes 2018 flyer. Photo by Amaal Said.

Warsan Shire, scheduled to headline Africa Writes 2018, will miss the festival due to illness. Her event, “Warsan Shire in Conversation on Sunday 1 July,” has now been postponed to Monday 21 January 2019. Tickets purchased for the event will be valid for the new date. Alternatively, ticket-holders are entitled to a full refund. The Royal African Society, the organisation behind the festival, sent an email to their subscribers stating this.

Dear friends,

We’re sad to say Warsan Shire is recovering from a serious health issue and is not able to join us for the festival weekend. Her headline event on Sunday 1 July 2018 is postponed to Monday 21 Jan 2019. Ticket holders please check your email for info, and hope you’ll join us in sending her a message of love & support!

All other festival events are going ahead as scheduled, and there is plenty to be excited about in the packed programme which kicks off in just one week’s time!

We’ve been featuring the festival launch titles in our #BookLaunchSeries on Instagram. Get a taste of the books you’ll be hearing about at the festival, and read some mini-reviews as well.

Plus, look out for Africa Writes team and festival guests in the media this week…

See you soon!

The Africa Writes Team.

Africa Writes Festival is the UK’s biggest annual African literature and book festival. It is hosted at the British Library and Rich Mix. From Friday 29 June to Sunday 1 July, over 60 writers from Africa and the diaspora will convene in London to explore the works of womxn and queer writers who are making an impact in African literature. The 2017 festival was headlined by Alain Mabanckou.

This is not the first time that a superstar African writer has been unavailable for an event they were scheduled to headline. In 2014, also due to sudden illness, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was unable to attend the Folio Prize ceremony where she was to deliver the keynote speech.

We wish Warsan Shire quick recovery.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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