The AWT’s Writing and Reading Residency took place from April 27th to 2nd May 2021 at the picturesque Hotsprings Villas in Kampala, Uganda. Designed as a hybrid programme integrating virtual and in-person platforms, the residency brought together eleven writers and poets from Uganda, Burundi and Nigeria.
The week-long activities included online writing workshops, led by some of Africa’s leading writers and tutors. Joining us from Manchester was acclaimed Ugandan novelist, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, discussing her latest novel, The First Woman (2020). Distinguished professor of Creative Writing, Okey Ndibe, Nigeria/USA, expounded on Narrative Structure and Setting. Connecting from Nairobi was Kenyan editor and publisher, Otieno Owino, who discussed editing and the publishing process; while Mildred Barya, who directs the Creative Writing program at UNC- Asheville, talked on Plot and Point of View. Director of the International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa, Chris Merrill spoke about the IWP, which he has directed since 2000.
To expand their knowledge of reading and analysing literary works, participants read three novels during the residency: The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones and Arrows of Rain by Okey Ndibe.
Peer Reviews sessions, in which participants read, critiqued and offered valuable feedback to each other’s works were a major highlight of the residency.
The residency was crowned with an electrifying evening of poetry and music performances, a barbeque, awarding of certificates and socially-distanced dancing!
For those who are interested, the 2nd edition is planned for May 2022. Stay tuned for more details.