Hey fam! We have some big news! We have expanded Brittle Paper to include an online learning platform for writers, called The Writing Room. We now offer free masterclass videos on fiction writing. Our instructors are Chimeka Garricks (Character Development), Eghosa Imasuen (Setting), Zukiswa Wanner (Plot), Ellah Wakatama (Language and Style), and Molara Wood (Theme). The courses are tailored to the specific storytelling needs of African writers in the early stages of their literary journey.

At Brittle Paper, we have championed emerging writers for many years by publishing their work—over 1000 short stories, poems, and essays! But we always knew we could do more to provide opportunities for aspiring writers and support them on their journey to literary success. African writers, especially those based on the continent, face a lot of challenges with skill acquisition, skill development, as well as access to information about the publishing market and industry. The Writing Room project aims to support these writers as they take their first steps in their career. At the completion of all five courses, writers receive a certificate marking their achievement.

Dr. Ainehi Edoro-Glines, Brittle Paper’s Editor-in-Chief and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is excited about the impact of the project on the African literary culture.

The Writing Room feels like the natural progression in our decade-long commitment to investing in African literary futures. The program aims to center African writing in the current global literary boom by training writers to tell impactful stories. It also aims to shift the current focus of the African literary industry from successful writers to the needs of aspiring writers. After all, they are the future of the culture, and we need to invest in their passion.

We currently offer five courses centered on the basics of fiction writing taught by instructors with decades of experience in writing, editing, and publishing best-selling, award-winning works. Ellah Wakatama OBE, (Hon) FRSL, is the instructor on Language and Style. She is the chair of the AKO Caine Prize for African writing. She is also Editor-at-Large for Canongate Books and is a Creative Manchester Senior Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. Zukiswa Wanner, the instructor on Plot, is the author of nine books in addition to curating literary events and running an indie press. Chimeka Garricks, the instructor on Character Development, is a Nigerian-Irish writer and has published award-winning and bestselling works of fiction. Molara Wood is the instructor on Themes. She is a journalist, editor, and the author of Indigo, a collection of short stories. She is based in Lagos and hosts the ART for the People podcast, among other creative endeavors. Eghosa Imasuen, the instructor on Setting, is a novelist and the co-founder of Narrative Landscape Press Limited, a publishing company based in Lagos.

This project has been possible by the generous sponsorship of Africa No Filter, “a donor-collaborative shifting stereotypical and harmful narratives within and about Africa through research, grant-making, community building and advocacy by supporting storytellers, investing in media platforms and driving disruption campaigns.”

If you are interested in building your creative writing skills or know someone with a passion for writing, follow this link to learn more!

[Join us for the official launch of The Writing Room on July 20, in a zoom event featuring Ben Okri and our instructors. Register here.]