Africa Writes 2020 Online Series Programme

As of 2019, Africa Writes festival adopted a biennial model with the aim of returning with a full summer festival weekend at the British Library in 2021. With this in mind we planned and programmed two very special events for our audiences to still take place in summer 2020; but with the coronavirus’ disruption to social events, those two events have been postponed until further notice.

We were disheartened, as most were and still are, to realise these events wouldn’t be happening in the way we hoped but even more so for the authors who have book releases during this strange and uncertain time. One thing we know for sure is the importance of community in this time of isolation. So as an offering we’ve programmed free monthly virtual events on Zoom (streamed on Facebook Live) from July to October. Each event will be revealed in the month it is being hosted, so if you want to  be the first to know sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We are  proud to announce the first event of our free online series is a panel discussion with the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing shortlist. The last of our online series is our Sensuous Knowledge masterclass, adapted for online delivery, in partnership with Arvon. This event was originally part of the Africa Writes 2020 programme and is charged, though with limited grants available. Read below.



2020 AKO Caine Prize Conversation
Monday 20 July, 19:00 – 20:30
Location: Zoom (streamed on Facebook Live)

The annual AKO Caine Prize aims to bring African writing to a wider audience, popularising short fiction from authors on the continent. Launched in 2000, the prize is awarded to an African writer of a short story published in English, and this year marks its 21st award. In this virtual event we hear the 2020 finalists discuss their inspiration and work. With Erica Sugo Anyadike (Tanzania), Chikodili Emelumadu (Nigeria & UK), Jowhor Ile (Nigeria), Rémy Ngamije (Rwanda & Namibia) and Irenosen Okojie (Nigeria & UK). Chaired by Ifeanyi Awachie. 

Read about the event and register here



Stories of Silk: Somali Storytelling for Children
Tuesday 25 August, 11:00 – 11:30 (BST)
Location: Zoom
Ages: 5 years +

Sheekoysheeko, sheekoxariir ah, shimbir baa dhuustay, shaah bay karisay…..koob bay shubatay.

Story story…a story made of silk…a bird farted…then made spicy tea…and poured herself a cuppa.

Read about the event, claim your 10% discount and register here.

Kenkey Party: Ghanaian Storytelling for Children
Tuesday 25 August, 14:00 – 14:30 (BST)
Location: Zoom
Ages: 2 – 5 years

Leebi ko lɛ, Kɔmi kɛ kenaŋ eba Akwei kɛ Naa tsine. Amɛ mli ntao ni amɛtsɛ kɔmi yeli kɛ numɔ. 

One morning, Akwei and Naa wanted to have a Kenkey party. But there was no fish.

Read about the event, claim your 10% discount and register here.

Africa Writes x First Five Live with Yomi Ṣode
Date: Thursday 27 August
Time: 19:00 – 20:15 (BST)
Location: Zoom (streamed on Facebook Live)

Remember the book that changed your life? The song you’ll never forget? Join poet and host Yomi Ṣode in conversation with Paul Mendez (author of Rainbow Milk), as they chart through a musical journey and share the art that changed them.

Read about the event and register here.



Symposium – How should we write Yorùbá?
Date: Wednesday 2 September – Thursday 3 September
Time: 15:00 – 17:00 (BST/WAT both days)

Two webinars on writing Yorùbá, a major language of West Africa, in the 21st century. In partnership with The British Library.

Read about the event and register here.




Sensuous Knowledge Masterclass with Minna Salami
Date: Tuesday 20 October
Time: 17:00 – 19:00 (BST)
Location: Zoom
Tickets: £35 / £17 (concession tickets for Senior 60+, Student, Under 18 and Unemployed)

In this one-off masterclass, Minna will share her expertise and multidisciplinary approach to non-fiction writing. Over the two-hour session, participants will learn about different research methodologies and how to develop one’s ideas into meaningful non-fiction work. 

This masterclass is presented by Africa Writes and Arvon. Register here.




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