Africa Writes 2012: Book Fair

A two-day international book fair with over a dozen publishers of African writing.

ABC is a collective of 136 independent African publishers, from 24 countries, owned and governed by the founder publishers. Its mission is to disseminate Africa’s wealth of scholarly and literary works through Africa’s own voice from the continent. It is a social enterprise, non-profit itself, returning sales remittances to Africa to strengthen the indigenous publishing industry. Over 2000 titles are stocked, marketed and distributed worldwide. Titles are mainly English language, and also include works in African languages – Afrikaans, Igbo, Ndebele, Sheng, Shona, Swahili; and French and Portuguese. In addition to print editions, select titles are available as e-books.

African Writers Trust is a body that facilitates interactions between African writers in the Diaspora and writers on the continent by promoting sharing of skills and learning between the two groups. It was established in 2009 and is operational in London and in Kampala, Uganda. African Writers Trust is governed by an advisory board and administered by the director. Its activities and programmes are sponsored through donor funding, philanthropists and friends and supporters of African writing.

African Writing is a literary magazine publishing fiction and creative non-fiction, as well as poetry, memoirs and books reviews. Available online and in print, African Writing is published 6 times annually.

Ayebia is an independent bespoke publishing house specializing in quality African and Caribbean writing. Our aim is to be the first port of call for established and budding writers who require a publisher who has an affinity with and an understanding of where they are coming from. We can offer our knowledge, expertise and nurturing to writers who wish to reach a wider international audience. Ayebia’s mission is to publish books that will open new spaces and bring fresh insights into African and Caribbean life, culture and literature in a way that will enlighten, stimulate and entertain. Ayebia’s books target all readers who are interested in exploring quality literature from another perspective. Our books are also aimed at schools, colleges and the university market.

Book Aid International increases access to books and supports literacy, education and development in sub-Saharan Africa. The organisation provided 516,138 new books to over 2,000 libraries last year alone and has sent more than 30 million books to partner libraries since 1954. Book Aid International also provides training and other support to libraries and librarians so that books are used effectively. Every year, we send around half a million brand new books to partners in Africa, which are read over and over again by millions of readers. We work closely with the book and publishing trade in the UK who donate nearly all of the high quality, relevant books we send.

Books of Africa is a limited publishing company, created in 2008 by African and British nationals. Books of Africa positions itself in the still insufficiently explored but worldwide niche of Africa and Diaspora studies. Our mission at is to promote an African view of history, literature, philosophy, economics and religion. We aim to publish books on a wide variety of subjects related to Africa and the Diaspora because we believe that the African contribution to world culture and development is significant and its value needs to be recognised.

Commonwealth Writers is a new cultural programme within the Commonwealth Foundation which develops, connects and inspires writers. By awarding prizes and running on-the-ground activities, it works in partnership with international literary organisations, the wider cultural industries and civil society to help writers develop their craft in the fifty four countries of the Commonwealth. The website is also a forum where members from anywhere in the world can exchange ideas and contribute to debates.

Global Book Marketing Ltd markets books for publishers from Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa and elsewhere. Our trade warehouse, for retailers, is Central Books Ltd. To be added to our mailing list, contact: and to see our new African books, visit

Granta Books is one of the most independent-minded and prestigious literary publishers in the UK. It has established a reputation for publishing intelligent, challenging and original non-fiction and groundbreaking, ambitious, and beautifully written fiction, including prize-winning novels by Linda Grant, Romesh Gunesekera, Eleanor Catton and Anne Landsman, and backlist classics by Joseph Roth, Leonardo Sciascia, Fred Wander, Elias Canetti, S. Yizhar, Jo Langer and Heda Kovaly.

James Currey, now an imprint of Boydell & Brewer, specializes in publishing academic research on Africa. Dedicated to distributing books about Africa, in Africa, we are noted for getting authors’ books around the continent through African co-publishing and direct marketing. US distribution is via Boydell and Brewer Inc. Backlist titles are available through POD and we have a growing e-book programme. Sign up for our Newsletter, African Griot. Visit our website or come and discuss proposals at our stand.

Pearson is the world’s leading learning company. It helps educate millions of people worldwide by providing teachers, educators and students of all ages with essential materials, technologies and assessment tools. Pearson has three operating groups: The Penguin Group, Pearson Education and The Financial Times Group. The African Writers Series was established in 1962 by Heinemann. For many years its name has been synonymous with excellence in African writing. Renowned authors such as Chinua Achebe, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Bessie Head and Dambudzo Marechera have had some of their best work published under this iconic name. In May 2008, the AWS joined the Pearson family. As part of Pearson’s commitment to promoting the best in African publishing, new editions of some of the most notable works in the series are now being published alongside completely new works.

Portobello Books is one of Britain’s younger independent publishing imprints, but it has already won a strong reputation as a home to original and independent-minded writers, many of them from outside the UK, and a third of them coming into English in translation. We aim to give our readers books that are enlightening and searching, with a particular focus on non-fiction.

SABLE LitMag is a black and white cultural publication for writers of colour to showcase their work in any genre. It provides readers with an opportunity to discover new work by internationally renowned and new writers within a format and design that is aesthetically as important as the written word. ‘Art is the heArt of a nation,’ and therefore, our ethos is based on using Art as a means to build strong communities. We aim to show how the literary arts can be used effectively to promote cultural understanding and social cohesion in communities and across borders.

Books and children’s stories are vital in establishing a child’s own sense of identity as well as providing the impetus to fuel a child’s imagination and aspirations. The Pelican Post works with schools and charities throughout Africa by delivering multiple copies of the same story so that whole classrooms can read a story together and children can discover a real love of reading.

Since the very first issue in 1984, Wasafiri has opened minds and crossed literary worlds. The magazine is key to mapping new landscapes in contemporary international writing today, highlighting both the UK’s diverse cultural heritage and a range of literature from around the globe. ‘Wasafiri’, the Kiswahili word for travellers, captures our ethos: to enable readers to travel the world via the word and extend the established boundaries of literary culture. The quarterly magazine draws widely across modern culture and the arts, publishing a lively and informed mix of fiction, poetry, interviews, essays and reviews by both well-known and rising names. As such, Wasafiri provides a unique and dynamic forum for those keen to explore the geographies and contours of emerging literary worlds.

Zed Books is an independent social sciences publisher with a strong, critical and dynamic Africa list and an established history of progressive publishing on Africa. Zed works collaboratively with the Royal Africa Society on the series African Arguments, which has been successful in bringing many current African issues to a wide audience of interested readers, students and scholars. We will be bringing to this event a wide selection of high quality, topical titles which we hope will appeal to conference delegates.