Kwani Trust plans to put together a collection of essays, fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, testimonials, and photography based on the Coast Province. These will be part of an upcoming edition of Kwani’s flagship journal that will explore various themes emerging in Kenya after the 2013 general elections, including debates about and on the Kenyan Coast. These include contextual issues around ‘terror’ and insecurity, and competing geographies and histories of the Coast province.

The project also seeks to address what we see as a false divide between literary and creative production in formal English in mainland Kenya and the rich oral and written traditions in Kiswahili over hundreds of years. The project’s main point of departure is how the work of Kwani that relies on contemporary and alternative forms of creative and literary work can address the aforementioned issues at the Kenyan Coast in its oral and written traditions in Kiswahili.

In this context we are planning a non-fiction forum running between September 30th and October 6th for mid-career and established non-fiction writers. The forum will incubate creative writers from the Coast working in creative non-fiction. We invite writers who are interested in attending to submit a non-fiction sample of no more than 3000 words.

Though not limited to the above, the forum will broadly explore what new narratives can emerge from the ‘Coast’ in the context of the aforementioned social and political issues. The five-day forum will allow the writers enough time to present and discuss their non-fiction work within the context of the non-fiction writer’s craft.

Formal sessions at the forum will include:

  1. Beyond Short Form Journalism: How To Make Your Non-Fiction Fiction Creative 
  2. Idiom and Local Character: Realising Local Context In Non-Fiction Writing
  3. Hitting The Streets: Conducting Local Research in Non-Fiction Writing
  4. A 1000-Year-Old Coastal Memory: Addressing History In Non-Fiction Writing  
  5. Planning The Quest: The Place Of Travel Writing in Creative Non-Fiction
  6. Larger Contexts: Writing (A Creative Non-Fictional Kenya)  

All participants will make presentations of writing they are working on at the Coast. 
To apply, please email by Friday, September 25th  at midnight with the following:

Email Subject Line: 2015 Fiction Workshop Application
A short fiction sample (2000-3000 words) (Word or PDF)
Place of Current Residence:
Phone number:
Email address:

At the end of the forum writers who have not been directly invited will be offered commissions by Kwani Trust to write for the upcoming journal based on the story discussed in the workshop.
Please do not apply if you are not available for all the days of the forum between 9am-5 pm for above dates. Please do not apply if you are not from the Coast. We will consider applicants who are from the Coast but are currently based elsewhere if they can sufficiently prove that they are engaged with the issues we are addressing.  

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