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A growing well-governed arts organization

In spite of existing general institutional models and general corporate and NGO creative systems and structures, the lack of whole Creative Arts institution models in the region has meant that Kwani Trust adapts and learns as it establishes itself. This has become a major challenge as we remain committed to the development of corporate institutional values and standards even as we stay as flexible and creative.


Literary Events and Projects

OpenMic, Litfest, SundaySalon,BookLaunches, BookFairs, PichaMtaani, Nairobi24, GenKen

Kwani Trust has run the Kwani Litfest in Nairobi and Lamu, since 2006 to 2008 where we brought several international writers, academics and students to share ideas, exchange work with the local literary and artistic community. Kwani also runs several local literary events such as book launches, monthly readings and poetry performances, in addition to our monthly ‘Open Mic’ and Sunday Salon Nairobi’ events, which are poetry and prose readings, respectively.



Kwani Journal, Kwani Series, Kwanini Series, Kwani Projects

Originally, a community of artists and writers sharing work on an online platform, Kwani Trust has developed into an institution that develops the literary arts and publishes several fiction and non-fiction titles outside its flagship literary magazine. It has also developed an in-house sales team that markets and distributes these publications both locally and internationally.


Global Networks

Summer Literary Seminars, Kwani at global cultural meets, associations with

Through its writers, friends and partners, Kwani Trust has become a regular invitee to fixtures on the international literary calendar and circuit. Also, many international academic institutions have placed writers and works appearing in the Kwani?- journal on their literary curricula and syllabi ensuring that Kenyan literature is also read elsewhere.



Workshops, Scholarships, Kwani Litfest

Kwani Trust has over the last two years developed an internationally recognized literary festival that provides different levels of training for writers. We also run different workshops for fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Through our international networks we have also managed to garner overseas scholarships for writers and artists.

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An annual literary journal, Kwani? provides a forum for the modern generation of Kenyan writers to showcase their talent. Over 50 new writers were published in the first five editions of Kwani?, . Kwani 6 which will be out in December 2010 will add more new and young writers to the Kwani? stable.

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Pocket-sized prose Introducing Powerful, pocket sized prose. This series features award-winning stories previously published in leading journals and books such as, Chimurenga, G21, Kwani? and Granta. These titles all offer a short and meaningful read.

See the Catalogue

Bold New Partnerships build on the overwhelming success of Kwani’s textual narratives. These retell the story of contemporary Kenyan societies emerge partnerships with other artists producing work that parallels ours. Whether it is photographers, comic artists or organisations, Kwani has become a much sought after cultural, artistic and narrative partner to many who either identify with it and want to collaborate.

See the List of Projects

The Kwani? series was established in 2006. These novel-size publications include Kizuizini, the first of our Swahili titles, The True Story of David Munyakei, the Stone Hills of Maragoli and the Tale of Kasaya.

See the Catalogue

Kwani Trust editors and writers have recorded several interviews of impact that review Kenyan, East African and African literature, arts and culture. From the sublime to the academic, the interviews form a growing body of commentary and opinion on an ever-changing literary landscape.

See the Interviews

In addition to the wealth published in its books, the Kwani Trust continues to publish online on a regular basis. Writers like David Kaiza and Samuel Munene publish insightful articles on literature and life in Keny.

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From the past.Visit the Kwani archives and retrieve articles by Kwani writers published over several years of publishing, production of new literary narratives and voices. These archives denote the evolution of a living literary culture and history.

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Call for Submissions: Contemporary African Women's Poetry

Across the continent as well as in the African Diaspora, African women are well known for their word craft. Over the centuries, African women have accomplished difficult feats using a capacity for words that is only surpassed by their ability for physical labor. This project on Contemporary African Women’s Poetry is looking for submission of poems written by African women from all works of life. We are looking for: (A) poetry about contemporary African life and experience on the continent; (B) poetry about life in the African Diaspora.


Queer Africa Reader: Discussion paper & call for abstracts

Dear Friends

We are writing to invite you to participate in the publication of an African LGBTI / Queer Reader [The Reader] to be published by Pambazuka Press in June 2011. The Reader is being published in response to the increasing homophobia and transphobia across the continent which aims to silence the voices of African Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex people.



Kwani Short Story Workshop Course 22nd June 2010

Kwani Trust is pleased to announce the holding of the Kwani short story competition workshop between Tuesday 23rd – 26th June 2010 at the Lenana Conference Center.


Pilgrimages: Celebrating Africa’s World Cup.

For one month in 2010, nearly a billion eyes will follow the wayward movement of one small ball, bouncing about haphazardly on a lawn — controlled by the feet of 22 men speaking a language billions understand very well.




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Reviews and Commentary

London Review of Books
LRB covers a wealth of writing production from across the AngloPhone world.
Chimurenga is Southern Africa's premier journal of literary work.
Itch is a brand new South African journal of creative writing and visual art.
Boston Review
Boston Review is a political and literary forum for the discussion and analysis of ideas.