March Events will be announced soon – Join mailing list for details

Past Events

Maaza Mengiste - The Shadow King

If you are free Saturday morning, we still have some places for this workshop, that will examine the structure of the Booker Prize nominated story.Maaza Mengiste – The Shadow King, the second in a series of creative writing workshops linked to the Africa To attend please RSVP and then join at 10am on Saturday via the Zoom Link you will be sent by email. You might need to cut and paste the zoom link into your browser. 


Writing Craft Workshop: Narrative Structure

Led by: Jalada’s Ndinda Kioko

Date: Saturday 23 January

Time: 10am —12pm (GMT)

Where: Join Zoom Meeting:

RSVP


Book Synopsis

Set during Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, Maaza Mengiste’s The Shadow King takes us back to the first real conflict of World War II, casting light on the women soldiers who were left out of the historical record. At its heart is orphan Hirut, who finds herself tumbling into a new world of thefts and violations, of betrayals and overwhelming rage. What follows is a heartrending and unputdownable exploration of what it means to be a woman at war.

Craft Workshop

Jalada Africa’s Ndinda Kioko will lead this 2-hour session on narrative structure using an excerpt from Maaza Mengiste’s The Shadow King. By making visible the core building blocks of the story such as plot and form, this craft workshop will offer participants a window into how Mengiste expertly steers Hirut and her companions forward. They will examine some of the choices Mengiste makes to knot the events of this novel together, and the effects these choices have on the overall story. Through these conversations writers will be able to explore the different shapes their own stories could take, and the motions that could run through these stories’ tunnels.

Don’t forget that you can join us to see Maaza live in conversation with Ndinda on Tuesday 26 January at 4pm  5pm (GMT)

 Register Here and check your Eventbrite for the link.

 

About The Authors

Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A Fulbright Scholar and professor in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation programme at Queens College, she is the author of The Shadow King, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the HWA Gold Crown, and Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, named one of the Guardian’s Ten Best Contemporary African Books. Her work can be found in the New Yorker, Granta and the New York Times, among other publications. She lives in New York City.


Ndinda Kioko is a founding member of Jalada Africa. She is also a writer and filmmaker with an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Oregon. Her work has appeared on several platforms and in publications including The Black Warrior Review, The Trans-African, BBC Radio 4, Wasafiri Magazine, and Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara. She is a winner of the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, the Wasafiri New Writing Prize, and the Black Warrior Review Fiction Prize. Ndinda has also received support from the Blue Mountain Center and the MacDowell Colony. From 2018-2019, she was an Olive B. O’Connor Fiction Fellow at Colgate University. Ndinda is currently a visiting assistant professor at Colgate University and is working on her first novel.


Presented in partnership with Saseni!, Authors.CafeJalada AfricaFestival of IdeasLibraries Unlimited and the University of Exeter.

This event is part of the Africa Writes – Exeter Book Club series which is being launched through Exeter’s UNESCO City of Literature Programme.

Jennifer Makumbi - The First Woman

Sat Nov 21st & Tues Nov 24th

Authors.Cafe is delighted to announce the first in a series of creative writing workshops linked to the Africa Writes — Exeter Book Club and which explore language, history and craft. 

 

We have free places for writers from Devon to join writers from East Africa in an online workshop, about how to choose a point of view as an author.

 

Writing Craft Workshop: Locating Point of View

Led by Saseni!’s Billy Kahora

Date: Saturday 21 November

Time: 1pm — 3pm (Nairobi), 10am —12pm (UK)

Where: Join our mailing list Authors.Cafe for details

Workshop participants are encouraged to attend and ask question to Jennifer Makumbi via a live event on:

Date: Tuesday 24 November

Time: 4pm – 5pm  (UK) 

Where: Crowdcast – Register Here 

Interview: Jennifer Makumbi & Billy Kahora

 

Saturday 21 November Workshop

This 2-hour creative writing workshop with Billy Kahora explores point of view and narrative voice, building out of dialogue with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s novel The First Woman.  

Point of view (POV) is an integral tool in writing craft and the lens through which all stories are located. 

In The First Woman, Makumbi reworks histories, folklore and genres, deconstructing critical moments in Uganda’s past and exploring myth-making’s relationship to voice, through the perspective of a young woman Kirabo who is navigating a changing world.

In this workshop you will delve deep into the multiple decisions and techniques at stake for locating and positioning your writing — and the implications of this for relationships with characters, setting and readers.  

 

Workshop Preparation

Ahead of the workshop, participants are also asked to read:

this extract from Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s The First Woman  

this interview with Makumbi talking about the novel’s engagement with myth, feminism and ideas of home

Zadie Smith’s essay Fascinated to Presume: In Defense of Fiction’ 

an excerpt from Christopher Castellani’s, ‘The Art of Perspective’ (available on joining).

Please bring to the workshop a 500-word excerpt from any fiction you’ve written illustrating the use of POV. Be prepared to share this with the rest of the workshop!We will also share guiding questions for our workshop discussion.  

 

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s The First Woman

‘Jennifer Makumbi is a genius storyteller.’ – Reni Eddo-Lodge

For one young girl, discovering what it means to become a woman in a family, a community and a country determined to silence her will take all the courage she has.

Growing up in a small Ugandan village, Kirabo is surrounded by powerful women. Her grandmother, her aunts, her friends and cousins are all desperate for her to conform, but Kirabo is inquisitive, headstrong and determined. Up until now, she has been perfectly content with her life at the heart of this prosperous extended family, but as she enters her teenage years, she begins to feel the absence of the mother she has never known. The First Woman follows Kirabo on her journey to becoming a young woman and finding her place in the world, as her country is transformed by the bloody dictatorship of Idi Amin.

 

About Billy Kahora 

Billy Kahora is the author of the short story collection The Cape Cod Bicycle War and the non-fiction novella The True Story of David Munyakei. He wrote the screenplay for Soul Boy and co-wrote Nairobi Half Life which won the Kalasha awards.  He worked for nearly a decade for Kenya’s leading literary publisher Kwani Trust, editing seven issues of the Kwani? journal. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Bristol. He is the founder of Saseni! — a new African creative writing teaching initiative that connects higher and vocational education and the creative arts on the African continent.

 

To join Saturday’s workshop join our mailing list Authors.Cafe